Craig Gordon on the Hearts boyhood dream, fan influence v Hibs and avenging Brora debacle

The realisation doesn’t take long to settle in, a grin breaking across the goalkeeper’s face. Craig Gordon allowed himself to think and wonder what it would be like.

What it would be like to fulfil the dream of lifting the Scottish Cup as captain of his boyhood heroes.

The 39-year-old Hearts goalkeeper has won the cup once before with the Tynecastle Park side. His side. Sixteen years ago he was the penalty shootout hero in the win over Gretna.

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His celebrations, the way he held onto the trophy as if embracing a loved one after a period in captivity, showed how much it meant.

Gordon would go on to win the competition twice more with Celtic, but doing so again for Hearts with the captain’s armband would hold greater significance.

“Of course it does," he said. “To win a cup, I have been very lucky, I have won a lot of cup finals in my career.

“But to actually do it as a captain for your boyhood club, I don’t think it would get much better than that.

“There are not many Hearts captains who have lifted the Scottish Cup, and I would absolutely love to be one and get my hands on it.”

Craig Gordon won the Scottish Cup with Hearts in 2006. Picture: SNS

Supporter influence

St Mirren stand in the team's way of reaching the Scottish Cup semi-final for the third time in four seasons. In 2020, it was played without any fans, meaning the team missed out on one of those moments which suggest victory was the only option.

Gordon knows that from the 2006 edition, when the team were greeted by hordes of Hearts fans as they made their way to Mount Florida for the semi-final with Hibs.

They would win 4-0 that day.

Gordon had to watch the Brora Rangers debacle on HeartsTV. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

“That’s the big memory from that game,” he said. “The Hearts fans in the streets when the bus was trying to get into Hampden, there was so many of them through there that early and that’s probably the one thing that sticks in my mind from that game, just how good the support was.

“I didn’t feel there was any way we were going to lose that day. Everybody was so together to go out and make sure we got to a final, especially against Hibs, there was no bigger incentive.

“It was a fantastic performance, that was egged on by the crowd that turned up so early to give us an incredible backing.

“That just shows the strength of support that we have here. If we can be a winning team that gets to semi-finals and finals, then the fans will come out and back us.”

Brora debacle

Returning to Hampden Park would go a wee bit to avenging that Brora Rangers defeat. One Gordon had to watch via HeartsTV on international duty.

“I couldn’t quite believe what was happening,” he said. “I knew it would be a difficult game going up there, but it was just a culmination of so many things that led to us going out that night.

“That was not a nice night to be involved in, even though I was hundreds of miles away it was really difficult to deal with.

“We’ve come a long way since then as a group, as a team and as a club.”

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