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  • The Famous Five - Part Two

    John Campbell concludes his look back to the days of the Famous Five

    Eddie Turnbull

    At he start of the 1946/47 campaign Smith and Reilly were joined by Eddie Turnbull who quickly established himself as a favourite with the fans. Freshly out of the Navy where he had seen active service throughout the war, he returned home to his native Carronshore, near Falkirk to look for a job. A friend was aware that Eddie was a decent footballer and arranged for him to play in a trial match for Forth Rangers at Brockville. In the crowd that day was Hibs boss Willie McCartney who promptly contacted the player by telephone and invited him through to Edinburgh to visit Easter Road.

    With instructions from his Dad ‘not to sign anything’ Turnbull travelled through with his brother and the two met McCartney in the Hibs Boardroom. After dispensing a few whiskies which went largely untouched by Eddie but not by his sibling, McCartney used his strong powers of persuasion to get Turnbull to sign, even though he had played just one game of organised football since volunteering for the Navy in 1941.
    Even as a youngster breaking into the first team it became apparent that his strong physique and creativity on the ball, combined with a thunderous shot would stand him in good stead throughout his career and so it proved to be as he helped Hibs win three League titles in 1947/48, 1950/51 and 1951/52.

    Perceived by playing colleagues and fans alike as the driving force in the Hibs engine room Turnbull, known to one and all as ’Ned’ drew attention to himself with his outstanding displays and was the subject of a transfer bid by Manchester United. At the time the sum was simply described as ‘huge’ but Turnbull was not interested in leaving Easter Road where he felt he was part of a great team.

    In his time as a player at Easter Road Turnbull scored no fewer than 199 goals, including a hat trick against Rangers and with many of them thundering into the net from distance as he struck fear into the hearts of visiting goalkeepers! It was not long before Turnbull was appointed Captain and his left wing partnership with Willie Ormond is still spoken of with great affection by older generation Hibees.

    Internationally, Turnbull made nine appearances including, as the only Hibs player in the squad, three in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Back then players only received a cap if they faced one of the home nations, England, Wales or Northern Ireland but none of Turnbull’s appearances were against those sides and so no caps were ever awarded. It was only in February 2006, after strident efforts by Hibs in their representations to the SFA that Turnbull was finally awarded the caps he so richly deserved.

    When Ned retired from playing in 1959 he had won three Scottish League Champions medals, nine Scotland Caps (eventually), one Scotland ‘B’ cap, 4 Scottish League caps and two Scottish Cup runners up medals.
    Although his playing days were over, Turnbull was not about to give up on the game he loved and for a brief spell he joined the backroom team at Easter Road before taking over the coaching of Queens Park where he enjoyed considerable success before being invited to become manager of Aberdeen at the start of the 1965/66 season.

    With Aberdeen Turnbull enjoyed Scottish Cup success when he steered the Dons to a 1970 victory over Celtic at Hampden, taking great satisfaction in getting the better of his old rival Jock Stein.
    The summer of 1971 saw then Hibs Chairman Tom Hart persuade Ned to leave Aberdeen so as to manage Hibs and so began the creation of a wonderful team nicknamed Turnbull’s Tornadoes, sung about to this day and immortalised in a song of the same name.

    It wasn’t long before Turnbull was back at Hampden again to face his old adversary but Jock Stein’s Celtic were the latest to lengthen the seemingly endless years of Scottish Cup failure for Hibs. Like everyone associated with the Club Ned was devastated but gained an amount of revenge by taking Hibs back to the National Stadium on three subsequent occasions to defeat Celtic in the League Cup and Dryburgh Cup (twice) Finals.

    Arguably the most famous triumph by Turnbull’s Tornadoes however was achieved at Tynecastle Park on 1 January 1973 when Hibs thrashed oldest rivals Hearts 7-0 with goals from O’Rourke (2), Gordon (2), Duncan (2) and Cropley inflicting the damage. It seems entirely appropriate in this section on Eddie Turnbull to record the names of those players immortalised as Turnbull’s Tornadoes and they were Herriot, Brownlie, Schaedler, Stanton, Black, Blackley, Edwards, O’Rourke, Gordon, Cropley and Duncan.

    The Tornadoes entertained on a weekly basis and it was more a question of how many they’d win by as opposed to would they win at all! Had it not been for the fact that Celtic had an extremely strong side at that time surely Hibs would have won more honours? As it was, Celtic inflicted defeat again in the League Cup Final when a Joe Harper hat trick for Hibs was not enough in a 6-3 defeat. By this time the Tornadoes were breaking up as a side and Harper’s arrival from Everton in a big money transfer saw the likes of O’Rourke and Gordon moving on.

    Turnbull had Hibs back at Hampden again in 1979 for yet another tilt at winning the Scottish Cup and this time Rangers provided the opposition. In those days extra time and penalties were not applicable in the first game should it be a draw and sure enough it finished 0-0 as did the first replay. The second replay saw Hibs denied a stone wall penalty and with the game finely poised at 2-2 tragedy struck as Arthur Duncan put through his own goal and once again the trophy stayed in Glasgow. To this day there are fans who will tell you that the ball never crossed the line for that decisive ‘goal’ and the tragedy is compounded by the fact that it was attributed to Duncan who was a wonderful player for Hibs and still holds the record for the number of appearances at the Club.

    There would be one more Hampden appearance for Ned as he steered Hibs to a Scottish Cup Semi Final in 1980 but once again Celtic were the opposition and once again there was the bitter taste of defeat. Soon afterwards Turnbull resigned and retired from football altogether after 34 years in the game.

    In February 2006 Ned suffered a heart attack but thankfully recovered and can still be seen at every home game where, like Lawrie Reilly, he hosts a table in hospitality even though he is now well into his eighties but he still has many tales to tell his enthralled guests.

    Willie Ormond

    The only member of the Famous Five to have been bought in from another Club, Willie Ormond joined Hibs in November 1946 when the Easter Road side paid Stenhousemuir £1200. It wasn’t long before he made his mark when he scored his first goal for the Club the following month, a late equaliser against Rangers. Ormond would go on to score 193 times for Hibs and would surely have scored a whole lot more but for bad luck with injuries.
    Very much a traditional outside left Willie played there for fifteen years with Hibs as well as representing Scotland on six occasions in the number eleven shirt, scoring twice in the process. As mentioned however, he was hugely unlucky with injuries and suffered leg breaks on three occasions, an arm break and ruptured ligaments.

    Bad luck also surrounded the one and only sending off in his long career when in a pre season friendly match in Germany, Willie knocked a player off the ball in what was a ten a penny harmless challenge. As the referee approached the spot where the foul had been committed, Eddie Turnbull jokingly suggested to the whistler that he should send Ormond off and it’s a toss up to this day as to who got the biggest shock when the ref duly obliged.

    In his time at Hibs Willie won those six full caps, 9 Scottish League caps and 1 Scotland ‘B’ cap not to mention three championship medals, 2 Scottish Cup runners up medals and a Scottish League Cup runner up medal. He was the last of the Famous Five to leave Easter Road when he signed for Falkirk in 1961 and it was at Brockville he made his initial move into management when he became their assistant trainer.

    In August 1966 Willie was appointed manager of St. Johnstone and the Muirton Park side enjoyed admirable success under his guidance as he steered them to Division One and to the 1969 Scottish Cup League Final for the first time in the Club’s history. The following season the Saints finished third in the League and secured a first ever place in European competition, performing well by defeating Hamburg and Vasas Budapest before eventually falling to Zel Sarajevo of Yugoslavia. Ormond left St. Johnstone in 1972 to take the job as Manager of Scotland but he was held in such high regard by the Perth faithful that when the Club relocated to McDiarmid Park it named a stand after its former Manager.

    The Scotland job had fallen vacant when Tommy Docherty resigned and Ormond soon instilled his own style into the squad, leading them to qualification for the 1974 World Cup Finals in Germany. Sadly, Scotland had the ’distinction’ of coming home after the first stage not having lost a game but failing to qualify from their group.
    A return to Club Management saw Willie taking over the reins at Tynecastle when he was appointed by Hearts in August 1977. The Club had just been relegated from the Premier League and he arrived to find that a good number of players had left at the end of the previous season, leaving him to try and build a winning team which he succeeded in doing and took Hearts back to the top flight. Unfortunately, relegation hit the Club again and in 1980, despite Hearts topping the First Division, Ormond was sacked.

    Within a very short space of time thereafter he was appointed Manager of Hibs but his tenure lasted just seven months before he was forced to resign due to ill health.

    Willie Ormond died in May 1984 and was mourned throughout the Scottish game where he had left a positive mark both as a player and a manager.

    Bobby Johnstone

    At the start of the 1949/50 season the number eight jersey was the property of the very impressive Bobby Combe, often referred to in the years to come as the sixth member of the Famous Five. In October 1949 Hibs contrived to lose a League Cup Semi Final to unfancied Dunfermline at Tynecastle and the half back line that day took the brunt of the blame with all three being dropped for the following match against Queen of the South at Easter Road. Combe was handed the number four, right half, shirt and Johnstone drafted in to the number eight, inside right position giving Hibs a forward line that day of Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull and Ormond.

    Keeping Johnstone out of the team until that fateful day was Bobby Combe, often referred to by his team mates and fans alike in the years that followed as the sixth member of the Famous Five. Combe played inside right and was inspirational in the role, scoring goals aplenty whilst manufacturing chances for those around him but following a poor performance in a cup tie against Dunfermline Willie McCartney made sweeping changes to his half back line and Combe was handed the number 4 jersey, creating an opening at number 8 which Bobby Johnstone stepped into and never looked back. ‘Nicker’ as he became known, made his debut in a 2-1 home win over Queen of the South and he went on to amass over 200 appearances and 100 plus goals in two spells at the Club.

    For some reason, now lost in the mists of time, Johnstone became known as the unsung hero of that famous quintet at least as far as the supporters were concerned but his team mates would tell you that ’Nicker’ was a fantastic player who invariably covered every blade of grass in a game and who was often the provider for the others to score goals - certainly he was recognised by them for the quality player that he was.
    Recognition of that fact also came in the shape of International honours and during his career Johnstone gained 17 Caps scoring 10 goals in the process including one against England at Wembley in a fine 3-2 victory in 1951 and in which Lawrie Reilly also scored!

    In 1955 Nicker left Hibs in a £22,000 transfer to Manchester City where he went on to score goals in back to back FA Cup Finals, in a 3-1 defeat by Newcastle in 1955 and gaining him a winners medal in the 1956 Final against Birmingham City where he scored the third in a 3-1 win. As a measure of his impact at Maine Road it is interesting to note that years later when the FA asked clubs to nominate players for the ‘Team of FA Cup Heroes’ City nominated Johnstone.

    After that successful period at Maine Road Johnstone returned north and re-signed for Hibs with a transfer fee of £6,000 changing hands but by this time most of his erstwhile team mates within the Famous Five had either moved on or retired and so he found himself in a side which was nurturing a new young talent by the name of Joe Baker, a player who later stated that Nicker had been one of the best footballers it had been his privilege to play alongside - high praise indeed from a man who not only achieved legend status at Easter Road himself but who went on to play for Torino, Arsenal and Nottingham Forest.

    In October 1960 Johnstone again moved south in a £4,000 transfer to Oldham Athletic where he gained the instant love of their supporters and where he is still revered to this day. Debut day saw him face Exeter City in front of Oldham’s biggest home crowd in over six seasons and he was deemed man of the match thanks to his defence splitting passes and a goal of his own contributing to a thrilling 5-2 win. After amassing over 150 appearances and just under 40 goals for the Latics his knee began to trouble him and he moved on briefly to non-League Witton Albion for a short while before hanging up his boots and bringing the curtain down on a career which spanned 19 years and saw him win honours for both Club and Country whilst gaining hero/legend status wherever he played.

    Bobby Johnstone died on 22 August 2001

    Understandably, Hibs fans revere those Famous Five Hibernian men but it would be wrong to forget that Championships were won by eleven men, not five. It seems right and proper that those men, whom Lawrie Reilly nicknamed the Stupendous Six, are made mention of. In fact the ‘six’ were not always the same players and so mention is made of those who made significant contributions whilst playing behind the Famous Five.

    Jimmy Kerr kept goal for Hibs until the 1948/49 season and was then replaced by Tommy Younger. Kerr had joined Hibs in 1938 but his active service during WWll severely restricted the number of appearances he made for the club. He was however in goal during the 1947/48 Championship success and was reckoned by many to have been unlucky not to represent his country. Younger signed in 1949 and kept goal during the League Championship winning seasons of 1950/51 and 1951/52 making a total of 176 League appearances for the club before his transfer to Liverpool in 1956. Younger also won 24 caps for Scotland and ironically both he and Kerr would later become Directors of Hibernian.

    Jock Govan played right back and had thirteen years at Easter Road. In the 1947/48 League Championship winning season Jock missed only one game. A great servant to the club he often thrilled the fans by going on long mazy runs down the right wing in a time before the phrase ‘wing back’ had ever been coined. Jock left Hibs in 1954 when he signed for Ayr United and upon his arrival at Somerset Park he was immediately made Captain of the club.

    Davie Shaw was Captain and played at left back in the 1947/48 League Championship winning team but left Hibs in 1950 to join Aberdeen where he ended his career on the coaching staff. He had joined Hibs in 1939 from Grange Rovers and was another whose playing career was curtailed by WWll. International recognition came his way and on two occasions he was one of two full backs in a Scotland team partnering both Jock Govan and Hugh Howie.

    Jimmy Cairns was in the left role in the side that won back to back League Titles in 1950/51 and 1951/52. Cairns joined Hibs from Dunipace Thistle in 1946 and made 55 League appearances before leaving to join Third Lanark in 1952. A hard tackling, no nonsense kind of player he once completed a match against Rangers only to find out later that he had broken his leg.

    Bobby Combe signed for Hibs in 1941 from Inveresk Thistle. As a young teenager he was training with Hearts until Willie McCartney persuaded him his future lay with Hibernian. Having been born just a stone’s throw from Easter Road it was like returning home for Bobby. Amazingly, Bobby Combe’s first team debut came on the day upon which the Famous Five all played together for the first time. His League debut came at Tynecastle and he scored a goal that day and later he would score four times in an 8-1 demolition of Rangers at Easter Road. A one club man, Combe retired at the end of the 1956/57 season having made 264 League appearances.

    John Paterson. Born in England, Paterson joined Hibs in 1944 from Penicuik Thistle. Amassing an impressive 283 League appearances John, better known to his team mates and Hibs fans alike as Jock, was an ever present in the side that won back to back League Titles in 1950/51 and 1951/52. When he left the club after 12 years he played briefly for Ayr United before hanging up his boots. Jock’s son Craig would later star for Hibs and wear the number 5 jersey so often filled by his father.

    Hugh Howie. Signed for Hibs in 1943 from Newton Juniors and could play in a variety of positions. An ever present in the 1951/52 Title winning side he made a total of 139 League appearances for the club and after he retired he became a sports journalist.

    Willie MacFarlane. Joined Hibs in 1949 from Tranent Juniors and made a total of 78 League appearances until he left the club in 1953 to join Raith Rovers. MacFarlane returned to Hibs after then manager Bob Shankly left the club and was in charge for a little over a year until Eddie Turnbull left Aberdeen to take over.
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