Hearts and Hibs serve up 300 Christmas feasts to help the needy

Hearts and Hibs both threw open their doors and welcomed in 300 people from across the city into their stadiums for a slap-up Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

Thursday, 26th December 2019, 2:55 pm
Ex-Hearts player Gary Locke with Board Director Stuart Wallace, Nicky Reid SPFL Trust and brother and sister Thomas Munro and Mary Fleming. Picture: Stewart Attwood

The football clubs invited people who could not afford to make their own meal or those facing a solitary day in front of the TV into the football grounds to join in the festive fun.
The project, in which the city’s biggest sporting rivalry joins together to help spread some seasonal cheer to those most in need, was once again an enormous success.

At Easter Road, more than 200 people sat down to a feast or turkey, roast potatoes and pigs in blankets.

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster said she was “very proud” of the effort of her club to help the vulnerable this winter. She went on to say that it was not just football fans who came along but people from all walks of life both young and old. Those who were born and bred in the city and others who have just arrived.

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Hearts welcomed almost 100 people into their Tynecastle stadium. Hearts owner Ann Budge said that she was “very happy” to open Tynecastle Park to help the needy.

Throughout December Tesco stores across the city have been working hard to make sure the two football clubs had all the ingredients needed to serve up their banquets. Staff collected donations of food from generous shoppers and last week delivered the bulging bags of goodies to volunteers at the two stadiums. Tesco workers also sacrificed their days off to put together bags containing gifts for each attendee to take away with them, to ensure every person had a present to open on Christmas Day.  

Tesco Leith store manager, Fraser Cromar, and his team of Christmas elves worked around the clock to make this Christmas feast a reality.

He said: “My colleagues have been working flat out behind the scenes packing the goody bags and making sure we had an appropriate bag for each person attending on Christmas day to make this year’s Christmas lunch extra special.

“The collections coincided with one of Tesco’s biggest weeks of the year, in this store alone we will serve over 52,000 customers, so I would like to say a huge thank you to all of Tesco’s staff for their incredible effort this Christmas.”

Volunteers from both clubs and Tescos spent their own Christmas mornings making Turkey, nut roast and all the trimmings in the football stadium kitchens.

“The helpers then served hot drinks and mince pies to guests before sitting down to share in the joy of Christmas together.