Conrad Logan still in dreamland over Hibs’ Scottish Cup triumph

Conrad Logan celebrates with  John McGinn, left, after last years Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS.

Conrad Logan celebrates with John McGinn, left, after last years Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS.

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At Leicester City, Conrad Logan would watch when club legends such as Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton were greeted as heroes by kids too young to have even seen them play.

It is an accolade Hibs’ Hampden hero admits sits uncomfortably on his shoulders, but he knows that in the years to come he and his Easter Road team-mates who ended the club’s 114-year wait to win the Scottish Cup will be similarly feted.

Back at the National Stadium to help promote this season’s semi-final between the capital outfit and Aberdeen a week on Saturday, Logan revealed how he has come to realise just how the team that defeated Rangers 3-2 a year ago will never be allowed to forget the magnitude of their achievement.

From London to Portugal he has been accosted by delighted Hibs supporters, some having even travelled from Edinburgh to Rochdale – where he is now playing – to pay homage to a goalkeeper who arrived as a virtual unknown but departed eight games later an all-time idol.

It was, he agreed, the stuff of fairytales. Logan was pitched into a semi-final against Dundee United, his first match in 18 months following a serious ankle injury, as first-team regular Mark Oxley was 
suspended.

It could, of course, have all gone horribly wrong, but Logan ensured his name was on everyone’s lips, pulling off a string of superb saves during the match and then, after Jason Cummings had missed from the spot, saving United’s first two penalties in that dramatic shoot-out.

He recalled: “I probably had more to do in the semi than I would have liked, but I was glad I managed to do myself justice and help the side get through.

“Everything went my way that day. It was probably a dream debut because usually when you make your debut it’s in a league game; you don’t get the chance to go to penalties.

“To save their first two was a massive thing. The penalties we took were magnificent and we stepped up to the plate in the final.”

The celebrations which engulfed the streets in the east end of Edinburgh the day after lifting the cup will never be forgotten by those on that open-top bus but, revealed Logan, the celebrations seem to be continuing to this day even although he is now miles away.

He said: “People said ‘this will be good’ as we got on the bus, but it was unbelievable. At first it was six, seven, eight deep and I thought that was all right. But by the time we started to get down Leith Walk it was 20 deep, crazy. I was at the front of the bus and some of the boys further back said ‘look behind’ and it was like ‘where did they come from’. It was a sea of green and white everywhere.

“I’ve since met fans in different places, some in Portugal, in London. You see fans wherever you go and it’s nice to be recognised and thanked for what we had achieved.

“There were even two groups of Hibs fans who came down to Rochdale to watch me play, but I was actually on the bench that day. It killed me.

“To be fair, I don’t think they were too bothered. The boys at Rochdale heard the guys before they saw them, they were singing the whole time. It was brilliant. All the Rochdale lads would have watched the final but they probably wouldn’t know how passionate the Hibs fans are. When they saw them they did say, ‘This is full on’.”

Given his stay in Edinburgh was so brief, Logan admitted he sometimes feels a bit embarrassed to be classed a legend when there are players such as Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson who have been with the club throughout their careers.

But he said: “It’s the fans being grateful for us actually winning what they’d dreamed of and hoped for for so long. There will have been grandads and parents, Hibs fans, who never saw the club win it, so that’s why they react that way. Hibs fans on social media always have things to say and it’s good to hear from them. I’ve only watched the DVD Hibs made once or twice but on social media I keep getting tagged in on every clip when [Liam] Henderson is about to cross it and [David] Gray (pictured left) heads it in.

“I think I’ve seen that about three million times but I’m not one for sitting down watching it. I’ve got my memories that I can remember well enough.”

In recent months Hibs’ League Cup-winning sides of 1991 and 2007 have been reunited to mark the 25th and tenth anniversaries respectively and Logan admitted he will relish such occasions in the future. The affable Irishman said: “That’s what comes of winning cups.

“The lads who did it after such a long wait makes them a special group. We all got along and it will be nice to see the lads, although we keep in touch through Whatsapp and Snapchat.

“People move on, but will be asked back and it will be nice to see them.

“Leicester are my club and I’ve seen guys come back, the likes of Peter Shilton and Gordon Banks. What they did for the club is always remembered and you’d see kids who never saw them play stand up and applaud them.

“That’s great, that’s what it’s all about. It keeps the football club going.”

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