AS the Hearts players celebrated at the full-time whistle on Saturday, Bobby Burns was amongst the most excitable and ecstatic members of Craig Levein’s squad at Hampden.

Few could blame him. Just minutes later, he would reveal exactly what that victory meant to him and the family that will come from Northern Ireland in their numbers for the Scottish Cup final with Celtic.

The achievement was one to savour for a player that moved to Tynecastle from Glenavon last year and spent the first half of the campaign at Livingston.

Yet there was a deeper, more personal and more important, meaning behind it as he sought out mum Therese in the stand.

“I know I’m only 19 but this could be one of the biggest games you play in your career,” Burns said.

“I was chatting to some of the senior boys in the team and they have never won a senior trophy. Even though I’m only young you have to appreciate that these opportunities don’t come around very often.

“It has been an up and down season, going on loan and having some good results for the Under 21s against Spain and Mexico. There have been downs as well with injury and my mum’s health so you have to enjoy the good times while they last.

“If I could win the Scottish Cup Final it would be a dream end to my first season in Scottish football.

“My mum was pretty sick last summer with heart problems so it was hard for me to settle at first.

“Thankfully, she is better now and she was at the game. I went up to her after the game and gave her a big hug.

“That was an emotional moment. My dad was busy with work but he is going to make it across for the final.

“The boys here have been great and they have given me great support.

“After losing the Edinburgh derby it was great to bring happiness back to the good side of Edinburgh.

“I’ve already had hundreds of texts from family members wanting tickets for the final. They don’t want them for Dundee away but suddenly they are all Hearts fans.”

The heart problems that Burns slipped into the conversation are thankfully not as serious as initially feared or as they sounded at first.

His mother was fit and healthy enough to make it to Hampden and support her son as Hearts beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle to set up a meeting with Celtic next month.

As semi-finals go, it wasn’t the most exhilarating or controversial affair. That was probably for the best.

“That’s what I was saying to her,” Burns said. “Be careful. She gets very into the football matches, screaming and taking photos so I told her to calm down. She’s fine. She had pacemaker wires in the summer.

“They take them out and put new ones in. She’s keeping much better now, she’s healthy thank God. Myself and Jake were getting more into religion, just praying and letting God control whatever happens with her health and our family.

“I’ve just been concentrating on the football and it’s been going OK recently. There have been some tough times in the season and I’m fully aware they could come back so you just have to try and make the most of this opportunity, keep my place and keep working hard.”

It was a case of all’s well that ends well on the park for Hearts as second half goals from Uche Ikpeazu, John Souttar and Sean Clare proved enough to see off a spirited Caley Thistle side that were lead by Tynecastle legend John Robertson.

The comfortable victory gave Mrs Burns a reason to celebrate, but only after a late blip in her travel plans from Edinburgh to Glasgow.

When she returns to Hampden alongside husband Thomas next month, the journey should be smoother this time around. Burns hopes the result is even better.

“They were a terrific influence of me,” he said of his parents. “That’s why I would love to give something back to them. I was from more of a rural area of Northern Ireland.

“I played for a lot of clubs in the city and they drove me everywhere. They had no real social life. Their social life was the football. It was an hour, and hour and a half at times.

“They made a massive commitment to me and that’s why I want to make the most of the opportunity. It was brilliant to have her over here.

“She missed the bus from Tynecastle. She was in the wrong suite so they had to turn it back and get here.

“It was her first time at Tynecastle, she was at the wrong suite and I was trying to sort that out before the game. She got here in the end, which was great. It was brilliant to have them here.

“I think my two wee brothers are going to come over for the final too. It would be a great occasion if we could win it but I’m just going to try and enjoy it. It would be fantastic to win.”

The countdown to the cup final will be increasingly intense as time ticks on over the coming weeks and Levein and his players prepare for their Hampden shot at glory.

Five Premiership fixtures after the split have to be played first, of course, but Burns has a distraction of his own whenever he needs a break from it all.

The 19-year-old is working towards a degree in Maths and Business Management as he looks to the future and a potential second career.

It is a lot for Burns to take on, but he will approach the challenge with the enthusiasm he does each game.

“I was studying during the week,” Burns said. “It’s kind of tough with all the games, but it’s another interest. You don’t want to be constantly thinking only about football.

“ Losing the Edinburgh derby last week, you would sit depressed for the whole week. It’s important to have something different. I’ve been doing it for a few months and I’m enjoying it. You need to have a back-up, especially if you get injured.

“If things don’t go well, I’ve got something to fall back on, but hopefully it’s more something to think of at the end of my career. Maybe go into director of football roles with business degree.

“It’s all Open University so it’s quite flexible that way. You can do it whenever you want, which is great.”