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Players who have featured for both Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian.

Despite hotly contested battles on the field, it is not uncommon to see players plying their trade for both the green and maroon halves of the Capital, with the trend becoming more popular in recent years.

With our upcoming Scottish Cup match against the Jambos on Sunday (12th February 2017), John Stephens takes a look at five players to have turned out for both of Edinburgh’s professional clubs.

 


 

James Keatings
Hearts 2014-2015; Hibernian 2015-present

Hearts James Keatings

James Keatings signing for Hibernian in 2015

 

James Keatings is one of the most recent additions to the ranks of footballers to have played for both Edinburgh based outfits, having joined Hibernian from Hearts in the summer of 2015 following the Gorgie team's success in the SPFL Championship. He would go on to win more silverware in his football career by winning the Scottish Cup with Hibernian in 2016.

The forward previously enjoyed a one-year spell at Heart of Midlothian, scoring 11 goals in 33 matches for the Tynecastle club, and he featured 23 times for Alan Stubbs’ men during his first season at Hibernian, scoring twelve times – including a hat-trick away to St Mirren.

 


 

Bobby Atherton
Hearts 1894-1897; Hibernian 1897-1903

Hearts Bobby Atherton

Bobby Atherton (centre)

 

Records indicate that the first player to switch between the two sides was Bobby Atherton, a Welshman born in Bethesda in the North-West of Wales. Progressing through the ranks at Dalry Primrose, Atherton, who could play in midfield or attack, joined Heart of Midlothian in 1894.

His stay with the Gorgie club lasted for three seasons, where he made just five appearances, and he left in 1897 to cross the city limits and sign up to play for Hibernian.

Atherton made a lasting imprint on Hibernian’s history by becoming the first player at the Club to be capped for a country other than Scotland, as he represented Wales in the 1899 Home Championship against Ireland.

The Welshman also guided Dan McMichael’s charges with to a Scottish Cup win in 1902, and his shout of “leave the ball” in a Glaswegian accent allowed Andy McGeachen through on goal and seal a 1-0 victory over Celtic.

He also captained Hibernian to their first Scottish League Championship in 1903, before leaving to join Middlesborough. Atherton served in the British Army during the Great War, and unfortunately was killed in action in October 1917 during the brutal conflict.

 


 

Harry Rennie
Hearts 1898-1902; Hibernian 1902-1908

Hearts Harry Rennie

Harry Rennie

 

Hearts signed the goalkeeper for £50 in 1898, prising him away from Greenock Morton, with Rennie becoming the prototype for the modern day goalkeeper and he remained at Tynecastle for two years.

Rennie, the first goalkeeper to be inducted into the Hibernian Hall of Fame, was to go on to prove pivotal to Hibernian’s successful time around the turn of the century, as he became a league and Scottish Cup winner with the Club, making 196 appearances from 1900 to 1908.

Whilst at Easter Road, Rennie won eleven international caps, making him the most capped player in Hibernian’s history, until that was surpassed by Lawrie Reilly.

 


 

Gordon Smith
Hibernian 1941-1959; Hearts 1959-1961

Hearts Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith

 

Smith really needs no introduction, going down as a legend in Scottish football history as part of the Famous Five forward line.

His skills on the ball and forward-thinking wing play saw him quickly endear himself to fans of the beautiful game, with many likening him to Stanley Matthews. Smith made his Hibernian debut in an Edinburgh Derby, and despite being aged 16, he scored a hat-trick in a 5-3 victory at Tynecastle.

Smith went on to make 636 appearances for Hibernian in an 18-year spell, scoring 303 goals in the process, with a startlingly low amount of them penalties.

During his time at Easter Road, the Prince of Wingers won three league championships and was part of the first British side to play in continental competition, with Hibernian reaching the European Cup Semi Final and Smith playing an integral part in that run.

In his first season at Hearts, the winger would win the league title for a fourth time, and add a Scottish League Cup trophy to his list of honours, before injury plagued his second season at Tynecastle.

He then had a spell at Dundee, where he also won a league title and competed in the European Cup Semi Final in 1962 once more, before ending his career at Drumcondra in Ireland.

 


 

Alan Gordon
Hearts 1961-1967, 1968-1969; Hibernian 1972-1974

Hearts Alan Gordon

Alan Gordon outside Easter Road Stadium

 

Gordon enjoyed a profitable spell at Tynecastle as he learned his trade alongside the iconic Hearts forward, and Terrible Trio member, Willie Bauld.

A man of striking intelligence, Gordon continued his studies whilst he was playing at Tynecastle, and gained a Master of the Arts degree in Economics. He came close to winning the league with Hearts in the 1964/65 season, with the Gorgie club missing out on the title by a slender goal difference margin.

At Hibernian, Gordon would play 145 matches, and form an integral part of the Turnbull’s Tornadoes, spearheading the attack with such ruthless elegance. Powerful and strong, but graceful and his feet laden with skill, Gordon was able to perform no matter what type of match he was thrust into.

Without a doubt, his most memorable outing in a Hibernian shirt was on New Year’s Day in 1973, with the forward scoring twice against his former club in a 0-7 victory for Eddie Turnbull’s side.

Gordon scored five hat-tricks for Hibernian, and ensured that he made his mark in Europe, scoring against Hajduk Split, KS Besa and Sporting Lisbon.
The forward also has the distinction of playing for both Dundee clubs, as well as crossing the divide in Edinburgh.

 

Written by John Stephens

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