Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Colin Cameron

A mainstay of perhaps the best Hearts side of the past forty years was Kirkcaldy born Colin Cameron. ‘Mickey’ as he was affectionately known to Hearts fans began his career with his home town team Raith Rovers as a sixteen year old in 1988. An attacking midfield player, Cameron was instrumental in the Fife club’s famous League Cup final triumph over Celtic in 1994 that led Rovers to a memorable UEFA Cup tie with Bayern Munich the following season.

Jim Jefferies brought Cameron to Tynecastle in March 1996 in a £400,000 deal that saw John Millar head to Starks Park. Cameron was a huge success and quickly became a favourite with the Gorgie faithful after making his maroon debut in a 2-0 win over Rangers in April 1996. However, it was the following season ‘Mickey’ really established himself. His skill in linking midfield to attack was a joy to behold and this was a feature of Hearts memorable 1997/98 season when they lifted the Scottish Cup and ran the Old Firm close in the league. Cameron scored Hearts opening goal from the penalty spot in the Scottish Cup Final of 1998 when the maroons lifted the famous old trophy to bring silverware to Gorgie for the first time in thirty-six years.

Cameron’s form for Hearts was recognised by his country and he won the first of his twenty-eight caps for Scotland in Germany in April 1999 when the Scots recorded a rare but memorable win over the Germans.

Hearts struggled somewhat in the season that followed the cup triumph. The fact Cameron missed a fair chunk of the season through injury was a major factor especially when you consider that when he returned to the team in the spring Hearts rediscovered their form and rose up the table once more. Cameron continued to bang in the goals and he scored sixteen in season 2000/01. Inevitably, other clubs noticed such form and in August 2001, Cameron joined Wolverhampton Wanderers for a fee of £1.75m.

Cameron displayed the same tenacity and will to win at Molineux as he had at Hearts and Raith Rovers. Indeed, Wolves never lost a match in which he scored. He was part of the Wolves team that secured promotion to the FA Premiership in 2003. When Glen Hoddle took over as Wolves manager after their demotion the following season it was the beginning of the end for Mickey’s time in the Black Country and he moved to Coventry City on a free transfer in 2006. His spell at City wasn’t a great success and after a spell at MK Dons, Cameron returned to Scotland and signed for Dundee in July 2008. However, he was troubled by a knee injury and when Jocky Scott took over at Dens Park the aim was to try to get Mickey back to full fitness. After a loan spell at Arbroath, Cameron returned to Dundee but injuries continued to take their toll and he was released at the end of season 2009/10.

Today, at the age of 38, Colin Cameron is a UEFA qualified coach and combines his playing with his role as assistant manager to Jimmy Nicholl at First Division Cowdenbeath.

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