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Succession, Hearts & Hibs: How Scottish football teams feature in hit HBO series

9:32 PM WAT 17/12/2021
Succession Brian Cox Hearts Hibs 2021
Here's what you need to know about why Scottish teams Hearts and Hibernian were featured on the hit HBO show Succession

Succession on HBO rightfully has a reputation for being one of the best shows currently airing, starring legendary Scottish actor Brian Cox as Logan Roy, head of global media enterprise Waystar RoyCo.

A minor football-related storyline has even been woven into the show, featuring Scottish sides Hearts and Hibs. So why have these teams been included in Succession? GOAL takes a look.

Spoilers for Succession season two below!

Why were Hibs and Hearts featured in Succession?

In the second season of Succession, the Roys travel to Scotland to celebrate Logan's 50th year as head of the business. Logan's son, Roman (Kieran Culkin) wants to impress his father by buying what he assumes is his father's favoured football team, Heart of Midlothian.

However, it is revealed later in the episode that Roman had gotten his father's tastes entirely wrong, as it turns out that Logan actually supports Hibernian – Hibs – who are direct crosstown rivals of Hearts.

Roman, of course, knows nothing about Scottish football and simply buys the club in an effort to win his father's affection: "I mean, I don't really see a downside, other than zero knowledge or interest in Scottish football, but yeah, let me have a little think! Hearts."

So later, when Roman presents his gift of being co-owner of Hearts to his father, Logan simply states: "I'm Hibs."

When Roman replies that he is pretty sure Logan is instead a Hearts supporter, Logan roars back: "You know, maybe you're right. How would I know what team I supported my whole f*cking life? I mean, maybe I support Kilmarnock. Or F*cklechester Rangers? I mean, how can I possibly f*cking know?"

In the next episode, Roman is introduced to newly bought team Hearts, though the meeting with the players is hilariously shambolic. Now stuck with 50 per cent ownership in a team he does not care about, Roman tells the visibly stunned, speechless players in his disastrous attempt at a pep-talk: "Really proud to be associated with you guys. Well, what the f*ck can I tell you that you don't already know? You got all this. Don't worry about it. 'Cause you guys are a team, and when a team is a team, it can't actually physically be beaten. It's impossible. So go hard, go fast, go, you lovely bastards!"

Hearts actually launched an exclusive kit with Succession featuring Waystar RoyCo as the main sponsor.

The shirts were given away to fans in a competition that raises funds for MND Scotland, the UK-based motor neurone disease charity whose logo is usually at the front of the Hearts home kit.

What football team does Brian Cox support?

Though Cox is originally from Dundee and had his Scottish heritage written into the show, the actor has been coy about his footballing allegiances.

Though he has revealed that his cousin Bobby Cox is a former Dundee player, he says that he can't claim loyalty to "any one" team.

“I’m a Dundonian but because of who I am I can’t just support any one team,” Cox told The Big Issue. “I admire United but my cousin Bobby Cox played for Dundee. He was the man who invented the sliding tackle.”

In the same interview, Cox describes how he had to convince Succession creator Jesse Armstrong to make the character of Logan Roy a Scot.

“Jesse said no, he has to be American," Cox said. "I said fine. He had me born in Quebec to start with so I did a reasonable Vermont-border accent. Then they suddenly changed the guy’s birthplace to Dundee! That was a belter, but a bit of a blow. I mean a nice blow.

 “It was weird, because his experience of his history is very different from my experience of my history.”