Former Hearts striker Mark de Vries has revealed he was so drunk the night before his legendary four-goal Edinburgh derby debut that he had to crawl to bed.
Talking on the Scarves Around the Funnel podcast,the Dutchman tells of how things got a little carried away as he sought to ease his pre-match nerves before the game at Tynecastle.
It was his first start for the club, having made his debut as a substitute against Dundee the previous week following his summer move from Dordrech.
He would go on to make an incredible first impression, netting four times in the 5-1 victory over Bobby Williamson’s Hibernian and making himself an instant favourite.
He recalled: “People on the street start to recognise you and it was the first time I was in the situation. They would say ‘hey, we need you to score against those green… people’.
“I was thinking that it was just a game, but the hype was getting built up and built up. I was enjoying it, but it was also nerve-wracking.
“So I bought a couple of six-packs of Budweiser. It was stupid but it helped me a lot because it made me forget about the pressure. I was in the house, I was all by myself.
“I woke up the next morning. I could remember crawling on my knees through the kitchen to get to the bedroom. I dunno how I got into bed but I somehow managed it. Then I walk out onto the park the next day and score four goals.”
De Vries also admitted to accidentally having a night out before a different match when he got his dates confused and thought Hearts were playing the day after.
He added: “I had an evening as well where I totally forgot we were playing on a Saturday instead of Sunday.
“I’m 45 now so I can say these things, but there’s no excuse if you forget the day you need to play. That’s stupid.
“It was Partick Thistle away, they beat us 1-0. I had to come in on the Monday because someone had called the gaffer to tell him I’d been drinking the night before - and smoking as well. He gave me a bollocking.”