the hibLOG

wallowing in the history of hibernian fc

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Hands Off Hibs: the summer of 1990


If you thought Scottish football couldn’t get any stranger than the summer of 1989 – when the openly Roman Catholic Mo Johnston was poised to re-sign for Celtic only to be snapped up by Rangers instead – then you probably weren’t prepared for the news which broke on 4 June 1990.

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Season 89-90 – calm before the storm

You might think that Hibs in 1990 were in all ways in a dire state and openly vulnerable to the assault that was to engulf them in the close season. But in fact the team that Alex Miller had been building was the least dire that Hibs had put out for quite some time. Although Steve Archibald finally left the building (in a taxi from Fir Park), the likes of Keith Houchen, Paul Wright, Neil Orr and Andy Goram remained, assembled by Miller over this and previous seasons, sometimes for what were reasonable fees. Attempts were made to sign others who went on to make names for themselves in the English Premier League. Ok, the likes of Mark McGraw failed to live up to the hype, but in general Hibs were occasionally getting it together on the park, even if things off it were not quite as they seemed.

Although we ended the season in 7th place we were only a point behind Dundee United in 4th. Rangers, once again the runaway league winners, were beaten both at Easter Road and Ibrox, with a draw and a defeat in the other two games. True, the Scottish Cup continued to elude us and results against more modest opposition could still infuriate, but Hibs had even opened the season with a creditable performance against RFC Liège in the 2nd round of the UEFA Cup, succumbing to a single goal in the away leg. Hungarians Videoton were trounced 3-0 on their own patch in the first round – what price an away win in Europe of any description for Scottish clubs these days?

In other news there were calls for a return to a 16-team top league, 14 years after the creation of the 10-team Premier Division. A mere 27 years on and we’re still talking about it. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, as they would say in Liège.

Season 1989-90 index

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Season 88-89 now restored

hearts270888progThings got off to a good start in 1988 – Steve Archibald was signed from Barcelona (Barcelona!) and it was October before Hibs lost a  game in the league. The season was also notable from a parochial perspective for a three game unbeaten run against Hearts. That was something to shout about in those days, don’t you know?

The Chuckle Brothers Duff and Gray continued to develop the club off the pitch too, splitting it into three separate companies, and launching the fancy new ‘continental-style’ Saturn badge. Manchester United came to visit for Gordon Rae’s testimonial, in which game Joe Tortolano thoroughly upstaged Gordon Strachan by thoroughly upending him and dumping his lifeless body on the track. That’s a ‘friendly’ for you.

After that things got a bit patchy. Archibald’s relationship with the club soured. Coventry’s FA Cup Final hero Keith Houchen was signed, and although Hibs reached the semi-final of the Scottish Cup they were trounced by Celtic in a game which took place against the backdrop of the Hillsborough disaster, an event which cast a shadow over all football for a long time.

Go to season index for 1988-89.


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Season 87-88

The 1987-88 season is best remembered for… well, not much on the park, it must be said. There was the small matter of David Duff buying out Kenny Maclean’s majority share in the club, and Celtic fans throwing a CS gas canister into the Hibs end at a midweek fixture at Easter Road. On the playing front the highlight was probably the ending of Hearts’ unbeaten run in derby matches and Andy Goram’s one and only goal for Hibs at the end of an otherwise dull season which I think managed to achieve Alex Miller’s bold objective of exceeding the previous year’s points total. Hallelujah. Follow that last link also for a couple of interesting articles about the Baker brothers, Joe and Gerry.

Go to season index for 87-88.

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Season 86-87 restored

Who can forget the Souness game? Well if you’re younger than about 40 there’s not much chance you can remember it. Relive/experience it now thanks to the latest hibLOG (re)update, bringing you personal reminiscences, match programmes and press cuttings for the 1986-87 season.

It was a season that seemed to promise much from the explosive opening day, but then declined so rapidly that manager John Blackley got the boot by October to be replaced by that loveable cheery chappie Alex Miller. Highlights were few but I make the most of what I’ve got from the archives.

Go to season index for 86-87.

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Not dead yet


Bet you were wondering what had happened to me? No? Och, well, anyway, here I am, still here. Just been busy with other stuff, ok?

I have finally been booted up the arse to resume activity on the hibLOG by the realisation that the old Quista pages have finally been consigned to oblivion, meaning that all those wonderful old cuttings and programmes from seasons 85-86 through to 91-92, all those soul-sapping goalless draws with Motherwell, home defeats to Clydebank, and the very worst of safety-first percentage football from Bastard Face Miller have disappeared. More to the point the 1991 Skol Cup victory was also erased, so something really had to be done.

I have therefore just re-upped season 1985-86 (not a lot of entries to be fair) and also restored season 1991-92 from the old ntl site for starters. Seasons 86-87 through to 90-91 will hopefully follow in the not too distant future, but you know I’ve said that before and then buggered off for eight years with nary a peep, so breath holding is not recommended. All the same, I have time on my hands right now so you might be in luck. Watch this space.

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Season 1992-93 now added

Once again restored from the lost ntl pages, just Season 91-92 to retrieve and re-post now before I have to start digging out the old newspaper and scanner again.

Season 92-93 saw the memorable UEFA Cup tie with Anderlecht, with Hibs going out on away goals after the kind of away performance that is a distant memory for most Scottish clubs these days.

More dismal results against Hearts and Rangers though, and an absurd experience at the indoor Tennent’s Sixes tournament. Read on…