HIBS fans will be scrambling to get their hands on gold-dust briefs for another Scottish Cup final after Saturday’s nail-biting semi-final victory over Falkirk.
While hundreds left early and missed their team’s stunning comeback, there will be no lack of demand for tickets to the final – with fans hoping their Scottish Cup “hoodoo” could finally be ended.
Hailing the team’s recovery from a “horrendous” first half to beat Falkirk 4-3, Hibbies admitted the side would go into the final at Hampden on May 26 as “underdogs” but insisted they were closer than ever before to lifting the Scottish Cup and banishing memories of last year’s 5-1 defeat to Hearts.
Bookies have already made cup final opponents Celtic the clear favourites to win, with William Hill offering 11-4 odds on a Hibs victory over the Hoops next month.
And there is expected to be no spare seats in the Hibs section come the final. Saturday’s match drew a bigger crowd of Hibs fans than last year’s semi – 17,000 compared with 13,500 – suggesting no fall-off in enthusiasm among supporters despite the result of last year’s final.
Mike Riley, chair of Hibs Supporters Club, said: “The fans will be hoping that we can get rid of this hoodoo at never winning the cup in over 100 years.
“It’s all those years of not winning that’s making it so hard to win now. My grandfather died and then my dad died without ever seeing the Scottish Cup at Easter Road. Now I’m 63 and running out of time. It’s difficult to put into words what winning the cup would mean to us.”
SFA bosses confirmed ticket and seating allocation arrangements for next month’s showdown, and said tickets at Hampden would be split 50/50 between the two sides, with Hibs supporters due to be accommodated in the 52,000-capacity stadium’s north/south and west stands.
Forth One radio presenter Grant Stott – who watched Hibs scrape past Falkirk with his dad, Les, and brother John Leslie – said the side would face an uphill battle to break the side’s years of cup final drought and lift the trophy.
“They will be the underdogs and deservedly so,” he said. “What they did on Saturday was unbelievable and they will need to achieve something similar during the final itself.”
But Peter Stewart, manager of Leith’s Constitution Bar, a well-known Hibbie hang-out, said he was more optimistic than ever.
He said: “I think Hibs have been there so often that the belief among fans is that it has to come to us eventually and this could be our time.”
Hibs owner Sir Tom Farmer said: “The game on Saturday was just incredible and I hope that, at the end of the day, the club wins the final and that the Scottish Cup comes back to Easter Road after all these years.”