Here are a selection of quotes that didn’t make the final cut in Reminiscing with Legends, which is released on Wednesday 4th November 2020.
Paul Ritchie on how Hearts overcame their title disappointment in 1998 to win the Scottish Cup: “I think because of the type of people we were, and the special blend we had in the group. We had the local lads, who were basically young, dumb and full of cum. And we had that older, foreign influence who knew better and who’d played at a higher level and been through it all before. And we had Jim and Billy who were fantastic in terms of being able to guide us in the right direction. They were definitely not going to let us feel sorry for ourselves and they were certainly not going to let us quit on each other. Collectively, we had the temperament and the mentality to say ‘well, fuck it, we can’t change what’s happened in the past’. We had given ourselves a fantastic opportunity by teaching the final and from there we just got together and got through it.”
Chairman and boyhood Hearts fan Leslie Deans on the significance of winning the Scottish Cup in 1998: “As someone who is young enough not to remember the great days of Conn, Bauld and Wardhaugh, or indeed Alex Young and Dave Mackay, I had never seen Hearts win anything. I only started going to Tynecastle in the early 1960s. I’d been going for a long time but after seeing us lose finals in 1968, 1976, 1986 and twice in 1996, I was starting to think we’d never win anything. But that, of course, wasn’t the right attitude. It simply had to happen and I told Jim Jefferies that it can and will happen, and he was the man to make it happen. I told him it would make him immortal in the eyes of the supporters, and that put a smile on his face.”
Jim Jefferies on his cup final souvenirs: “I’ve got a big Olympic hold-all full of mementoes from the cup final. I didn’t actually get a medal because the numbers were restricted and I wanted other people to get the medal instead of me. I’ve kept a few things that are pertinent to the occasion, such as the programme and cuttings from The Pink and the Evening News. I got a strip like the ones the players used without a number on it. My suit was ruined but I think I’ve still got the tie and the shoes. I’ve got about two or three scarves from the day in there. I cherish it all.”
Jose Quitongo on being tee-total: “You know Scottish boys, when they go out they like to drink but I never drank, I never touched a drink. I was the only one in that Hearts team that didn’t drink. They used to have a laugh with me about it. There’s no real reason I don’t drink. Just where I grew up, it’s not something I ever did. When I came to Scotland and saw how much people liked to drink alcohol, I was like ‘oh my god, are these guys for real?’. I’ve never tried a drink and I’m never likely to. Even though I wasn’t part of it, I was always comfortable with the drinking culture in Scottish football.”
David Weir on who he views as the most influential player in Hearts’ Scottish Cup-winning team: “I think Fulters. Neil McCann could win games and Colin Cameron could really influence games, Stephane Adam was a really talented player as well. Then there was Gilles, myself, Paul Ritchie. We had good players right through the team but probably Fulters was the one who could impact it the most; when he was good, he really influenced everybody else. When he played well, the team played well.”
Stephen Fulton on the Scotland squad for France 98: “It bothers me that I can’t say I played for Scotland but, dearie me, wee Neil McCann should have been in the World Cup squad after the season he had. You could have made a case for five or six of us being in it.”
Stephane Adam on a special bond: “Myself, Gilles, Thomas and Stefano, we came to Scotland and fell in love with Hearts.”
Jim Jefferies on how he views his role in another Scottish Cup triumph for Hearts: “I was talking to Gary Locke recently and he said ‘look gaffer, Paulo Sergio only signed one player: Craig Beattie, who was on the bench in the 2012 final’. So when you look at the team that day, I brought Ryan McGowan back from a loan at Ayr and put him in the team, I brought Danny Grainger in, I brought Andy Webster back, Marius Zaliukas was already there playing as a regular in my team, wee Blackie wasn’t a regular until I came in, I brought back Rudi Skacel for a second spell, I signed Stephen Elliott, I got Andrew Driver back in the side after a long spell struggling with injury. Paulo found a good position for Darren Barr in front of the defence and I thought that was a good decision from him. I’m not trying to take anything away from what Paulo achieved, but it’s nice that a lot of the boys I had in my team went on to win the cup. Paulo was great with me and I get on well with him. He said after the cup win over Hibs, that he didn’t need to be thanked because it was my team so that meant a lot.”
If you want to read what did make it into the epic 135,000 words and 26 chapters of Reminiscing with Legends, you can pre-order your copy now by clicking on the ‘Products’ icon at the top of this page.