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This is an agreed press release being issued tomorrow by the Heart of Midlothian Football club press office tomorrow.
“Rock legend Fish is to play a benefit gig for Hearts next month.
Although a huge Hibs man, the former front man of Marillion is keen to see the Gorgie club survive so he can continue to enjoy the cut and thrust of the Edinburgh derby.
He has agreed to play an acoustic set in the Gorgie Suite on Wednesday, August 7, with all funds raised going towards Heart of Midlothian FC.
“I’ve followed the Hibees through thick and thin, witnessed the ‘Turnbull Tornadoes’ (including the 1973 New Year’s day 7-0 win at Tynecastle) and followed them down divisions, seen cup wins and cup defeats and can’t forget the near demise of our club in 1990 after we ourselves had suffered from years of financial mismanagement,” said the lead singer of The Fisheads Club.
“At the time I was helpless on tour in Germany and felt the pain of nearly losing the club I’d followed since I was a boy. A lot of my Hearts supporter friends at the time were vocal in their support for saving Hibs and didn’t want to see the club disappear. The situation has now reversed.
“Throughout the years the derbies have raised my blood pressure more than any other game in the fixture calendar, no matter what the league position. I don’t want to lose the local derby!”
Now a hugely popular solo artist in his own right, Fish’s latest album “A Feast of Consequences” focus strongly on the Battle of the Somme, his grandfather having fought on the opening day of battle. And he has the utmost respect for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice on the opening-day exchanges.
“My grandfather William Dick had season tickets for both Hearts and Hibs and watched the alternate home matches,” he added. “I have been reading a lot about him recently after I visited the Somme battlefield in 2011 and walked the fields there. I also laid a poppy at the McCrae’s Battalion memorial in Contalmaison.
“My other grandfather William Paterson was on the Somme field that day in the 18th Royal Scots. Both my grandfathers thankfully survived the war. That visit to France inspired me to write five songs on my new album “A Feast of Consequences” about the Somme battlefield in 1916.
“It’s a strange coincidence that after recently rediscovering my grandfathers and their history in the Great War and with HMFC’s plight, that I should find myself in a position to help out in a small way. I’m sure my granddads would both approve.”
Fish appreciates he may receive some criticism from fellow-Hibees for his gesture. However, he believes it is going to be worth it.
“I know there will be a few fellow Hibs fans who disagree with me offering a gig in support of HMFC and who are still sore (as I am) from last year’s cup final defeat which they feel was “bought” and in the long term has resulted in the current situation,” he said.
“We had to swallow a lot of pride and take a lot of suffering over that defeat but as far as I am concerned the result is now moving into the past and losing your club is a very heavy price to pay, no matter what anyone says.
“I’m sure the recovery process will be a struggle and will most probably involve a lot more anguish and pain. As far as I am concerned, that is just punishment. But I don’t want to see Heart of Midlothian disappear, although I want to see a return to a level playing field again!
“I think everyone knew that the clock had to tick down and the whistle had to blow on the recent regime but the current reality is a shock to many Hearts fans. I am genuinely sorry for the players and staff who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who are going to be struggling to find work.
“The previous regime should hold their heads in shame at what they have allowed to happen.”
The gig will be an acoustic show of songs from his solo career and from the Marillion catalogue and Fish added: “The Fishheads Club is a trio featuring me on vocals, Frank Usher on guitar (no football persuasion) and Foss Paterson, my long-serving keyboard player and a Jambo from Bonnyrigg with whom I have had many tense days on tour while dealing with derbies and who is agreed with me that we would like more in the future!
“If you are agreed with me then please come along and support the show and be a small part of keeping Heart of Midlothian Football Club in existence.”
Ticketing information will be announced as soon as possible.”