Hibs fan to marry Celtic fan before Scottish Cup

Dean and Emma are preparing for not one but two big days. Picture: Colin Hattersley
Dean and Emma are preparing for not one but two big days. Picture: Colin Hattersley
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It should be the happiest day of their lives – but a cup-final clash and sporting rivalry could make this a wedding to forget.

Die-hard football fans Dean Shanks and Emma Dray are set to tie the knot – two days before their beloved teams go head-to-head in the Scottish Cup Final.

Hibs fanatic Emma and Celtic supporter Dean started dating 12 years ago when the teams last clashed in 2001, with the Hoops winning 3-0.

But this time Emma, 26, a housing officer with Melville, hopes to see her team lift the trophy for the first time since 1902.

The cup final clash comes despite the couple planning their big day two years ago, and making efforts to choose a date on a weekend in which their teams would not meet.

Dean, 27, a youth development worker at Craigroyston High School, said: “We tried to avoid the cup final dates so we went for the Friday. Then both teams started progressing through the rounds in the Scottish Cup.

“We picked the date two years ago and we can’t believe this has happened.”

It is not just Emma and Dean who will have their minds on the result – with many members of their respective families also fervent 
supporters of the rival teams.

Now Emma, whose family has put on a coach to get to Hampden, has managed to secure herself a ticket to the game and Dean said he is “desperate” to get his hands on one.

The pair first met when they were pupils at Liberton High School. Dean said: “It was football that brought us together really. We didn’t really get on together at first because of the rivalry. But then we grew to really like each other and we started going out in 2001.”

The couple are set to marry at a ceremony at the Caves in Niddry Street before leaving on Monday for a fortnight’s honeymoon taking in Dubai, Bangkok and Phuket.

Dean said: “It could be a really long flight if Hibs win.

“The wedding day is going to be about the two of us but I think a lot of our friends and family will already be at 
Hampden in their heads.”

Emma said: “I would say I’m probably more nervous about the wedding than the match.

“We had a lot of friendly banter when Celtic and Hibs last played at the Cup Final, but as we got older the rivalry between us has mellowed a bit.”