Sir Alex Ferguson can justifiably claim to be Hearts’ lucky mascot when it comes to cup finals.
Ferguson has always had a soft spot for the Tynecastle side and was at Hampden to watch them triumph three times between 1954 and 1960, once in the Scottish Cup and twice in the League Cup.
Craig Levein’s side will attempt to win their ninth Scottish Cup by preventing Celtic from completing the treble treble at the national stadium tomorrow, and the former Manchester United manager is likely to be cheering on from afar.
In a piece to mark the anniversary of Hearts’ 1956 Scottish Cup win, Ferguson wrote: “Heart of Midlothian are a team I have always followed closely. I was at the 1954 League Cup final when a Willie Bauld hat-trick sealed a 4-2 victory [against Motherwell]. I also attended the 1956 Scottish Cup final and watched as Ian Crawford and Alfie Conn grabbed the goals in a 3-1 victory that should have been 3-0! Celtic’s goal should not have stood.
“Indeed, such was the strength of the Hearts team a worried Celtic played their right-back at centre-forward to try to knock the Hearts rhythm. It failed. I was also there in 1960 when Hearts defeated Third Lanark to win the League Cup, perhaps I should’ve been a mascot.”
Ferguson also revealed he was gutted not to get the chance to follow in the footsteps of Hearts forward Jimmy Wardhaugh, his boyhood idol, after St Johnstone blocked a proposed transfer.
“I actually had a chance to join Hearts when I was at St Johnstone but St Johnstone wouldn’t allow me to move,” he said. “I probably should have signed as Hearts are a great club and my boyhood hero and a player I modelled myself on was there. Jimmy Wardhaugh for me was a wonderful footballer.”