Ian Crawford

Footballer and coach

Born: 14 July, 1934, in Edinburgh.

Died: 30 November, 2007, in Peterborough, aged 73.

IAN Crawford, who has died suddenly at his Peterborough home, will forever be remembered to Hearts fans for his double in the Maroons' 3-1 win over Celtic in the 1956 Scottish Cup final.

The victory for Tommy Walker's side ended Hearts' barren 50-year run in the competition and was one of the highlights of a golden decade at Tynecastle.

But Crawford might have been a Hibs' rather than Hearts' hero. He joined the other Edinburgh side as a 17-year-old in 1951, but the teenage winger was measured against the men in possession in the first team, Gordon Smith and Willie Ormond, and found wanting.

He moved on to Hamilton Academical in 1953 and in 19 first team games for the side, he caught the eye of Walker, who took him to Tynecastle a year later. Crawford scored on his debut against Cowdenbeath, but was allowed to develop in the reserve side and when, given his chance in the big team, he grabbed it with both hands, persuading Walker to allow the experienced and popular Johnny Urquhart, the former man in possession, to join Raith Rovers.

The Walker-built side was an amalgam of experience - centre-half Freddie Glidden, the marvellous Conn, Bauld, Wardhaugh inside-forward trio - and promising youth - goalkeeper Willie Duff, full-back Bobby Kirk, the wonderful Dave Mackay, John Cumming, the teenage Alex Young and Crawford - and with Celtic's fortunes in something of a trough, it was from Tynecastle that the biggest threat to Rangers' dominance emerged.

The cup win in 1956 was a watershed for the club. It was one thing to beat Motherwell in the League Cup final, quite another to go to a packed Hampden and outplay one half of the Old Firm. That Crawford, one of the less auspicious of the victorious XI, should be the match-winner with his brace of goals was, for the player, the icing on the cake.

That double ought to have been the start of even bigger things, but somehow it didn't quite happen. He won just one Scotland under-23 cap, scoring Scotland's goal from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw with England at Ibrox. This televised match, in front of 14,000 fans, was the first occasion in the fledgling history of under-23 matches that England had failed to beat the Scots. The home side, in fact, contained four Hearts players: Dave Mackay, wingers Johnny Hamilton and Crawford and Alex Young.

Crawford scored 12 goals in 32 appearances as Hearts romped to the title that year, then scored the club's first European goal against Standard Liege the next season. Strangely, he never made the step up from the under-23 side to the full national team at a time when outside-left was something of a problem spot for Scotland. In the period between Billy Liddell's final cap in 1955 and Davie Wilson's first in 1961, nobody put down a marker on the number 11 jersey. The national selectors overlooked Crawford's consistency over that period, preferring at times to cap players out of position rather than call him up as they tried 11 different number 11s.

In 1961, West Ham United came calling and for 10,000 - a reasonable fee for those days - and after 174 games and 79 goals for Hearts, scored at an average of 0.45 goals per game, Crawford, who is still one of Hearts' top 20 goal scorers, joined Roy Greenwood's burgeoning football academy at Upton Park.

He later said it was the encouragement of Greenwood that caused him to join team mates such as Malcolm Allison in gaining coaching qualifications. He also played with the great Bobby Moore at the Hammers, but, by the time the London club had started to win trophies in the mid-1960s, Crawford had moved on.

After two years with West Ham, he briefly served Scunthorpe, before playing out his career with Peterborough, playing 196 games for "Posh" between 1964 and 1969.

His testimonial in 1970 saw Peterborough face a star-studded side, with West Ham's three World Cup winners, Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, former England skipper Johnny Haynes, Terry Venables, Derek Dougan and Rodney Marsh turning out to honour him.

He had spells as a coach with Everton and Arsenal, before becoming something of a globe-trotting coach, with a period in Finland netting him a wife, Pikko, and a second home which he used for several months of each year until his death; there were also spells in Norway, the Middle East and North America.

Crawford finally settled down in Peterborough, although prior to his death he had been set to relocate home to Edinburgh.

He had a fierce shot, could operate equally well on either flank and latterly in his career he converted successfully to full-back. Crawford may not enjoy the fame of many of his teammates, but, for all that, he was a very good player at a great time for Hearts, the club closest to his own heart.

Ian Crawford is survived by his wife, Pikko, and by two sons from his first marriage to Helen.

MATT VALLANCE