Hearts hero Mark de Vries 'crawled to bed' after a few drinks before famous Edinburgh derby debut

Striker admits it was ‘stupid’ but did so to calm his nerves

Mark de Vries celebrates scoring the second of four goals in his Edinburgh derby debut. Picture: SNS
Mark de Vries celebrates scoring the second of four goals in his Edinburgh derby debut. Picture: SNS

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.

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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.”

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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.”

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