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Football: Jambo hero's final fear; CUP FINAL COUNTDOWN: 2 DAYS TO GO.

Byline: By Alan Marshall

IAN CRAWFORD is hoping to watch Hearts capture the Scottish Cup just as he did 50 years ago - but the former striker doesn't want it to be a walkover.

Crawford bagged a double for the Jambos when they shocked Celtic 3-1 to win the trophy in 1956.

He realises his former employers are red-hot favourites to dump Gretna at Hampden on Saturday - but he warned them that upsets happen.

Crawford is now based in England but will head to the National Stadium this weekend as a guest of the club and is sure he will see the current side attain hero status.

But he is praying the Final is not a boring one-sided affair against a side that has just won promotion from the Second Division.

Crawford said: "I have an invitation from the club and will be heading up to the game with my son and I'm very much looking forward to it.

"Hearts must be favourites to win but hopefully it won't be a massacre and that Gretna give a good account of themselves.

"I don't get much of the Scottish press down here but I can imagine Hearts are overwhelming favourites to win the Cup."

Hearts players have shown Gretna respect this week by insisting they won't be taking them lightly.

And Crawford, despite predicting a Hearts victory, is fully aware of football's capacity for shocks.

The former Arsenal reserve coach was in charge of the Finnish side FC Ilves - now known as Tampere United - that managed to secure a draw with Italian giants AS Roma in the European Cup.

He said: "I've been involved in games in which the underdogs have done well.

"I was in charge of Ilves in Finland when they drew 1-1 with Roma in a European Cup tie.

"We were beaten in the away leg but it just shows you what can happen.

"When you are underdogs it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it is amazing how players can play above their normal levels. This has happened throughout history."


FAB FOUR: Freddie Glidden, Dave Mackay, Ian Crawford and Bobby Kirk who won the Cup with Hearts in 1956' ALL HEART: Pressley and Fyssas party
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 11, 2006
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