Hearts legend Robertson to represent club at Contalmaison

The memorial at Contalmaison
The memorial at Contalmaison
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John Robertson will miss Hearts’ Europa League clash with FC Infonet on Thursday as he embarks on the McCrae’s Battallion Centenary Pilgrimage to Contalmaison.

The club legend leaves Edinburgh tomorrow to travel to the Somme, in France, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the First World War, including several Hearts players.

Robertson, who is Hearts’ head of coach education as well as a club ambassador, will set off on his second visit to the French commune tomorrow.

“I will represent the club with the McCrae’s Battalion bus,” said the 51-year-old. “The actual ceremony is on Friday. There’s a cairn out there that Hearts paid for at Contalmaison and we lay a wreath there every year. While we’re trying to create history on the pitch, it’s very important that we keep our ties with our community and our history off it.

“It’s a six-day pilgrimage for the rest of the people but the club are bringing me back on Saturday. I went there two years ago. People ask ‘is it an exciting trip?’. It is in some ways but it’s a humbling experience once you realise how many people lost their lives for so little gain.”