Hearts boss: Remembrance Day a '˜massive part' of the club

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson admits games always take on added significance for the club at this time of the year.

Robbie Neilson alongside Craig Levein at last year's service. Picture: Ian Georgeson

While the English and Scottish football associations prepare to defy FIFA by displaying poppies at Wembley next Friday, Hearts are a reminder of how intrinsically linked the practice is with football.

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Hearts were leading Scotland’s top flight in November 1914 when 16 players signed up for McCrae’s Battalion to fight in the First World War. Seven of them never returned.

The Hearts squad at last year's service. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Like the rest of the Ladbrokes Premiership clubs, Hearts will wear poppies on their strips at the weekend but there is an added poignancy at Tynecastle, where St Johnstone visit on Saturday.

“It’s a big game for us,” Neilson said. “Poppy day is a huge day, Remembrance Day is a massive part of the club because of McCrae’s Battalion and the service on the Sunday. All the players know that.

“It’s a big day and we want to send the fans home happy after the game.”

The Hearts squad at last year's service. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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