In the wacky world of Marvin Bartley, football isn’t all-consuming. As evidenced by how the Hibs midfielder discovered who the Scottish Cup holders had been paired with in today’s fifth round.
“I didn’t know we’d drawn Hearts until I saw it on our WhatsApp group,” he said. “I wanted to play Call of Duty on the computer but all the lads were talking about Hearts. I thought: ‘What’s going on there?’ I messaged John McGinn privately because I didn’t want to look like a num-num in the group.
“He told me we’d got Hearts and I said: ‘Decent, you want a game of Call of Duty?’ That was it. That’s what it meant to me.
“Honestly, me and football don’t really mix. If you want to ask about Coronation Street of Eastenders, we can have a chat. I just switch off from football totally. I get the soaps on or walk the dog. That’s my life, really. I need to do that to unwind.
“When it’s football, football, football, it can get too much. I’ve watched enough football as a player in my career. I don’t need to watch it when I go home as well. That will probably help me with the derby because I can detach myself from all the talk. I won’t realise how big it is until we turn up on Sunday. Once it starts, I’m a different man when I step over the white line.”
That might be reflected in the combative midfielder’s two red cards this season – but for the fact both were rescinded.
“I’d like to think that I’ve learnt to keep a lid on things over the years. If the ref’s going to send me off for that [Stephen Finnie mistakenly believing he had kicked out in the draw with Raith in October], I could fart on the pitch and get a red card.”
Bartley isn’t looking for Willie Collum to show leniency in the frenzy of a cup derby this afternoon.
“I’d just ask him to keep his eyes open, that would be a good start,” he says.
Bartley played his part in last season’s cup success but was left on the bench for the final.
“I didn’t play at all in the cup final but it didn’t take the shine off it for me,” he says. “Obviously at first there was a bit of frustration. But you win as a team and I’ve been dropped for games before. It happens in football.”