IT’S a puzzle that would stump most dads-to-be – how do you attend the Scottish Cup final to witness your side possibly break a 111-year hoodoo and be on hand to tend to your soon-to-give-birth partner?
For one Hibs fanatic, the answer was easy – take her with you.
Thomas Osborne, 25, from Whitburn, and girlfriend Cassie Storrie, 24, watched with glee as Hibs swept past Falkirk to set up their Hampden date with Celtic on May 26.
That soon turned to gloom for city council worker Thomas, when he realised Cassie’s May 29 due date could blow the whistle on his cup final plans – but he hadn’t reckoned on fellow fan Cassie’s determination to see her side lift the trophy.
Thomas said: “I asked her if it would be OK if I went to the final and she said, ‘No way, I’m going too’. It would be incredible to combine Hibs winning the cup with my first child being born. As a football fan you couldn’t really get a better day, could you?
“We’ve known the due date for a while and as it got closer Hibs kept progressing in the cup. I’m a lifelong Hibby, and Cassie began coming with me to games when we started going out five years ago. We’re both season ticket holders in the East Stand, and Cassie’s now as big a fan as I am.”
The prospective parents will make their way to Hampden on a supporters bus from the Iona Bar in Leith, and Thomas will take all the matchday necessities – scarf, hat and hospital bag.
He added: “We’re well aware that Cassie could go into labour on the day so we’ll be bringing her maternity bag and we’ve already checked out the fastest way to the hospital.
“There’ll be no spicy food on the day or any of that.
“We don’t really see any point in worrying about when it’s going to happen to be honest – when it happens, it happens.”
The couple know they are expecting a boy and have decided to call him Eoin, meaning regardless of the score and result, current striker Eoin Doyle is destined to get his name in the papers – but there’s still a chance he could be ousted by another Hampden hero.
Thomas said: “We’re pretty set on Eoin, but if [Leigh] Griffiths was to score five then we might reconsider. There’s a possibility of using Hibernian as his middle name if we win, too.”
The lifelong supporter was determined to attend the final after watching in horror last year as city rivals Hearts won 5-1.
He said: “That really was as low as it gets. I said at the time that if we get back next year then we’ll win it. I never thought that I could become a dad on the same day, too.”
Since the club’s 1902 triumph, Hibs have finished runners-up in the Scottish Cup nine times – and the last time Hibs won the cup it was against Celtic.
The game was played at Parkhead after the initial fixture, which was due to take place at Ibrox in Glasgow, was cancelled after 26 supporters were killed and 547 more were injured following the collapse of a stand at a Scotland vs England match.
The following season, Hibs won the Scottish League Championship for the first time.
EX-HEARTS STAR HELPS ADDICTS FIGHT GAMBLING PROBLEMS
Former Hearts player Kevin Twaddle is to offer his help to people with gambling problems at a series of drop-in sessions.
Twaddle, 42, who recently released a book about his own struggle with a gambling addiction, will attend the Midlothian Council meetings, aimed at individuals or people who are worried about friends or family members.
The local authority is thought to be one of the first in Scotland to launch such a service.
The initiative was set up by a friend of Twaddle.
The former SPL footballer previously revealed how he lost more than £1 million because of a gambling addiction that drove him to the brink of suicide.
Twaddle cheated, lied and stole to fund his addiction – even stealing the life savings of his dying granny.
He finally stopped betting seven years ago after joining Gamblers Anonymous.
Twaddle said: “I’m a Midlothian boy originally and I just want to give something back. If the sessions help just one person it will have been worth it.”
Twaddle’s football career took off after he signed for St Johnstone in 1994.
He was signed by Raith Rovers two years later in an £80,000 deal. In 1998, he was involved in two £150,000 transfers, first to Morton, then Motherwell, before he joined boyhood heroes Hearts.
The drop-in sessions are open to everyone at Bonnyrigg Town Hall on Friday, May 17 from 2.30pm to 4pm and 7pm to 8.30pm.
Alternatively, contact Gamblers Anonymous on 0370 050 8881, or visit www.gascotland.org