ANDY WEBSTER has implored his Hearts colleagues to become history-makers on two counts this weekend.
Winning the Scottish Communities League Cup would end a spell of 50 years without the trophy at Tynecastle, and Webster and five team-mates could then join a select band of players to win both domestic cups with the club.
Hearts’ last League Cup success came in 1962, although they have won the Scottish Cup three times in the last 15 years. Only 11 players hold both Scottish Cup and League Cup winner’s medals from their time with the Edinburgh club and Webster is one who would join that band by lifting the trophy against St Mirren on Sunday.
Alfie Conn, Willie Bauld, Jimmy Wardhaugh, Dave Mackay, John Cumming, Alex Young, Freddie Glidden, Ian Crawford, Bobby Kirk, Willie Duff and Tam MacKenzie all won both cups with Hearts during the halcyon period of the 1950s and early 1960s.
Webster, Jamie MacDonald, Darren Barr, Mark Ridgers, Mehdi Taouil and Denis Prychynenko could achieve the same feat this weekend having been involved in last year’s Scottish Cup win over Hibs.
Webster is keen to seize the moment and urged his team-mates to do likewise and ensure they become living legends in Gorgie. “We are aware of it,” he said of the chance to stand alongside such iconic figures of the past. “You look back over the history of the club and there are so many legends.
“Is it down to medals or games or how long you’ve spent at a club that makes you a legend? It depends how you look at it. There is history to be made. There is always history to be made by winning trophies or leagues. Sunday is an opportunity for us to do that.
“Ultimately you want to win and whatever kind of history that makes, all good and well. For me it’s all about the winning. I can look back on my career later and say I have so many medals, but this club hasn’t won the League Cup for a while. I just want to win on Sunday. The majority of my career has been spent at Hearts and it’s been a successful period.”
Hearts have not visited Hampden since last year’s 5-1 Scottish Cup final triumph. “For a few of us, we do have those memories from last year and hopefully they stand us in good stead for Sunday,” said Webster, who will captain Hearts in the absence of Marius Zaliukas.
Zaliukas, out until the summer with an ankle injury, will be invited to lift the cup with Webster if Hearts win. The Scotland defender made the same gesture to Dundee United’s Lee Wilkie after deputising for him in the Tayside club’s 2010 Scottish Cup final victory. “It’s a great honour to be captain but it’s not the be-all-and-end-all for me,” said Webster.
“Marius is both suspended and injured and for any footballer to miss out is harsh. It’s a major blow for Marius but he will still have his part to play on Sunday.” Meanwhile, former Hearts manager John McGlynn will be a guest of the club at Hampden. Senior Tynecastle officials invited him to attend in recognition of his efforts in guiding the team to the final, and he has accepted.