Date: 8th May 2008 at 2:27pm
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Former Hearts captain Steven Pressley is set to make an appearance at Tynecastle on Sunday at Robbie Neilson’s testimonial match.

Pressley was once arguably one of the most popular Hearts players of all time during his distinguished spell as captain of the club, which peaked when he lifted the Scottish Cup in 2006. He was never the greatest footballer in the world, but his leadership qualities were second to none, and at times he effectively WAS Hearts, especially during the trying times that followed the departure of George Burley.

However his relationship with the fans has soured somewhat since his departure to Celtic, and a particular match at Tynecastle where Elvis was seen celebrating victory with the Celtic fans in a rather over-the-top manner at the end of the match, left a bad taste in the mouth for many. As a result a large percentage of the Hearts support no longer count themselves as fans of Pressley.

I’m not going into all the rights and wrongs of what Pressley did (the ‘Riccarton Three’, departure to Celtic, etc) again – we’ve been there and done that and all said our piece on it. But for the sake of this match on Sunday, which is shaping up to be a great occasion, I’d like to think that those in attendance would respect Pressley his efforts at Tynecastle. For me no other player has put more into representing our club in recent years than him, and it’s a shame that he is now thought of the way he is by so many Hearts supporters.

As for the others likely to be taking part on Sunday, it looks as thought the vast majority of both cup winning sides (from ’98 and ’06) will be there. Only Davie Weir and Gary Naysmith can’t make it from the ’98 team, whereas Paul Hartley and Craig Gordon from ’06 are otherwise engaged.

As Neilson himself pointed out in the Scotsman today, it will be a good chance for some of the recently departed Hearts players like Julien Brellier and Roman Bednar to say their proper goodbyes to Tynecastle. They have been victims of the ridiculous managership of Hearts as well as the fans have, and I can see quite a lot of mutual respect coming out of this match on Sunday. Whether that will apply to Steven Pressley though, is somewhat up for question……….!