17 photos of Edinburgh in 1986 – including hosting of ‘Boycott Games’ and Margaret Thatcher’s unwelcome visit

Nineteen-Eighty Six was a memorable year in which the Commonwealth Games made a controversial return to Edinburgh, and Heart of Midlothian FC came within a whisker of winning the Scottish Premier League title – only to blow their chance on the last day of the season.

The city had been praised for its hosting of the 1970 Commonwealth Games 16 years earlier, but the Capital’s second attempt at playing host would be swept up in controversy.

Firstly, Edinburgh had practically received the 1986 games by default, as no other city in the UK had wanted them. Then, in the run up to the big event, a mass boycott was staged in response to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s refusal to impose sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid administration.

From 59 potential participating nations, only 27 would make the trip to Edinburgh to compete in what would become unofficially known as the ‘Boycott Games’.

Moving over to professional football, Hearts were in top form, with a league and cup double on the cards as the Gorgie side approached the final few games of the 1985/86 season.

Sadly for Hearts fans, the season would end in tears.

The Jam Tarts surrendered their league title ambitions in improbably fashion within minutes of the final whistle of the last game of the season. A 2-0 loss away to Dundee, and Celtic’s 5-0 win at St Mirren consigned a broken Hearts to second place.

To make things worse, the team would then lose 3-0 to Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup Final.

Take a look through our photo gallery for 17 memories of Edinburgh in 1986 – and let us know your own recollections in the comments section before you go.