A DOUBLE world champion is looking to take his sporting and business expertise to the boardroom of a group of football fans who saved their club from extinction.

Graham Robertson has excelled on bowling greens across the world, representing Scotland on more than 200 occasions.

Now, he is aiming to join the Foundation of Hearts board after cheering on his favourite football club, fan-owned Hearts FC, for more than 50 years.

The fan-led Foundation of Hearts group completed their takeover of the Edinburgh club earlier this year, making the Jambos the biggest fan-owned professional football club in Britain.

He was confident he had the skills to join the group, which was set up as a not-for-profit organisation in 2010 by five lifelong Hearts fans and businessmen.

He said: “When the Foundation of Hearts opportunity came along, the first thing I did was question myself, should I or should I not apply.

“I went back and forward and I needed to make sure in my mind that I had time to commit to the Foundation of Hearts.

“It is a major job, a major opportunity, and requires commitment.

“When I arrived at ‘yes’, I then asked myself if I believed I could make a positive difference to the Foundation of Hearts and ‘yes’ was my answer to that.”

The Foundation of Hearts has a membership of about 8,000 people, all of whom contribute financially to the organisation to provide working capital for the Tynecastle side.

Mr Robertson is managing director of Macmerry-based Greengauge, which provides indoor and outdoor artificial bowling surfaces, and felt he had the “ambition, communication and entrepreneurial skills, that offers something different yet still complementary to the skills of the existing board”.

The Tranent man, who represented Scotland at three Commonwealth Games, explained that his connection with the Capital club dated back to 1965. He said: “I’m a sporting person; I love my sport.

“When my dad took me to my first game, I didn’t really understand what was going on but I love football. My dad being a Hearts supporter, you follow your dad and it is the natural thing to do.

“I love watching Hearts and ran the Tranent Hearts Supporters Club at 17 or 18 years old.”

A sporting career of his own saw Mr Robertson miss a number of games on a Saturday but any time the opportunity arose he was back at Tynecastle Park.

Mr Robertson is one of five candidates vying for three vacancies on the board.

A vote, next month, of Foundation of Hearts members will decide who is elected. The 64-year-old is joined in the running by Andrew Brown, general manager of technology solutions for IBM United Kingdom Limited; Gerry Mallon, former chairman of the Irish FA; Brian Muir, former Superintendent in Lothian and Borders Police; and Louise Strutt, financial planner/tax adviser.

Mr Robertson said: “I think the skillset I have, whether it be from a sporting perspective, an entrepreneurial perspective, sales perspective and from a media perspective, they are skills that I have honed over the years that are different from the existing skillset on the board.”