David Templeton: Thank you for the memories | OneFootball

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The 4th Official

·1 December 2021

David Templeton: Thank you for the memories

Article image:David Templeton: Thank you for the memories

In a move which echoed Eamonn Bannon leaving the club in 1979 to prevent the bank foreclosing on a £200,000 debt, the winger’s deadline day move along the M8 in 2012 would prove to be a timely one for the cash strapped Jambos.

Very few were kept in the loop with the Hearts board indulging in their own brand of fake news before it was in vogue, but then the 23-year old’s transfer to a recently demoted Rangers side was far from the “his head was turned” spin that had been fed to a growlingly frustrated fan base.

Thankfully, the previous regime was vanquished and the player himself was given a platform to give his side of the story but even as far back as 2014, his former team-mates were keen to provide their take on the situation, with Ryan McGowan offering his version of events during an interview with Monday Night Fitba back in December 2014.

“We were both told if we said no and we came back, then the club could not guarantee that we would play. “

David Templeton, who retired from playing on Wednesday aged 32, had during the past three years broken onto the scene with his peak spell coming during the 2010/11 season.

Let’s take a look back at his time in Gorgie

Development phase

The then 17-year-old, who had burst on the scene the year prior with Stenhousemuir, would sign for the club in January 2007 in a mixed window which saw the likes of future fan favourite Laryea Kingston coming in on a high-profile loan deal to replace the outgoing Paul Hartley. Horse botherer Arkadiusz Klimek and the mad monk Eduardas Kurskis were also added to an already bloated squad, and it was clear that the £30,000 capture would need to bide his time and be patient for any first team exposure.

The next couple of years would allow the teenager a chance to develop some much-needed physical attributes to complement his ability on the ball. The 2008/09 campaign saw Templeton on the periphery as new boss Csaba Lazlo delivered an effective if not industrial product for the Tynecastle faithful.

A debut would eventually arrive in a drab midweek end of season clash away to Aberdeen. Within minutes of coming on as a first half substitute, Templeton would weave his way through a number of dons players before stabbing the ball just wide.

Goodye Csaba, hello JJ

Templeton’s time at Tynecastle was on an upward trajectory after making three appearances the previous season, but a fractured foot injury would prevent him from appearing for the first two months. An indifferent start to the season for the club which saw three wins in their opening 14 matches and club politics between Lazlo and the board over strengthening the forward area saw opportunities being given to some of the youngsters, amongst them David Templeton who would provide an assist in his first outing of the season in a fine 2-1 win over Celtic at Tynecastle.

His exposure to first team football would continue to be sporadic for the following few weeks, but a decision to replace the belligerent Lazlo with Scottish Cup winning legend Jim Jefferies in January of that season was the catalyst for Templeton to stake his claim for a regular spot.

It was a great move for everyone connected with the club. Still, given Jefferies’ history of cultivating young talent and promoting attractive football, it is fair to say that David Templeton would be one of the bigger beneficiaries of the switch.

He would not have to wait long for his chance, starting and scoring in a 2-0 victory over Hamilton at Tynecastle in February. He would go on to appear in 10 of the next 13 matches scoring once more at Fir Park and providing an assist for David Obua in a dramatic Edinburgh derby victory at Easter Road with his man of the match interview famously being overshadowed by the “that’s gangsta” comment from the Ugandan.

Same class as Cooper, McCann & Johnston

More game time and plaudits would arrive the following season, with Templeton benefiting from some astute transfer activity which would see Kevin Kyle join the club along with a welcome return for Rudi Skacel.

Next on the upward curve for the winger was a mazy solo goal at Easter Road, which saw Templeton picking up the ball just inside the Hibs half. He turned, sped away from three opponents while avoiding the attention of three more to fire into the bottom corner.

That strike sparked a run of form, which saw the club go on an 11-game unbeaten run (including ten wins) with David Templeton being involved directly in 11 of the 22 goals scored during this time (5 goals and six assists).

Comparisons with previous Hearts favourites were made during this time, and then Inverness manager Terry Butcher even compared the winger to Rangers great Davie Cooper which was apt given Templeton’s middle name.

An injury to Kevin Kyle shortly after this triggered a poor run of form for Templeton and the team, and the managerial merry go round at the club would see Jefferies replaced by Paulo Sergio in August of 2011.

Cup final anguish & Anfield

David Templeton’s final 12 months at the club would be plagued by niggles, inconsistency and whispers of a strained relationship with Sergio, which only intensified when he was omitted from the chosen 16 for the 2012 Scottish cup final victory over Hibs.

Thankfully that narrative has since been corrected by Sergio himself, and Templeton would still offer some moments of magic during this time including a double assist in a league win over Celtic before signing off with a memorable goal at Anfield which will never be forgotten by the thousands of fans who witnessed that strike live.

On the pitch, David Templeton delighted the Tynecastle faithful and rightly will be fondly remembered for his technical skill, ability with both feet and low-centre of gravity.

Off the pitch though is where he cemented his legacy at the club, not only keeping the club alive due to his transfer to Rangers but also in auctioning the boots he wore that night at Anfield to help raise funds for the club in 2013.

Thank you.

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