the hibLOG

wallowing in the history of hibernian fc

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Welcome back to the hibLOG

A two year gap between the last posting and this? Really, I know that’s poor form but bear with me. This is never going to be the most frequently updated site in the Hibee Nation, but I hope it’s worth it all the same. I still have a pile of newsprint in the attic and I know you all still like being reminded of how crap Hibs could be in the past.

I ran out of webspace on the old site, but it’s still there. Also scanning all these old Scotsman reports has become a bit more of a chore since the paper’s redesign in the mid 1990s means articles are so big they have to be scanned in chunks and stiched together in Photoshop. I’m labouring here, you know.

Here on the new site I have added Season 1994-95, a good season for Hibs as they finished a close third behind Motherwell, just missing out on UEFA Cup qualification. A notable season for Scottish football also, it being the last time one of the Old Firm was squeezed out of first or second spot in the league, the momentary aberration of Mad Vlad’s Hearts in 2006 aside. And it was the year the redevelopment of Easter Road began, the completion of which may now be in sight.

I hope to add further seasons in the not too distant future an with the wonders of blogging software you can subscribe to an RSS feed (whatever that means) so that you see whenever something new goes up. And you can add your comments direct to each article for all to see rather than emailing me and waiting eight months for a reply.


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Hibs 0 Falkirk 2, 19 April 1995

Although the Scotsman’s report gave Jim Jeffries’ Falkirk side an outside chance of qualifying for Europe thanks to this result, they eventually finished in fifth place, five points behind Hibs.

Scotsman match report

The three points dropped by Hibs however, proved crucial in the race for second place. They finished strongly, with three wins and a draw in their remaining four games, but ended up two points adrift of Motherwell, rueing what might have been, as the Scotsman’s round up of 15 May noted (below).

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Hibs 2 Motherwell 0, 22 March 1995

Events off the pitch overshadowed this game as news broke earlier in the day that Davie Cooper was in hospital having suffered a brain haemorrhage at the age of 39.

Scotsman tribute to Davie Cooper

Davie Cooper tributes

Cooper had played the last of his 157 games for Motherwell barely more than a year earlier and sadly died on the Thursday that this match report was published.

Scotsman match report

The 5,400 fans who attended the game were accommodated on two sidesof the ground as work began on the new North and South stands.

Scotsman picture

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Rangers 2 Hibs 0, 26 December 1994

Scotsman report

It is nothing remarkable to us today to be reading about the championship race being over in January. What is surprising is that the supposed title decider in 1995 would be Rangers’ New Year meeting with Motherwell. The following season the Bosman ruling and freedom of contract would rip the guts out of the team that Tommy McLean built and Alex McLeish led to runners-up spot.

It would be over a decade before the Old Firm would again be separated from the top two positions. Even now the achievement of Vladimir Romanov’s Hearts staggering almost in spite of themselves to second place in 2006 looks like a momentary aberration. Realistically from 1995 onwards there is nothing left for the rest to play for but third place.

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Golden cagoules

Cagoules in the rain

Hibs 2 Falkirk 2, 10 December 1994

There they sit, like the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, so many cowled, pointy-hooded devotees of the great game, worshipping at the shrine of Football. Or is it bin day?

Just another bunch of miserable fans subjected to the Scottish climate on the pitiless open terrace of the Dunbar End, some of the last unfortunates to be forced to sit down on a cold bucket seat in the pissing rain.

At least they were treated to a relatively exciting game by the looks of things, a 2-2 draw between Hibs and Falkirk. Former Hibs and Nottingham Forest midfielder Brian Rice thought he had won it for Falkirk with a late penalty, only for Michael O’Neill to nick an equaliser in the last minute, his 10th goal of the season so far.

Scotsman stats

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Easter Road stands proud

New stadium model

Inflation is quite something. When Hibs announced the redevelopment of Easter Road in December 1994 the price tag for the new North and South stands was £4million. Another £5million would see East and West stands completed in due course. Oh for construction costs like those nowadays, when £4million will be lucky to buy you a share in one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s toenails.

The architect’s model in the photograph shows that replacement of the East terrace was deemed the greater priority, but events (ie decay and safety legislation) overtook the planners and it was of course the West which went up first in 2001. Decrepitude eventually consumed the old main stand which had stood since the 1920s and for whom the term ‘refurbishment’ meant a new coat of green paint on the corrugated asbestos cladding every few years.

It is interesting to read with hindsight that ‘the idea of Hibs moving to Straiton has been laid to rest’. Obviously that notion was interred in an undead condition and returned to stalk us like a festering zombie a few years later in the dark night of the £20million debt. The paint on the new West stand’s sleek architectural cladding was barely dry and we came within a ba’ hair of knocking the whole lot down.

Hugh Keevins remarks somewhat obscurely in his last paragraph that Hibs’ final game on March 4 1995 in front of a reduced capacity will be the last time the club ‘will do anything that could be considered second rate’. I suspect he himself regarded that as a meaningless rhetorical flourish to even up the columns on the page and wouldn’t expect anyone to throw it back at him now. Perhaps his thoughts extended to the no-expense-spared backdrop behind Dougie Cromb at the press conference. Obviously he didn’t forsee the season before last’s excuse for a match programme, relegation in 1998, employing Bobby Williamson…

Scotsman article

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Hibs 1 Celtic 1, 30 November 1994

Collins and Miller

Would you look at the state of that strip. Former Hibs darling John Collins models another mid-90s Umbro abomination that looks like the bastard offspring of a Kwik-Fit overall and a butcher’s apron. Not that Hibs could carp, sporting as they did that equally hideous creation with the candy-stripe sleeves.

Obviously both sides blinded each other with their hysterical attire and called it quits, which was more to Hibs’ satisfaction than Celtic’s as the Glasgow team sought to make up a ten point gap to the top of the table. They were also out to banish the nightmare of the previous weekend when first division Raith Rovers had beaten them on penalties in the League Cup final.

Scotsman report