In this week’s “Talking Kit” we look back at a very special season for Hearts fans – the 2005/06 campaign, when the Jam Tarts finished runners-up in the SPL.
The team from Gorgie became the first side to split the Old Firm since Motherwell in 1994/95 and also lifted the Scottish Cup at Hampden in May.
The kit itself was a typical maroon and white number that we have become so accustomed to seeing. Made by Hummel, the maroon shirt sported numerous trademark white ‘V’s down the sides.
It had a classy V-neck collar, providing a retro-esque feel to an otherwise modern design. Hearts were, at the time, sponsored by Ukio Bankas - a symbol of the Lithuanian influence at the club.
Hearts got off to a flying start, winning their first eight league games in a row. This included a 4-0 derby triumph over city rivals Hibernian, as well as wins against the likes of Dundee United, Aberdeen and Rangers.
The Jam Tarts dropped their first points in a 2-2 draw away to Falkirk in October. George Burley’s side came back from 2-0 down, after Craig Gordon had been sent off, to snatch a point with both goals coming from Steven Pressley.
Despite their excellent start, Hearts were knocked out of the League Cup in the third round courtesy of a 1-0 defeat away to Livingston. That kicked them back into gear as they continued their rich vein of form in the league, losing only twice before the turn of the year.
Burley by this time had been replaced as manager by Graham Rix and Valdas Ivanauskas was in charge when the Scottish Cup final against Gretna came round.
The game ended 1-1 after extra time but Hearts prevailed 4-2 on penalties to take the cup back to Tynecastle for the seventh time in their history.
Hearts’ SPL campaign ended with the Edinburgh side finishing in second place, one point ahead of Rangers, with Celtic running away with the title - 17 points clear of the pack.
It was certainly a campaign and a kit to remember for Hearts fans and one they will hope to try and replicate in seasons to come!