The humanity that courses through Alan Stubbs meant the Hibernian manager could provide a different perspective on a day when stirring success gave way to sorry scenes. Being the first man in his position to lead the club to the Scottish Cup in 114 years banked the 44-year-old a medal that he would be well within his rights to give pride of place to on his mantlepiece. But that badge his players earned him with bucketfuls of courage, character and quality, Stubbs believes can be put to better use.
“My medal will be getting donated and I will auction it off to the highest bidder and it will go to a good cause,” he revealed. “I got a letter off a lady who lost a baby in childbirth and she’s trying to raise money for machines so that will be one of them. I’ll maybe limit it to three charities and the money will be split between them.”
There won’t be any split when Stubbs reviews the events of 21 May, 2016. He had no part to play in the disgraceful behaviour that followed thousands of Hibs supporters taking to the pitch at full-time. He played a huge part, though, in the fact that never again can a version of the Easter Road club’s name be deployed to label a loser’s loser.
“It [what happened after full-time] is not going to take away the satisfaction of what we have just achieved. I think on behalf of the club I can understand because of the wait, but I don’t condone it.
“Being prepared to celebrate the way cup winners do, it is unfortunate. They have had a lot thrown at them and I am glad Sammy [Martinez] who is the oldest one, 106, has managed to see us win it. It is disappointing [about the post-match scenes] and we don’t want to see that.
“It was a fantastic game played between two very good teams. Nice we did it and showed a little bit of bottle... whether we Hibsed it or whether we just did it.
“I was lucky enough to win the Scottish Cup as a player and now I am a Scottish Cup winner as manager. It is not just about me, it is about everyone at the football club and I am delighted for them. They have had accusations thrown at them and everyone is entitled to their opinion but they have had a lot of bad luck which you can’t coach for.
“People have questioned their mentality and their character and I am ecstatic for them today.
“Whatever happens we will have to take on the chin and rightly so. From my point of view, we have to try and protect the reputation of the football club. It is over exuberance and it is relief. You don’t want to see anything like that because on the whole games are very well policed.”
Not so well policed yesterday to avoid Hibs fans assaulting a number of Rangers players. “I never saw anything,” Stubbs said. “I just saw the fans coming on and I wanted to get the players off. I just don’t mean my players but all the players off. So we will just have to wait and see. I am sure there will be a full report from the game and we will have to wait and see what the consequences are of that.
“My initial concern after the game was for the fans to get off the pitch so that they could celebrate it properly. A few of them wanted to hug me but I was pushing them away and saying “don’t spoil it, go and enjoy it”. I wanted them to get back in their seats so we could celebrate it properly. I can understand the reasons why we couldn’t do the lap of honour at the end.”
That the day belonged to Stubbs more than any other was reflected in the fact Anthony Stokes sunk Rangers with a double in the 3-2 victory. The Irish striker’s on-loan move from Celtic in January that Stubbs pushed extremely hard for was cited in the mini-collapse that allowed Mark Warburton’s men to walk off with the Championship. Arriving from Parkhead way short of match fitness, Stubbs persevered with Stokes and yesterday was rewarded with a man-of-the-match performance for the ages.
“I thought every time he got the ball they looked very nervous. He put them on the back foot down the left-hand side. To score so early was great for us and to come back from losing the lead showed a lot of character within the team and it was nice to get over the line in one of these competitions.”