Edinburgh man Terry McCluskey goes extra mile to watch Hearts in Scottish Cup Final after travelling from Perth, Australia

A life-long Hearts fan has gone the extra mile - or 9,000 miles - to watch his team play the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden.

By Rhoda Morrison
Saturday, 21st May 2022, 4:55 am

Edinburgh-born Terry McCluskey booked a last minute flight from his home in Perth, Australia, to the Capital after his beloved team beat Hibs 2-1 in last month’s semi-final.

He was originally meant to travel with his wife Jacqui, also from Edinburgh, who had booked a five week break to see the couple’s daughter Lisa and their two granddaughters. She was also looking forward to watching her niece get married at Dalmahoy Hotel on Sunday.

But on Tuesday Jacqui received the awful news that she had tested positive for Covid-19 and would have to remain in Australia, where the couple’s other two daughters also live.

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Terry McCluskey, right, has travelled thousands of miles from Perth to attend the Scottish Cup Final

“It was so annoying because Terry wasn’t even going until Hearts got into the final,” said Jacqui.

“We have been locked up in Australia for about two and a half years so as soon as the borders opened, I thought I’m going to Scotland. I wanted to see my daughter and my granddaughters so I was determined that I was going to do that.

“I knew if Hearts got to the final Terry would go with me, that’s how mad of a Hearts fan he is.”

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Jacqui, who also had a ticket to the final, was desperate to return to Edinburgh after more than three and a half years of being away. The Covid-19 pandemic had stopped her from travelling and had even prevented her from being able to attend her mother’s funeral 18 months ago.

And she was left heartbroken when she began to feel ill and had to take a Covid test.

“I took the test at 3am on Tuesday and it came back straight away as positive,” she said. “I was supposed to board the flight at 11pm.

“I couldn’t believe it, I just looked at it and thought about all the things I wouldn’t be able to do. I can’t believe I’m going to miss my niece’s wedding. When I phoned to tell her, my sister knew it was bad news.”

She added: “It means a lot to me to go home. Normally I’d come back every year and my daughter would come over once a year too. My mum actually died while in lockdown so I think it’ll only properly sink in when I get home and see my sisters and she’s not there.”

Terry and Jacqui moved to Australia in 2009 after they decided it would be a better environment for Terry’s job as a carpenter.

For eight years after the move, dedicated fan Terry kept his season ticket for Tynecastle to show continued support for his club.

“He spent £400 a year for my daughter or his friend to go to the games,” said Jacqui. “I told him it was crazy but he just kept saying it was a good cause.”

The couple also joined the Perth Hearts Supporters Western Australia group, who meet up at pubs in Perth to watch the games.

Although Jacqui is being forced to watch the cup final from the comfort of her own home thousands of miles away, she has been able to reschedule her flight to one which leaves in a week’s time.

This means she will miss the main events of her visit, but will still be able to spend four weeks with her family and friends.

“I just hope Hearts win. That’ll be the icing on the cake. It won’t make up for me having to stay here but it will be something to cheer us up and it’ll make Terry happy too.”