Alex Ferguson: Dave Mackay would be proud of Hearts

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SIR Alex Ferguson believes that the late Dave Mackay would have been proud of the way Hearts have risen again after plunging into administration.

The former Manchester United manager was in Edinburgh on Tuesday to attend the funeral of Mackay, Hearts’ greatest ever player.

Sir Alex Ferguson joins mourners at the funeral of Dave Mackay. Picture: Hemedia

Sir Alex Ferguson joins mourners at the funeral of Dave Mackay. Picture: Hemedia

But the 73-year-old also took time out to pay tribute to the leadership of Hearts owner Ann Budge after head coach Robbie Neilson guided the team to the Scottish Championship title this season with seven games to spare.

Ferguson said: “I think Dave would be very proud of Hearts. As you know, they’ve been through a terrible time, have Hearts, and anyone who has an affection for Hearts – and I go back to when I was a boy – I must say, they were my sort of second team after Rangers, with the great players John Cumming, (Willie) Bauld, (Alfie) Conn and (Jimmy) Wardhaugh.

“That period when things go so bad, I just think that sometimes a guardian angel comes along and saves you.

“The job that Ann Budge has done has not only regenerated the club but it’s given everyone a lift in sense of the ambition is back in the club, they’re back in the Premier League.

Former Hearts and Scotland captain Dave Mackay died on March 2. Picture: PA

Former Hearts and Scotland captain Dave Mackay died on March 2. Picture: PA

“They’ve won the Championship by 20-something points, it’s a phenomenal number of points and I’m delighted for them.

“I’m really proud of the job that Ann Budge has done.”

Speaking to Hearts TV, Ferguson added: “I think it is onwards and upwards, I don’t think there’s anyway back now and you’ve found your way.

“Sometimes you get lost on the road to where you want to go to and now they’ve found their way again.

“They look more than a useful team because I’ve watched them a few times this season.

“They play some really good football and I think you’ll be very welcome in the Premier Division, I’m sure of that, and you’ll do well.”

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