Crowds doing their Christmas shopping in Princes Street Edinburgh, December 1986.
Crowds doing their Christmas shopping in Princes Street Edinburgh, December 1986.

Edinburgh in the Eighties: 17 photos to transport you back to Edinburgh in 1986

Edinburgh in 1986. It was a memorable year in which the Commonwealth Games made a controversial return to the city, financial firms prepared themselves for the ‘Big Bang’, and Hearts came within a whisker of lifting the Scottish Premier League title – only to be denied on the final day of the season.

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

Firstly, the city had practically received the 1986 games by default, as no other city had wanted them.

Then, in the run up to the summer event, a mass boycott was staged in response to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s refusal to impose sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid administration.

From 59 potential participating nations, just 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.

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