In what’s been a terrific week for the side from Leith – not to mention a terrific 12 months – we look back at some of the greatest voices in the club’s history.
Canon Edward Joseph Hannan
Without the Irish priest, there would have been no Hibernian Football Club. Hannan moved to Edinburgh in the 1860s after being convinced to stay in the city and help the burgeoning Irish community who were living in squalor.
He created a branch of the Catholic Young Mens Society. One of the members was a young Michael Whelalan who, in the early 1870s, went to watch a local football match as the sport grew in popularity. Immediately falling in love with football, Whelalan put forward the idea to Hannan of starting their own sporting club. Hannan duly agreed, seeing it as a great opportunity for his church members to become more integrated with the wider community.
Though he was met with resistance due to the Irish Catholic make up of the side, he would eventually get the club included in the Scottish Cup in 1877, just two years after the club was founded. They would win the cup for the first time in 1887.
Hannan would go on to serve as manager and president until he died in 1891.
The foundations were laid for Shaw by former boss Willie McCartney, who crossed Edinburgh’s divide following some moderate success with Hearts in the 1920s and early 30s. McCartney recruited four of the players who would make up the club’s legendary Famous Five forward line, but sadly died of a heart attack before he could bring a trophy to Easter Road.
While his predecessor may have laid a lot of the ground work, it still takes a pretty special manager to win three league championships with a club from outside Glasgow, which Shaw managed in 1948, 1951 and 1952.
He would also put the finishing touches on the Famous Five forward line by signing Bobby Johnstone in 1949, and remains the most successful manager in the club’s history.
Eddie Turnbull has a unique place in Hibernian Football Club’s folklore. He played a leading role in two defining spells at the club. As one of the Famous Five as a player before managing the club.
As a player, Turnbull earned his share of goals, success and trophies. Each of the Famous Five scored more than 100 times for the club. Turnbull himself netted 199 in more than 400 appearances for the only professional team he represented.
He made many landmarks during his spell as both player and manager in Leith. One of which saw his name written into British football history as he became the first British player to score in a European competition.
Prior to that, between 1947 and 1953 Hibs won the league title three times, finishing runners-up another three times.
Following retirement Turnbull took steps into management. Following spells at Queen’s Park and Aberdeen, he headed back to the capital for his most notable spell as manager.
Such was his influence his team were termed the Turnbull Tornadoes. There were fine European nights, the 7-0 thumping of Heart of Midlothian and a Scottish League Cup in 1972. The one main regret is that more wasn’t one during his time at Easter Road.
Though he was born close to Tynecastle, Reilly was a Leither at heart and followed Hibs throughout his boyhood before getting the chance to play for his heroes. And play he certainly did.
Before he retired in 1958, 12 years after making his debut, he’d scored over 200 goals, remaining the club’s all-time leading goalscorer to this day. He also netted 22 times for Scotland. This tally, along with his 38 caps, are both Hibs records. The most remarkable thing is that he likely would have accomplished more had a knee injury not curtailed his career at age 30.
As part of the Famous Five, he helped fire the club to two league titles, as well as being a fringe player in the side which triumphed in season 1947-48 under McCartney and then Shaw.
The last living member of the much-celebrated football quintet, he passed away in 2013, much to the sadness of the Easter Road faithful and the wider Scottish football community as a whole.
Pat Stanton’s name is intertwined with Hibernian Football Club. He is related to one of the founders of the football club, Michael Whelahan as well as former striker James Hendren. There was a period in time when Stanton himself was Mr Hibs.
Born in Edinburgh and raised in Niddrie, Stanton was given the right tools and equipment, both physically and mentally, to deal with becoming a professional footballer for one of the capital’s teams.
He signed for Hibs in 1963 for £17-a-week, and for a long-time, 680 appearances worth it appeared that he was going to become a one-club man, until the legendary Jock Stein recruited him for Celtic.
But before his switch to Glasgow he was part of an incredibly successful Hibs side, alongside big players working under the revered Eddie Turnbull. While Turnbull’s Tornadoes overwhelmed the opposition, it was Stanton who would provide the team a solid platform to perform. A ball-playing centre back, and latterly midfielder, he lifted the Scottish League Cup in 1972 after a 2-1 defeat of Celtic having opened the scoring himself. It was the club’s first major silverware since the 1952 league title.
The Hibs team of that time recorded significant results at home and abroad, including the 7-0 victory over city rivals Hearts.
On the international scene, Stanton won 16 Scotland caps.
Sir Tom Farmer
He may not always have been the most popular man with the Hibs support throughout his time as the majority shareholder, but the fact remains there may not have been a club to support today were it not for the entrepreneur.
Hibs faced a very real threat in 1990 of being bought by the owner of rivals Hearts. Wallace Mercer’s plan was to merge the two clubs together, though in essence it likely would have extinguished Hibs, seeing as Mercer (allegedly) wanted the new club to continue playing at Tynecastle, in maroon jerseys and under the name Heart of Midlothian.
Farmer, despite having little interest in football, would eventually help bring the club back from the brink, spending £3million to save them from receivership. He’s continued in his hands-off position for 17 years since, and while it’s not always been a happy time for the fans, it eventually culminated in last season’s heroic Scottish Cup triumph.