Back in 2017 when people asked what football team I supported I was always ready to follow up my response with an explanation of who they were and what league they play in. “I support Kelty Hearts, it’s my local team, we play in the 6th Tier of Scottish Football and it’s a tremendous team to follow”
Supporting Kelty Hearts requires many things but first and foremost a resilient soul is required just to get by week to week. In the last 3 seasons alone we’ve seen our local team make the switch from a successful position in the East Region Juniors to the Scottish Football Pyramid, take their challenge for the EOSFL Title to the final day of the season, sign ex-Scotland captain Barry Ferguson as Manager and now guide us to within touching distance of SPFL League 2.
Saturday is Football and I support Kelty Hearts for the Saturdays, same as every football fan out there, but why I support my local team like I do goes beyond those Football Saturdays for Saturdays only scratch the surface of why I support Kelty Hearts…
The weeknights are filled with 250+ youths who are out being active and participating in a team sport working towards their Saturday and Sunday mornings. They’re time for the under 20s and under 17s to continue their development as they work towards their Friday Nights and for the women’s game to continue to grow as they train for their Sunday games in the SWF Championship North. The over 35s train and the walking football teams play their game, all outside that big Saturday football game.
The Annual Calendar is filled with events raising money for local and nationwide charities, Club Chairman, Ian Thomson, most recently shaving his head in aid of Maggie’s Centre at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital and raising not only over £1,800 for the local organisation but awareness throughout the local community. The club has hosted Respiratory Courses in conjunction with Local Fire Services, Lung Cancer Screening days and most recently Food Collections for those in need throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Community days throughout the year include an annual summer kids’ day at New Central Park which see’s kids from Kelty and beyond come along and spend the day enjoying the sunshine, games and entertainment. In the winter the community day see’s Santa make the trip down from the North Pole to see the children of Kelty and hand out presents.
Supporting Kelty Hearts comes with some tremendous highs, and some devastating lows (playing live on BBC comes instantly to mind), it can also come with a fair bit of stick, Gretna 2.0 is something you see thrown about regularly on social media and football forum. In the grand scheme of things the attention and focus put into Saturday’s pales in comparison to what the club has done for the village and it’s inhabitants (you’d be hard pushed to find many views differing from this throughout the community) and every bit the club puts into the community the community puts back into the club (you’d be hard pushed to find many views differing from this throughout the club),
Supporting Kelty Hearts isn’t just going along to New Central Park on a Saturday afternoon to watch the boys give everything for those three precious points, it’s not all about the pregame pints and half time pies, it’s not only reading the weekly programme and debating the team sheet, it’s not just cheering on the future stars on Friday Night or our Ladies on Sunday, it isn’t always hearing the hustle and bustle on weeknights as local school kids learn the art of the game, it’s not seeing the great work the club does for the community and it’s not just the friends and familiar faces you see when you’re there. Supporting Kelty Hearts is all of these things to the local community and to me.