Celtic striker and ex-Hibs ace Leigh Griffiths hails Tynecastle atmosphere as the country's best

The Scotland star made his debut for Hibs and scored his first Celtic goal at Tynecastle

Celtic star and former Hibs favourite Leigh Griffiths has hailed Tynecastle as the country’s best atmosphere “by a country mile”.

The 29-year-old has fond memories of the stadium, making his debut for Hibs in 2011, while netting a free-kick in a 2-1 win at the ground in 2013.

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Tynecastle was also the venue of his first ever first goal for Celtic.

Leigh Griffiths has hailed Tynecastle as having the best atmosphere in Scotland. Picture: SNS

On the flip side, the player suffers “dog’s abuse” on every visit to Gorgie. Yet, it is one of his favourite grounds in the country.

“I still remember my debut at Tynecastle,” he said in an Open Goal interview. “Horrible. Getting abused warming up.

“Just after 55 minutes I got subbed on and I think it was a throw-in on the far side. I’ve jogged across. Jamie Hamill threw it to Zaliukas, Zaliukas gave it back and I’ve slid in with scissors trying to endear myself to the Hibs fans.

“Craig Thomson said ‘you’re lucky I’m not sending you off’.

“Madness. Best atmosphere in Scotland by a country mile, Tynecastle.”

Griffiths returned to Scotland in 2014 after a spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Having failed to hit the mark in his first two outings, he wanted to find the back of the net at Tynecastle, knowing full well he, along with other former Hibs players Anthony Stokes and Scott Brown, were going to be on the receiving end of treatment from the home support.

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“If I had to pick somewhere to score it would have been there,” he said. “Rangers weren’t in the league at the time so I’m thinking ‘go to Tynecastle, you’re going to get absolute dog’s abuse. Me, Stokesy, Broony. Just try and silence them’.

“I didn’t have a great first half then second half Stokesy toepokes it right up in the air. Managed to take it past Danny Wilson, spin him again and fire it in.

“That was me, absolute ecstasy. I ended up doing half a lap pitch celebration. Celebrated in front of the Hearts fans, ran right along the width of the goal in front of the Celtic fans then up to the gaffer.

“Should have got fined for that celebration.”

The full interview with Leigh Griffiths is available on Open Goal’s YouTube channel where he talks through his career.

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