History of London Hibs

The London Hibs supporters club currently has over 130 members, holds monthly meetings in central London, has an active and successful football team and holds many excellent social events throughout the season, including regular match trips, Player of the Year function and a Burns night supper – but it was not always like that!!

The club was established fairly speedily by current member, Kevin Robertson and his mate Paul Carey (both from St Joe’s, Auggies and Edinburgh) in August 1990. It was when Kev was taking a holiday in Ibiza, whilst between his umpteen jobs, that he found out about Mercer’s unbelievable outrage from a West Ham fan. Kev was initially fairly cheesed off at the guy for winding him up, but soon became mates when he confirmed it in the Daily Bluenose, whose editorial line was supportive of such a move.

So a determined and thoroughly depressed Kevin got himself on his homeward flight and on his return to England, his flatmate had left all the Scottish papers across the floor of his London flat, increasing his desperation to do something to prevent this unbelievable act from the FTB. Action time. Phone calls home got suggestions of letters to MPs and all that guff.

Kev visited the big Hibby chief fan, Ronnie Ferguson, in Edinburgh who was most encouraging. Things moved on a bit when Paul Carey called to say that Hibs were doing a pre-season tour in the South of England. Having missed the first game against Swindon, the intrepid duo then got their backsides into gear. They set-up a PO BOX in London and produced 200 flyers with the following on them:

"ATTENTION ALL TRUE LONDON BASED HIBBEES, THE MIGHTY HIBERNIAN SPIRIT HAS COME TO LONDON. TO JOIN, SEND A LETTER AND 5 TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS"

Kev admits that whilst this may sound fairly naff now, it was how they felt at the time. The flyers were then distributed before the Watfod game on the Wednesday, but the main distribution was to be on the Friday evening ‘friendly’ against Millwall. Unfortunately, the descendants of the ‘wild Irishmen’ (Lugton) went totally bananas that evening and smashed up the Old Kent Road. The stunned Millwall fans, not too chuffed with what had happened, tried for a bit of revenge outside the ground but despite this minor inconvenience, he managed to off load all the leaflets

Very soon the most encouraging letters conceivable started to arrive from the early, yet ardent members including current members; Brian Rogan who is the Club’s chairman, Tony Connor who is our Hibs Liaison member, and Peter Mahedy who is very much the club’s encyclopaedia on all things HIBS.

The first meeting was held in the Holyrood Tavern, in Wells Street, London for the 2nd Tuesday in August and was a brilliant evening. The sense of relief from the summer nightmares was obvious. Here were London Hibees who would be able to organise and kick ass to save Hibs. There were at least six volunteers to dispose of MERCER.

Dino Rafferty, who has since returned to Edinburgh, was a particular inspiration in the early days and conjured up the London Hibs crest, which is the Harp and castle. After a designer friend of his tidied up the design a little, the crest was first used on the initial London Hibs sweatshirts. It was also used by Dave Jackson, who is the former editor of Gossip and current member, on the cover of the first London Hibs fanzine, HIBEES HERE, HIBEES THERE.

So the meeting place was established, 10 members signed up, the crest designed, sweatshirts produced, the fanzine named and all this within one month of the idea on a Mediterranean Island. The rest as they say is history.

If we do say so ourselves, the London Hibs Supporters Club is a well-run club and goes from strength to strength each season despite there having not been too much for us to shout about over the last few years.


ODE TO  A LIVING LEGEND (a poem by Dino Rafferty)

In 1990 God left heaven
He arrived on earth renamed Kevin
He'd come to lead us, on the path to glory,
to incredible heights or so went his story.

Initially I thought 'dipstick," but looks can be deceiving
after a few meetings he had us all believing.
'Go spread the word' and bring them all down
Gather all Hibees in old London town.

He was here on a mission, I've never been surer
Here was a man destined to be fuhrer.
He held us in awe in that old cellar bar,
Mouths hung open as we gasped for a jar

Was it fear or respect that kept us all sitting
Although times were many when he spoke of quitting
My owns thoughts are unclear and I can't vouch for the rest
Is he really the messiah or a simple George Best.

But he has the charisma that keeps us all clambering
To hear the words of our own Captain Mainwaring,
He's been compared to Pacino and even Reg Varney
and even to Eastwood (is that Clint or is it Barney).

Well, we have all got principles and we've all got pride
But I'll forget about mine when I stand by his side.
And whatever your thoughts, I'll give you a tip
Don't miss the night when he finds his spaceship

Dino


 

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