BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
BONNYRIGG ROSE secretary Robert Dickson insists their “fairytale” Scottish Cup run has captured imaginations from Midlothian to Melbourne after they received the nod to face Hibernian at Tynecastle.
The Scottish Football Association have deemed that Bonnyrigg’s New Dundas Park – which lacks turnstiles, disabled facilities and has numerous security issues – was not fit to host a fourth round tie of that stature.
With Bonnyrigg officials hopeful the crowd could hit at least 10,000 for the clash on January 21, the home of Hearts was their preferred alternative. And Christmas came early for the Junior outfit when the switch was confirmed yesterday.
Attention will now turn to agreeing ticket prices with Hibs and printing briefs for a tie that has prompted unprecedented interest in the club – with new fans springing up in Italy and punters flying in from Australia.
Dickson said: “It is a dream come true for this club to be playing Scottish Cup tie against Hibs at Tynecastle – a fairytale for everyone involved, the fans, the players, the staff.
“It was fantastic when we got the news yesterday.
“Even before the venue was announced, our phones have not stopped ringing with people looking for tickets.
“Believe it or not, there is a guy from Bonnyrigg who emigrated to Australia and his wife phoned the chairman to say ‘give me a date and the price, because I’m going to pay for him to come home and watch the Rose play this game’.
“There was another fan who moved down south and wants to bring a load of his friends from Nottingham.
“I got an e-mail from a lady in Italy this week. She won’t be coming to the game, but she had been reading about Bonnyrigg – a small club facing the Cup holders – and has enjoyed our story, so she asked us if we could send a scarf to Italy.
“She apologised for poor translation but said “I would love a souvenir from your club” . . . a Bonnyrigg Rose scarf in Italy!
“This is all uncharted territory for us – Australia, Italy, you name it – and for all the locals as well, it has been fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Celtic‘s away clash with Albion Rovers on January 22 has also been moved from Cliftonhill, with Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium the new venue for that fourth round fixture.