RUDI SKACEL wrote himself into Hearts folklore by scoring in two Scottish Cup finals, first in 2006 – after which he is pictured above wearing a tammy and team-mate Paul Hartley’s shirt – and then in 2012 when he famously bagged a brace in a 5-1 rout of Hibs.
The Czech enjoyed two fruitful spells at Hearts in which he established himself as their most revered player of the modern era, with his first stint at the club coming in the memorable 2005/06 season when he scored 17 goals to help Hearts finish second in the SPL and win the Scottish Cup. Skacel signed off with a goal in the 2006 final against Gretna before heading to Southampton. He returned to Tynecastle to a hero’s acclaim in 2010 and went on to enhance his status further among the Hearts support by scoring 31 goals across his two seasons under Jim Jefferies and Paulo Sergio.
The last of those came on May 19, 2012, when he swept in his team’s fifth goal in that famous Cup final destruction of Hibs.
The former Czech Republic internationalist, who came close to returning to Tynecastle for a third spell under both John McGlynn and Gary Locke, now appears to have hung up his boots after spending last season with Raith Rovers.
His contribution to the 2012 final goes down as the most notable of his long career and ensures he will forever hold a prominent place in Hearts’ history.