'Best goalkeeper in Scotland' - Craig Gordon to become 75th Hearts player to reach 200 milestone as fans pay tribute
Craig Gordon will make his 200th competitive Hearts appearance against Ayr United this afternoon.
The 38-year-old will captain the side at Tynecastle in Steven Naismith’s absence as Robbie Neilson names the same XI which defeated Dundee last week.
Gordon will become the 75th player to reach the milestone for Hearts, 6,733 days after his debut for the club.
He will join current team-mates Jamie Walker and Christophe Berra, as well as his manager, in hitting the double century.
The goalkeeper made his debut for his boyhood club back in October 2002, aged just 19, in a 1-1 draw with Livingston. Team mates that day included Jean-Louis Valois and Mark de Vries.
He wasn’t even the youngest starter for Hearts will Paul McMullan playing at left-back at 18 years of age.
Gordon would go on to become one of the club's greatest goalkeepers, winning the Scottish Cup in 2006, as well as earning international recognition, before a club record transfer to Sunderland.
He arrived back this summer after 13 years away and has picked up where he left off, producing an excellent array of saves and is likely to win the club’s player of the year award.
Team-mate Walker paid tribute to him earlier this week, noting the club wouldn’t have finished bottom last season if they had him and that he saved the team 10-12 points this campaign.
“It’s weird because I knew he was a really good keeper from watching him play for Hearts many a time as a boy growing up,” he said.
“But to see him up close in training and in games, he’s incredible. He’s much better than I thought he was. Sometimes I can’t understand how he keeps the ball out of the net.”
@AldoScrim89: “We're genuinely lucky to have him. God knows where we'd be if we still had to suffer popadom hands from last season…”
@mark2222011: “Best keeper in Scotland ”
@m_p_savage: “Fantastic GK and professional at every club he has played for! I’m sure Craig will be involved in the Euros this year. All the best Craig!”
@CP90_: “Will he bail us out at some point today? Yes. Hope we see him get to 300, at 38 and still caviar.”