The precise origin of the Heart of Midlothian Football Club is unclear. A report in The Scotsman from 1864 first mentions ‘Heart of Midlothian’ as a cricket club, though it is not known for certain whether—alongside the likes of Kilmarnock, St Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic and St Mirren—this cricket club would eventually form the football club of the same name. What is known is that Heart of Midlothian adopted association football rules in 1874, which is considered the official year of the club’s formation.
In 2013, this illustrious club, bearing such domestic honours as four top tier (tied for third most), eight Scottish Cups (fourth most) and four Scottish League Cups (fourth most), began process of entering into administration. This resulted in disciplinary action by the Scottish Football Association, including an embargo on signing new players. Hearts were also forced to begin the 2013/14 season with a fifteen-point deduction.
By the end of the season, Hearts found themselves at the bottom of the top tier table and were relegated to the Scottish Championship (all other things being equal, had they not been deducted the 15 points, they still would have ended the season in a relegation playoff position). But demonstrating profound resilience, Hearts were able to secure promotion to the Scottish Premiership with seven games remaining in the 2014/15 season. With the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the wrapping up of the 2019/20 season after 30 matches, Hearts found themselves relegated back to the Scottish Championship for the 2020/21 season. Their stay wouldn’t last long, as Hearts topped the table for a return to the Premiership for the 2021/22 season.
As far as badges go, the current Hearts badge is very strong. The image is based on a mosaic that can be found on the pavement near St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The mosaic sits on the site of the Old Tolbooth (which stood between c.1400 and 1817), the former administrative centre of Edinburgh as well as the site of a prison and public executions.
With my redesign, I wanted to call back to an earlier age without doing away with the current badge completely, borrowing some features from the club’s previous badges, namely, the vertical bars supporting a central heart. I incorporated the more obtuse heart and gold lettering found in the current badge. I also incorporated a subtle Saltire in the inner and outer rings.
For both the home and away kits, I went with a pared-down, 1970s look.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.