James Hill sees being recognized in an Edinburgh supermarket as proof his Hearts loan deal is working after a year stuck in a cold store with the Cherries.

The Bournemouth defender was brought out of obscurity on the south coast by Robbie Neilson last month. And after impressing in all seven of his appearances so far, the 21-year-old is convinced he’s finally making a name for himself after being known for too long as the ‘son of Matty Hill’.

The proof in the pudding came when a young fan spotted it while shopping at his local store. Hill’s father was a Premier League star for Wolves in a career that saw him rack up over 600 appearances for Sheffield United, Barnsley, QPR and Preston, among others. But the Hearts stopper recognizes that he is now back in the capital. He said: “They’ve seen me here and there, like at Sainsbury’s, they’ve recognized me.

“I would never get recognized at Bournemouth although to be fair I never really played for Bournemouth, only in the cup games. I’m not really a known player.

“That’s a good thing about coming here. I’m really starting to make a name for myself. I was playing for Fleetwood and I was like ‘James Hill is doing great’ but then I go to Bournemouth and I’m Matty Hill’s son.

“So it was all ‘that’s Matty Hill’s son, he was doing really well at Fleetwood, now he’s at Bournemouth and training with the first team, but he’s not really playing.’ Now I’m starting to become James Hill again and make a name for myself.

“If they’re little kids coming up to you and saying ‘it’s James Hill’, that’s good because some of them will have aspirations to be footballers. They will look to you as a role model because you play for their favorite team.

“That is the most important thing when it comes to stepping on the grass on Saturdays. There are many people out there for whom Hearts is their life. It’s all they have and I think maybe they don’t know that we recognize that club football is hugely important.


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