Photographer puts football club loyalty aside for remembrance

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A Hibernian club director has put rivalry to one side by capturing images to promote a Hearts production at Tynecastle.

Despite sitting on the board at Hibs, Stephen Dunn has found time to complete a photography degree at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University.

An image taken during A War of Two Halves by Stephen Dunne.

An image taken during A War of Two Halves by Stephen Dunne.

As part of the 58-year-old’s final project he photographed Tim Barrow who plays Hearts boss John McCartney in A War of Two Halves, a play based on Jack Alexander’s book McCrae’s Battalion.

Stephen told the Evening News: “I bought my first camera in 1977 and I’ve been taking pictures ever since. I decided to do a degree in 2015 in order to become a professional photographer.

“I did a portrait of Tim Barrow and he spoke so highly of the play. I decided I would go down with my camera and I thought it was a tremendous piece of theatre.

“I thought it was excellent and written well. It’s a great way to pay respects to those brave men and it was very emotional.”

The play is based in 1914 when Heart of Midlothian Football Club had won 19 of 21 matches and was on the brink of becoming Scottish league champions. But 13 of their players showed remarkable bravery to volunteer together in the McCrae’s Battalion destined to fight in France.

The play takes the audience through a dramatic and emotive journey from the football pitches in Gorgie to the battlefields of the Somme led by the players/soldiers in a unique site-specific performance.

A War of Two Halves proved to be a huge success at this year’s Fringe and has returned to Tynecastle for a run of shows until November 11.

Stephen, who is also a trustee of Hibernian Historical Trust, represented the club with historian Tom Wright at the dedication of the cairn in Contalmaison, France in 2006.

He added: “It will have been one of the best attended Fringe events and I’d recommend anyone who is a football fan, interested in war stories or of theatre to go along and watch it. It is a time where it doesn’t matter who you support, I’m just glad I was able to help a production which has been done so well.

“These shows come at an important time too with Armistice Day approaching. It is important to remember those who sacrificed their lives during World War One.”