the hibLOG

wallowing in the history of hibernian fc

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Bad days at Easter Road, 2 August 1998


Bad days at Easter Road? I’ve had a few. Haven’t we all? Simon Pia wasn’t writing about the football though. He was nosing into the rumoured bids to buy Hibs from Farmer, who had never disguised his willingness to sell to ‘a safe pair of hands’. As Pia says at the outset, the season hadn’t even started yet and it was already a bad week for Hibs, with dirty laundry aired in the wake of Dougie Cromb’s departure from the boardroom. Surely the football couldn’t be any worse than all this dismal infighting? Continue reading


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All new hibLOG!

Fresh meat! Dead meat!!

For the first time in about nine years (!) I have finally scanned some new press cuttings and can present to you, my loyal readers, previously unpublished material!

I would say ‘can present to you with pleasure‘ except there is very little pleasure to be had from the memories invoked by this new batch of newsprint. First cab off the rank just happens to represent season 1997-98 which, until Terry Butcher got his hands on the reins in 2013, was just about the worst season in Hibs’ history. Although we had been relegated twice before, the absolute horror show of Hibs’ fall from the top of the table in September to the very bottom before New Year was mesmerisingly awful. Truly Hibs were like a rabbit caught in the headlights, going 15 games without a win and clocking up a seven game losing streak.

Jim Duffy is the main villain of this piece, ably supported by the Hibs board who first appointed him and then let him linger for so long that Alex McLeish’s rescue mission was made virtually impossible. Poor old Billy McNeill was dragged out of semi-retirement to try and help Duffy turn it round but he was gone within a month as the team continued to gaze hypnotised at the oncoming truck.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of highlights here: Chic Charnley’s moment of glory, lashing a 20-yard winner past his bhoyhood heroes Celtic on the season’s opening day; and the defeat of Hearts in April, effectively ending their title challenge. Even if it did us no good in the end it made us feel better for a few days. Small consolation in a season that made us feel rank rotten for many months.

Season 1997-98 index

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13 months of misery, 3 February 1998



A rather unfair change of tune from The Scotsman’s subeditor, I feel, describing the whole of Jim Duffy’s tenure as unremitting misery. Where now the ‘spirit of the Seventies’ and Chic Charnley’s joie de vivre at the season’s outset? August and September had been far from miserable and it was probably going on November before people began to realise something had gone horribly wrong. ‘Eleven months of misery with two months of fun in the middle’ doesn’t make much of a headline though. That’s journalism for you. Continue reading

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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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