Ex-Hearts star Saulius Mikoliunas dedicates title win to former team-mate Marius Zaliukas

Former Hearts winger Saulius Mikoliunas has dedicated winning the Lithuanian championship to former team-mate Marius Zaliukas.

Marius Zaliukas salutes the Hearts fans after making his final appearance for the club at Pittodrie in May 2013. Picture: SNS
Marius Zaliukas salutes the Hearts fans after making his final appearance for the club at Pittodrie in May 2013. Picture: SNS

The defender sadly passed away last month at the tender age of 36 after contracting motor neurone disease. His death was confirmed while Hearts were playing Hibs in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park, which was the first time the clubs had met at the national stadium since Zaliukas led Hearts to a 5-1 victory over their rivals in the 2012 final.

As well as playing alongside Zaliukas at Tynecastle for three years, Mikoliunas was also a team-mate at Žalgiris Vilnius for a brief period in 2016 before Zaliukas retired.

‘Miko’, now 36 and playing at right-back, helped his side defeat Suduva 3-0 to win their first A Lyga title in four years. After the game he donned a No.26 shirt with Zaliukas on the back. The whole team then posed for a poignant photo with the trophy and Zaliukas’ jersey in the dressing room.

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