AN OMISSION in the history of Hibernian FC was corrected in some style yesterday when 400 people turned out for the dedication of the gravestone of Dan McMichael, pictured below right, the manager when the Leith club last won the Scottish Cup in 1902.
Like so many of the millions who died in the influenza pandemic of 1919, McMichael was laid to rest in an unmarked grave.
His burial place in Eastern Cemetery, in the shadow of the Famous Five Stand at Easter Road, had been all but lost to memory, until members of the St Patrick’s Branch of the Hibs Supporters Association decided to rectify matters.
An Irish-born ship’s carpenter, McMichael was also treasurer, secretary, physio and occasional groundsman and is seen as a key figure in the club’s revival after its first incarnation went out of business.
Gordon McKinlay, the St Patrick’s Branch secretary, scoured burial records to reveal the location, and a fundraising campaign, including a London to Edinburgh sponsored cycle by fan Hugh Cockburn, began.
St Patrick’s Branch chairman Dougie McLeod said: “The generosity of the Hibs supporters has at last acknowledged Dan’s contribution to Hibernian’s rich history.”
McMichael’s grandson Tony thanked the organisers and presented a portrait of his grandfather to Cockburn.
Hibs legend and St Patrick’s branch patron Pat Stanton unveiled the marble gravestone. He said: “I remember my grandfather used to talk about Dan McMichael, so who would have thought I would be standing here today – I’m very proud.”
Hibs’ new manager Terry Butcher took time out from preparing for his first home match against Partick Thistle to pay his own tribute, saying: “Now I know that he’s here I’ll come down and have a word and maybe get some advice.”
The entire club board attended, along with main shareholder Sir Tom Farmer.