|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
The club was established
fairly speedily by current member, Kevin Robertson and his mate Paul Carey (both from St
Joes, 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 Mercers 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 Clubs chairman, Tony Connor who is our Hibs Liaison
member, and Peter Mahedy who is very much the clubs encyclopaedia on all things
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