Lawrie Tierney, who played for Hearts and Hibs in the late 1970s and early 1980s, has died. He was 52. A midfielder with impressive passing skills, Tierney emerged in the 1977-78 season when he helped Hearts win promotion back to the Premier Division after they had been relegated for the first time in their history during the previous campaign.
Playing in the middle alongside the likes of Eamonn Bannon and Graham Shaw, he started 23 matches as Hearts finished as First Division runners-up, pipped for the title on goal difference by Morton. Tierney’s subtle promptings were an important facet alongside the wing play of Donald Park and Malcolm Robertson, and the robust talents of Jim Jefferies in defence and Drew Busby up front.
Tierney hailed from Falkirk and played for Salvesen Boys Club, a regular supplier of talent to both Edinburgh clubs. He signed pro terms with Hearts in April 1976 and made his first-team debut on 13 August 1977 in a 2-2 draw away at Dumbarton.
The promotion win turned out to be the high point of his career. Hearts struggled once more to get a foothold in the top flight and were relegated again in 1979. Tierney’s appearances became more sporadic and he was released in February 1980.
He joined Hibs where he played a handful of matches but could not prevent them being relegated. Tierney moved on to Wigan and then the United States, where he played in the indoor league for Phoenix Inferno, Golden Bay Earthquakes and Tacoma Stars.