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Football

For those who suffer from football withdrawal symptoms you will be pleased to hear Edinburgh has two football clubs. They are the Heart of Midlothian Football Club and Hibernian Football Club, both playing in the Scottish Premier Division The former is in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh, and the later is in the Easter Road area. Both clubs have a fair support with no particular division either on geographically or religious grounds throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. Like football clubs from all over the world both clubs have their idols from the days of yore. In the case of Hearts it was Willie Bauld who played in the 40's and 50's and in the case of Hibs, it was Gordon Smith who played in the same era. Owing to the size of the population of Scotland, both clubs have had to seek players from all over the world. In terms of  premier clubs, like Glasgow Rangers, Barcelona or Manchester United both clubs are minnows. But both normally finish up in the top half of the Scottish league.

Heart Of Midlothian Football Club

Willie BauldThe Heart of Midlothian Football Club, known as the Jambo's, Jam Tart's or Hearts originated around 1874 and had taken it's name from a local dance hall named in the novel The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott. The Hearts first captain was Tom Purdie and at that time they played in the Meadows which is a public park in the centre of Edinburgh before moving to the Gorgie area in 1881. The y moved to the current stadium which is known as Tynecastle in 1886 The stadium is right in the centre of the Gorgie area. In November 1914, with Heart of Midlothian comfortably leading the First Division, 16 players removed their football boots for those of the Army, enlisting to fight in France. In doing so, they became the first British team to sign up en masse. They were part of the now legendary "McCrae's Battalion" (the 16th Royal Scots) or the Provost's Battalion (the First Royal Scots) and fought valiantly. Nowhere was this more true than at the horrors of the Somme, where the British army lost 20,000 men on the first day alone. This included three Hearts players. The example of Heart of Midlothian inspired fans and fellow professionals alike to answer the call of King and country. By the time the war concluded, seven Hearts first-teamers had made the ultimate sacrifice.

Their badge is based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the Royal Mile. The stadium holds 18,000 supporters. The present major shareholder and owner is Ann Budge. One of the legends of Hearts was Willie Bauld pictured left. He was known as the king and along with Jimmy Wardaugh and Alfie Conn they were nicknamed the terrible trio of the Hearts forward line in the late 40's and 50's. On his debut Bauld scored a hat trick against East Fife. In the early years of the clubs history Hearts won the League Championship in 1894-5 and 1895-6. In a 15 year period between 1891 and 1906 the won four Scottish cups. Between 1906 and 1954 the trophy room at Tynecastle could be described as silver deficient, Hearts having won nothing. Between 1954 and 1963 Hearts had reasonable success. In the mid 60's like most Scottish Clubs Hearts went into decline as unlike Glasgow Rangers and Celtic they could not pay the big wages offered to Scottish players from the English First Division Clubs. Much the same problem holds to this day. A complete fixture can be found at the Heart's web site link or from here.

Hibernian Football Club 

Gordon SmithHibernian Football Club known as the Hibs or the Hi-bee's was formed in 1876 by members of the St Patricks Roman Catholic Church which was in the Cowgate. The founder was Canon Edward Hannan who was then head of the YMCA. Michael Whelahan was the teams first captain and like all other teams of the days played in the Meadows a public park in the centre of Edinburgh. The club moved to Hibernian Park in 1880 where Bothwell Street now stands, and moved to it's present ground in Easter Road in 1891.  Each of the Famous Five scored more than 100 goals for Hibs. The north stand at Easter Road is now named in their honour. Smith was signed by Hibs in 1941, while Ormond, Turnbull, Reilly and Johnstone were all signed during 1946. Of the five, only Ormond cost Hibs a transfer fee, £1200 from Stenhousemuir. Reilly, Johnstone, Smith and Turnbull were all signed from youth or junior leagues.

 Hibs were formed by the Irish Catholic population of the time, Hibernia being the Latin name for Ireland. In 1955 Hibs were the first British team to enter European competition when the played Rot Weiss Essen winning 4-0. The return leg ended in a draw. The 40's and 50's were the golden years for Hibs when they had the famous five. led by the legendary Gordon Smith who's photograph is on the left, when he played for Dundee United. The famous five consisted of Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and and of course Gordon Smith. Hibs won the League championships in 1947-48, and 1950-51-52 and were feared for their attacking football.  Ronald Gordon is the new owner of Hibs after the club confirmed the majority shareholding has passed from HFC Holdings Limited – owned by Sir Tom Farmer and Rod Petrie - to Bydand Sports LLC. The Edinburgh derby is an informal title given to any football match played between Scottish clubs Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) and Hibernian (Hibs), the two oldest professional clubs based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The two clubs have a fierce rivalry that dates back to the clubs being founded in the mid-1870s, which makes it one of the longest running rivalries in world football. The first match between the clubs was played on the Meadows on Christmas Day 1875.

Livingstone Football Club 

Livingstone Football club badgeAlthough not in Edinburgh, Livingston Football Club is a Scottish Division Club based in West Lothian. The club started life as Ferranti Thistle in 1943. They initially played in the East of Scotland League and played at Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh. Following the demise of Third Lanark a opening was created in the Scottish League. Ferranti Thistle beat of competition, particularly from Highland Clubs. They won a place in the Scottish Division, but had to change their name in 1974 to Meadowbank Thistle. In 1995 because of financial circumstances Meadowbank was forced to reallocate to Livingston and again had to change it's name. This time to Livingston Football Club. The club badge is shown on the photograph to the left. In 2001-2 season the club gained promotion to the Scottish Premier League. But the rise to fame was short lived, and were soon relegated. The present coach is Gary Holt. Full fixtures can be found at the clubs web site or here.