Hearts in 50 objects: No.5 The centenary clock

The clock was a gift from Rangers
The clock was a gift from Rangers
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This clock was a gift to Hearts from Rangers in 1974 to mark the Tynecastle’s club’s 100th anniversary.

It was customary for clubs to offer gifts to others when they had spent a century in existence, and this item was received by the Hearts directors in recognition of reaching such a major milestone.

Heart of Midlothian Football club was originally formed in 1874 by a group of friends from the Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly Club (Dancing). Indeed, the modern Hearts club crest is based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

By 1974, Hearts were a long-established force in Scottish football and recognised as one of the country’s top clubs.

Their rivalry with Edinburgh neighbours Hibs was fierce and they had produced some of Scotland’s finest footballers through the years, such as Bobby Walker, Dave Mackay and Willie Bauld.

The clock handed over by Rangers has Roman numerals, which were popular at the time, and the gift was used at various locations around Tynecastle before being placed in storage.

It is one of a number of artefacts from the club’s past which are cherished but not often seen. Gifts between rivals clubs are less common in the modern game, although some Hearts fans believe their club has gifted certain players to Rangers through the years by accepting moderate transfer fees. That, however, is a story for another day...

• See more great items from Hearts’ history at the club’s museum. For opening times, go to www.heartsfc.co.uk/pages/museum