Edinburgh is a city rich in history and culture, and this is none more apparent than in the world of sport and in particular – football, or soccer as it is known to the yanks.
Barcelona and Real Madrid, Lazio and Roma, Manchester United and Liverpool, Inter Milan and AC Milan, Celtic and Rangers – these are all famous football rivals. Well add another to that list – Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian!
Edinburgh has 2 professional football clubs, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian. These clubs are known locally as Hearts and Hibs. Hibs come from the area known as Leith and Hearts from Gorgie. Both teams currently play in Scotland’s top Football League, the Scottish Premier League (SPL). Founded 1 year apart, Hearts in 1874 and Hibs in 1875, they have established a bitter rivalry dating over a century. When the 2 teams play against each other, the match is known as The Edinburgh Derby. On a competitive level there have been over 300 Edinburgh Derbies over the years with Hearts slightly coming out more successful. On a national level although both teams have won equal amounts of Scottish League Titles, Hearts again come out slightly more successful by winning more domestic cup competitions. However, Hibs fans will never let the Hearts fans forget the famous victoy on New Years Day in 1973 when Hibs defeated their fierce rivals 7-0 in a record Edinburgh Derby score.
Hibs have traditionally played in green and white and Hearts in maroon. These colours become even more apparent on match day where Leith turns into a sea of green and white and Gorgie maroon. Both clubs are known to have passionate fans where their club is “the best”. The last thing you want to do when meeting a local is getting into a discussion on who is the best club in not only Edinburgh but Scotland.
There are many references to the two clubs in the cultural world. For those of you familiar with Trainspotting, you may recall Begbie wearing the green and white Hibernian top while playing 5 a side football.
While walking through the streets in Edinburgh, you may be closer to Hearts than you think. Hearts have based their badge on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the Royal Mile. This mosaic has become famous and it’s tradition that it brings you good luck to spit on this mosaic. Hibs fans however have other reasons for spitting on this mosaic!
The football season in Scotland lasts from usually the beginning of August until mid May the following year. While visiting Edinburgh, it is highly recommended to visit Edinburgh’s other cultural attraction and see a football match. Why not sample a famous mince pie or a cup of Bovril in the teams’ modern, state of the art stadiums: Hibs at Easter Road Stadium and Hearts play at Tynecastle Stadium.
Tickets cost around £20 and can be bought from Stadium ticket office.
For more information about the upcoming season visit the clubs’ websites at: