PLANS for a victory parade were cancelled as Hearts slipped to a narrow defeat in the League Cup Final.
Thousands of fans had been expected to take to the streets of Gorgie to welcome home their heroes.
But there was to be no open-top bus procession after the team were sank 3-2 by St Mirren.
More than 26,000 Hearts fans had made the journey through to a cold and wet Glasgow to cheer on their team in the Scottish Communities League Cup.
The fans were in good spirit, out-singing the Paisley rivals for much of the game.
Despite the result, freezing rain and tailbacks on the M8 fans were still upbeat following their team’s performance in the dramatic clash.
Pipe fitter Willie Morrison, 48, from the Gyle, said: “If we’d had a few more minutes at the end we could have gotten back into it. We squandered too many chances as well.”
Driver Jon Lees, 33, who was at the game with dad Tam, said they planned to drown their sorrows. “We’re soaked through, our team weren’t able to do it on the day but we’re still up for the party.
“We’ll have a few pints and chalk it down to experience. Our team did well to get where they did and there were a lot of positives to take from it.”
Lifelong Jambo Kelly Beck, 28, nearly missed the kick off due to contraflow roadworks on the M8. She said: “We raced to the stadium and just caught the first goal. We thought it was going to be our day, but it just didn’t happen. I’m disappointed but I’m not going to let it spoil the occasion. It’s been a brilliant atmosphere and we can still hold our heads high.”
In the run up to kick off fans packed into pubs across Cathcart and Battlefield to enjoy the banter - and a pint or two.
Afterwards many couldn’t wait to get back along the M8 with trains packed full of weary and disappointed fans.
One fan - Anthony Wright - summed up the afternoon. “What we lack in experience we make up in spirit. There’s a bit of steel in the team, and in the fans. With Gary Locke in place, I think we can look forward to coming back to Hampden some time soon.” The 41-year-old engineer added: “On this outing we let St Mirren back into the game rather than killing it off. We’ll numb the pain with a few more pints when we get to Gorgie.”
Supporters were joined at Hampden Park by Vladimir Romanov who made a rare appearance in Scotland amid speculation he is close to selling the Tynecastle club.
It is understood talks are at an advanced stage between Supporters Direct and representatives of Romanov.
A statement is expected to be released on Monday.