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5,500 miles to see one goal: the Hearts supporters’ club marooned in England

Even a miles-to-goals ratio of 5,500-to-one couldn’t dampen the spirit of the York Hearts supporters’ club

By Nutmeg magazine, part of the Guardian Sport Network

We were somewhere near Durham, I think. I wasn’t driving or I might remember more precisely, but we were certainly somewhere in the north of England, heading south. The return legs of the journeys always felt longer, our energy sapped by the early morning start, the long day, the beers and, in this case, a humiliating 4-0 home thumping by Dundee United, a result so unexpected that the new recruit who had pulled it out of the sweepstake had tossed his slip in the bin before the game. We’d failed even to achieve the silver lining of getting on to the 606 phone-in. We just wanted to get home.

And then, over the minibus radio, we heard the opening bars of Hey Jude and the mood changed. From the back of the minibus someone began to sing and within minutes we were all giving it laldy, belting out this Hearts favourite and swirling our scarves in unison. That was when I realised we had something to cherish. In the subdued gloom of that defeat in March 2007, our fledgling supporters’ club, York Hearts, came together and never looked back.

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