In supporting Hibs down
through the years, we have seen some great players (some not so great) we have watched
some great games (some not so great) and the companionship and adventure shared with
mutual friends leave us with some priceless memories.
The decline in quality in recent times, which
culminated in the recent relegation, may turn out in our favour. Hibs will be back
in the top flight next season. Hopefully, lessons will have been learned.
On a positive note, we now have a team which
is now used to winning ways and must carry this mood into the new season. For the fans
whose loyalty never faltered and continued to attend matches home and away all deserve
credit (no, not in the boozer).
Im sure there were some enjoyable days
out to places we dont normally visit. Being based here in the south of England, I
missed out this season, but I know I have some great memories of the last time we were in
the first division in 1980 81. Peter Cormacks cracker at Stirling Albion,
Berwick on New Years Day. Alan Sneddons nightmare debut in freezing weather at
Kirkcaldy and many, many more.
This time there was no real surprise as
perhaps we can blame too many managerial changes in a short space of time I guess
we could say that it was coming. However it was different in 1980. In those days, there
were also managerial changes, but we had a team that were robbed of a Scottish Cup win in
1979 by referee Iain Foote, who refused a stonewall penalty in the final V Rangers with a
few minutes remaining as Rangers keeper McCloy took the legs away from Colin Campbell. We
lost the second replay 2-3 when Arthur Duncan scored an own goal.
The following season we had great hopes for
the team. Instead, Eddie Turnbull left to be replaced by Willie Ormond and old and new
faces were added to the squad like John Connolly of Everton and Newcastle success, the
return of Peter Cormack and Chairman Tom Harts gamble of bringing George Best,
should have been an enhancement to the cup team of the previous season.
Instead we were relegated and like this year,
the team came up as champions in one season.
There were many interesting times and talking
points. We lost the first game of the season 1-2 at Easter Road to Raith Rovers. Willie
Ormonds stay was a short one through ill health and Bertie Auld took over. Perhaps
the most controversial was the return of George Best who at one stage had been sacked, but
he always brought excitement and of course, crowds.
I was a member of the Glasgow branch then and
usually met up with Davie Keith from Pollock and Jackie Wilson from Cranhill to travel to
games we had great fun on the adventure but we didnt always make the last
train home to Glasgow
Jim Wallace, Andy Hogg and
When George Best came back, it transpired
that his first game was a Tuesday night against Dundee at Dens Park. This was a tough one,
but I decided I had to be there and phoned Davie on the Monday who at first stated that as
the last train from Dundee to Glasgow would be gone by the time the match was over, he
would reluctantly miss this one out. However, after some of my old happy go-lucky
persuasion, we agreed to meet at Queen Street station the next day at 5 OClock.
The bold Georgie boy didnt let us down
with some great touches and a winning goal in a 2-1 victory but how the hell do we
Those were the good old days when you could
wander through the terracing and always bump into people you knew. This occurred when we
met some boys from the Edinburgh West Branch who we used to drink and play pool with in
the Hibs club. They at once offered us a lift back to Edinburgh on their bus so at
least we could at least catch the last train from Edinburgh. However, we somehow managed
to lose them on the way back to the Bus Park so we were wondering about like lost souls
(not exactly sober either) when we met the legendary Maude McFarlane who promptly secured
us seats on her bus. Sorted thought us! That was until on our way out of Dundee, a brick
came crashing through the bus window, resulting in the guy sitting nearest the window
needing some medical attention and a real rig-marole with the local Police.
30 minutes later, having watched every other
bus leave, Dave and I looked at each other with a mutual just our luck
expression. However, when we finally got going, wee Maude came up to us and said that she
had explained the situation to the driver and he would do his best to make up the time..
The last train left the Waverley for Glasgow at 11pm and it was just after that time when
the bus let us off at Haymarket, so we thanked out host and scampered down the stairs the
train was at the platform. The whistle in the Station Masters mouth and in stereo we cried
haud oan, haud oan we made it.
The last game that season against Raith
Rovers when we won the championship, Davie and I set out on the Friday night to walk to
the game from Glasgow (Dan Fyffes without shovels). Due to us not having a compass
and an ignorance of proper directions, we walked all night and finally gave up next
morning at Broxburn and caught a bus the rest of the way the nearly men! Fair old
The post match celebrations were cut short as
we had only a few in the Leerie Lamplighters and caught the bus early to
Glasgow where we at once fell asleep all the way home.
Ah, memories! I could go on, but so could we
all, so hopefully in future issues, you Hibees out there will relate some of yours.