BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
DOUGIE GAIR saw his face plastered all over the papers – and the dressing room – as he celebrated Hearts’ famous Scottish Cup win in 1998.
However, the Edinburgh City captain never imagined he would one day be working under the manager who finally ended their 42-year wait for the trophy.
Jim Jefferies, who led the capital club to that 2-1 triumph over Rangers, has been named as Sporting Director at Meadowbank and will provide a sounding board for boss Gary Jardine, as well as bringing his experience and vast contacts to the table.
That is a particular thrill for City’s Hearts-daft skipper Gair, who had a season ticket in the Gorgie Stand during the Jefferies era alongside his mother, Lesley – and was snapped in the Parkhead crowd celebrating their cup win 19 years ago.
He recalled: “I was there at the final when I was 13. I remember it well because I ended up in the newspaper.
“I was in the second row, had my face painted and one of the photographers picked me out and I ended up on the back page!
“I had a game the following day for Hutchie Vale and when I walked into the dressing room the boys had stuck the picture all over the walls
“That era was my team growing up, when Jim and Billy Brown were a massive part of the club. I had a season ticket for the Gorgie end and when to the home games with my mum. So it’s a bit of a sentimental appointment for me as well as being brilliant for the club.”
A City stalwart of 16 years, Gair admits he is staggered by how far the club has come – a journey from South of Scotland League also-rans to a SPFL outfit with the nous of a Scottish Cup-winning boss to call upon.
“The club are ambitious and are putting plans in place, so it is exciting that Jim is going to be part of that.”
The immediate priority, however, is merely retaining their League 2 status.
After a blistering November and December – Jardine winning successive manager of the month awards – City have slipped to a five-match winless streak, scoring just one goal in the process. They are three points above the drop-zone heading into Saturday’s clash against Montrose.
Gair added: “After a great run prior to Christmas, 2017 hasn’t started the way we would have liked so it’s important we get back to winning ways. It was actually a win against Montrose that kicked off our unbeaten run back in November, so touch wood that happens again.”