Ukraine-Russia conflict: Hearts and Hibs should bring back Edinburgh Select team to raise money for Ukraine – Susan Dalgety

Edinburgh’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has been awe-inspiring. People are queuing up to donate goods, from baby milk to sleeping bags.

Charity matches involving an Edinburgh Select side were once a regular feature of city life
Charity matches involving an Edinburgh Select side were once a regular feature of city life

And as the Russian bombs continue to fall, the people of Ukraine will need all the practical help and support we can provide.

It was heartening to see those two great city rivals, Hearts and Hibs, join forces last week to raise money for Dnipro Kids, a children’s charity set up by Hibs fans following the club’s Uefa Cup trip to Dnipropetrovsk in 2005.

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Hibs fans have, in recent days, raised more than £30,000 for the charity, which provides clothing and medical supplies to an orphanage as well as a crisis pregnancy centre.

And their arch enemies on the pitch, Hearts, have made a generous donation to the appeal, including all the proceeds from the programme for last week’s home match against Aberdeen (which Hearts won 2-0 by the way).

I come from a divided family, with one half ardent Jambos while the other side have season tickets for Easter Road. It causes much hilarity, particularly on derby days, as brothers and cousins taunt each other, always good-naturedly of course.

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Edinburgh's Ukraine efforts: Hibs fans help raise more than £30,000 for Ukrainia...

But what unites them is a love of football and their city, so wouldn’t it be wonderful if our two major clubs joined forces to raise even more funds for Ukraine.

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Charity matches involving an Edinburgh Select side were once a regular feature of city life. I mentioned the last one in my column recently, when in 1982, a team made up of Hibs and Hearts players took on Bayern Munich to mark the partnerships between our two cities.

Kyiv is also one of Edinburgh’s sister cities, so this is surely the right time, after a 40-year hiatus, to bring back an Edinburgh Select team. And let’s make it an annual fixture.

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It’s doubtful if Dynamo Kyiv would be able to play against them this year, given the war that is raging in their city, but whoever the opponents, the game would be played in a spirit of solidarity.

It would also raise much-needed money for a country that is being systematically destroyed on the orders of a dangerous megalomaniac.

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