By Karrie Gillett
Hearts midfielder Michael Stewart and Edinburgh Rugby hooker Andrew Kelly swapped shirts today to show their support for a new partnership between the two clubs.
The two sportsmen were picked to promote sporting weekends in the capital as Stewart regularly attends Edinburgh’s home matches on Friday evenings while Scotland ‘A’ rugby player Kelly is a lifelong jambo.
Stewart said he played rugby at school and still managed to go along to watch Edinburgh with his friends.
He said: “It is the perfect way to start the weekend and it rarely ever clashes with Hearts matches.
“Quite a few of my friends play rugby and it’s a sport I am still interested in.
“Obviously, Edinburgh have quite a few of the Scottish internationals boys in the team and they’re a strong team and it’s an enjoyable thing to go and see.”
Kelly said: “I have always supported Hearts and so do a couple of the other Edinburgh players Steve Lawrie and Andrew Turnbull.
“Edinburgh has got a big rugby community and a big football community and you often get sports fans that cross-over.
“In my opinion, Edinburgh sports fans seem to have a good knowledge of both rugby and football and appreciate entertaining play; whether it is at Tynecastle or Murrayfield.”
Traditionally Hearts play home Clydesdale Bank Premier League matches on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm, whilst Edinburgh’s Magners League fixtures at Murrayfield take place on Fridays at 7.30pm.
Hearts managing director Campbell Ogilvie said: “We believe that this is another highly innovative development and we are excited to be working with our friends from Edinburgh in a positive way.
“The Edinburgh public enjoys a range of different sports, which is probably very unique in Scotland.
“With this in mind we believe it is very important for Hearts to work with sporting organisations across the city, not least Edinburgh’s professional rugby club.”
And despite the disappointing defeat away to Falkirk on Saturday, Stewart insisted the Tynecastle side could build on a promising start to the season.
He said: “We were obviously bitterly disappointed not to get any points on Saturday. The performance we put in deserved to get at least a point.
“But over the piece there’s been vast improvement and massive steps forward in the right direction.
“We’ve got a game on Saturday against Inverness which adds a lot more significance to make sure we get the three points to continue that good form we have started with.”