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£24k magic: charity to take Hearts fans to semi-final

Modern football can feel a little depressing sometimes. You turn on the TV and quite often you see 22 millionaires playing for teams they don’t particularly care about, in front of a stadiums' worth of people who have had to fork out big money to watch.

But every so often football brings out the absolute best in people. Big Hearts, the official charity of Heart of Midlothian FC, have pulled it out of the bag with an incredible campaign to help those who would not normally be able to get to a game.

On Sunday, hundreds of disadvantaged fans will be in attendance for Hearts’ Scottish Cup semi-final game against Rangers at Hampden Park. It is the biggest game of Hearts’ season so far, and their fans have pulled out all the stops to make sure as many people as possible can go.

hearts
Hearts fans at Hampden Park in 2022, the last time they got to the Scottish Cup final. Photo by Icon Sport

How much have Big Hearts raised for Hearts fans?

So far, the charity has raised an incredible £24,000. That equates to four buses to Glasgow, 500 food kiosk vouchers, 480 match tickets, and even 150 Hearts scarves.

It is a fantastic amount of money, and Big Hearts have said that any excess funds will be used to deliver on the charity’s other goals.

The charity runs activity programmes aimed to improve mental health and build social connections for disadvantaged people in the local area. Last year it engaged with over 8,000 people.

Big Hearts Chief Executive Craig Wilson was clearly overwhelmed with the support, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “I’ve seen some amazing things and had some amazing moments with this football club and charity but the last 24hrs is right up there. It’s incredible and very humbling.”

How have fans reacted?

Unsurprisingly, fans have been of full of praise for the charity.

In response to Wilson’s post, @jamesgovan2 wrote: “Can imagine how crazy the next few days will be for you and Big Hearts but the job you do is amazing and I hope as many people as possible get to cheer the boys on! What a fan base.”

Similarly, @serialsockthief posted: “Big Hearts big day out. This is the best. Legends in the stands strike again. What a club.”

@KeithRobson commented: “Well done to all involved. A fantastic initiative. All your team should be very proud!”

Finally, @mainstandtynie wrote: “We have an amazing fan base that supports its club and charity, so proud.”


Jamie Barton

A freelance football writer and podcaster, Jamie has appeared on/in the BBC World Service, PA Media, Charlton Athletic FC and Empire of the Kop, among others. He's attended matches all around the world, from Tranmere to Tokyo, and once had his bus home from the 2022 Champions League final in Paris delayed by 28 hours.

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