Hearts star Jamie Hamill cleared of ‘handball’

Jamie Hamill has been given the thumbs-up to play against Celtic. Picture: SNS
Jamie Hamill has been given the thumbs-up to play against Celtic. Picture: SNS
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HEARTS defender Jamie Hamill has won an appeal against his red card for deliberate handball against Inverness and is free to face Celtic at Tynecastle a week tomorrow.

The Scottish Football Association’s judicial panel overturned the dismissal and the player will no longer serve an automatic one-match ban. Referee John Beaton ordered Hamill off nine minutes from the end of Hearts’ 2-0 defeat in the Highlands last weekend, believing he had deliberately used a hand to block a shot at goal from Billy McKay.

However, television footage clearly showed the ball hitting the 27-year-old on the head. Hearts submitted an appeal to the SFA on Monday and the verdict has been returned, 
leaving Hamill in the clear.

The defender was further vindicated by the SFA’s decision to reject an appeal from the Raith Rovers defender Dougie Hill against his red card for headbutting Hamill.

Hill was ordered off during last month’s League Cup tie at Stark’s Park after an incident between both players inside the Hearts penalty area. He was dismissed for headbutting and appealed, but the judicial panel upheld the original decision. Meanwhile, Foundation of Hearts have revealed that 98 per cent of direct debit agreements from fans have been converted into cash.

The supporters’ umbrella group intend to use the money to help run the Edinburgh club if they can gain control. “The fact that the first month of direct debits has gone so well is wonderful news, as it gives us a great platform to push on,” said Ian Murray, the Foundation chairman.

“There are, of course, many more months and years of direct debits, but to have finally got the process under way is terrific. To have a 98 per cent success rate on direct debits is virtually unheard of and it is again a sign of the unwavering loyalty of the Hearts support.

“To say thank you we’re running our Foundation of Hearts SuperDraw with some great prizes. It is not too late for supporters to join this journey, by signing up, if they can, at www.foundationofhearts.org.”

• HEARTS’ defender Jordan McGhee became the fourth-youngest player ever to play for Scotland Under-21s last night at 17-years-old. He started the 4-0 defeat to Holland, with only Islam Feruz, Christian Dailly and Derek Young having represented the side at a younger age. McGhee’s Tynecastle team-mates Jason Holt and Callum Paterson also featured.