Fans fly in for Cup Final from across globe

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ROADS from all corners of the Earth lead to Hampden next week as fans flock to witness the biggest Edinburgh derby for 100 years.

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John Linn, president of the Australian Hibernian FC Supporters Association, is one.

The 44-year-old is among a 30-strong horde of expats making a 10,000-mile journey home for the showdown.

Originally from Colinton Mains, the dad of three has only been home four times since he emigrated 16 years ago, but once Hibs’ final opponents were confirmed, he and his pals wasted no time in booking their tickets.

John said: “I thought we’d be facing Celtic in the final so I had held off booking anything but as soon as the whistle went and I knew it was Hearts in the final, I set about booking my tickets straight away. I’ve been a Hibs fan all my life and it’s going to be historic no matter what happens.

“My wife, Kirsten, was taken aback but in the end she understood that I’m Hibs daft and just have to be there.

“There are lads flying from all over – six from Melbourne, 18 from Perth and six more from between New Zealand and Sydney and everyone’s travelling different routes – through Hong Kong, Brunei, Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpar. It’s a real stampede.”

Hibs fan Gillan Dick, 27, is returning from Cairns in north-east Australia and he doesn’t even have a ticket.

Gillan only left Scotland for a year’s travelling with his girlfriend on February 4. He said: “There are things in life you cannot miss and this is one of them. I missed my first derby in over ten years when Hibs lost 2-0 so there is no chance I am missing this one.

“The cost, I don’t even want to think about. My girlfriend is not very happy, so I have promised to take her to Fiji to make up for this.

“I don’t even have a ticket to the game yet, but come the night of the 19th I’m sure it will be worth it.”

Another ticketless expat making his way back is Hearts fan Ian Bisset, from Auckland, New Zealand. He said: “I have decided to come anyway and be in Gorgie just for the atmosphere at our spiritual home with the other fans who can’t get to the game.

“I planned to come for a holiday with my wife in late June, anyway, but that would be like arriving after the Lord Mayor’s Show. I’m coming via Beijing, Amsterdam and Manchester then driving up with my Hearts scarf ‘oot the windae’. I’ll naturally be wearing colours all the way.”