Hearts Scottish Cup winner Stefano Salvatori dies at 49
Tributes have been paid to the Italian, who won the trophy with the Jam Tarts in 1998.
Former Hearts midfielder Stefano Salvatori has died aged 49 following an illness.
Tributes have been paid to the Italian, who was part of the 1998 Scottish Cup winning side who defeated Rangers in the final to lift the trophy.
Salvatori joined Hearts from Atalanta in 1996, making 84 appearances for the Jambos.
The midfielder came through the ranks at AC Milan before also having spells at Parma and Fiorentina.
In his second spell with Milan, Salvatori lifted the 1989 European Super Cup and the European Cup a year later.
A Hearts spokesman said: "Heart of Midlothian Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player Stefano Salvatori.
"The Italian midfielder joined Hearts in 1996 and spent three years at Tynecastle, winning the hearts of supporters with commanding displays in the middle of the park.
"He wrote his name into Hearts folklore by helping the Jambos to lift the 1998 Scottish Cup with a 2-1 win over Rangers, and in the process earning himself legendary status in Gorgie.
"The club would like to pass on its condolences to the family and friends of Stefano, and a full tribute will appear on the club website later today."
Paul Ritchie, who played with Salvatori in the Scottish Cup final, took to social media to pay tribute to the Italian.
Capped 13 times for Italy's Under-21s, Salvatori finished his career with Legnano in 2002.