On Saturday at 6pm the statement finally arrived. It was brief and to the point...
"Heart Of Midlothian FC and Steven Pressley have reached an amicable agreement to part company with effect from today"
And there in those 19 words the hopes of any reconcilliation were dashed.
Steven signed for Hearts in the summer of 1998. I doubt any of us realised back then what an important signing this would turn out to be. Elvis went on to become the backbone of the Hearts defence, the man who wore the Captain's armband and wore it well. A man who drew respect by the bucket load from not only the Jambo family but from many a neutral. Steven Pressley was, and I'm sure will continue to be, a shining example of how a professional footballer should behave. A true gentleman and one never to busy to stop for the fans, to chat to the kids, sign the autographs and pose for the pictures.
The writing had been on the wall for almost 6 weeks now. Ever since the now infamous "Riccarton 3" statement in which Elvis, flanked by Hartley and Gordon told of significant unrest in the dressing room and Elvis' subsequent withdrawal from the game against Falkirk questions have been asked about his future at the club.
And so it was on Saturday that the man who had proclaimed he wanted to see his career out at Hearts, the man whom we named Cup Final day after only 6 months ago, the man who has been seen as the mainstay of this team was no more. The fans who had chanted his name week in, week out robbed of the chance to say a final farewell to him. Whatever the in's and out's of how and why this happened, no matter who was right or wrong...the fans who pay the money surely had a right to be able to say farewell to a man who has reached and thoroughly deserved the title of Hearts Legend.
How ironic that on the day we find out he is to leave our club, the Steven Pressley Legend banner fell from it's place high on the tower in Tynecastle and was left crumpled.
Farewell Elvis...Thanks for the memories, watching you lift that Scottish Cup in May and bringing it home to Tynie is something we'll never forget. I have a feeling you will be one ex-Hearts player who will hear his name ring out at tynie when you next appear there..whatever colours you are in instead of the usual boo's.
One Steven Pressley...There's only one Steven Pressley....