Hibs captain Paul Hanlon hits 500 games but reveals operation is needed to help him add to that tally

Maybe it was because he was making his 500th appearance but Paul Hanlon was the one the stadium announcer credited with Hibs equaliser, despite the fact it was Paul McGinn who had guided the 83rd strike past Joe Lewis.

Though harsh on McGinn, it was no more than the club captain deserved but the gesture/error was wasted on him.

“I think someone had sympathy for me for my 500th game,” he said after his side had wrapped up a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen.

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“I didn’t actually hear it at the time as I was jogging back to the halfway line, but the boys mentioned it at the end that my name had been announced.

Paul Hanlon made his 500th appearance for Hibs in the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Easter Road. Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group

“I don’t know if that means I can claim it!

“It’s great to reach the milestone. I knew it was approaching but I’ve had a few niggling knocks and missed a few games this season and thought I might not make it.

“To reach this milestone at Hibs is something I’m really proud of. It was a dream for me to play once for this club – to do it 500 times is great. Hopefully I’ve got a few more in me.”

They may have to wait until next season, though.

With Ryan Porteous back in the starting line-up and Rocky Bushiri sent on to deputise for the club captain late in the second half, the 32-year-old was given the opportunity to rest a persistent knee niggle, which will require an operation this summer.

But his efforts were recognised by caretaker manager David Gray.

“You look at Paul Hanlon playing at the moment, it shows you his strength of character and what he’s willing to do, putting his body on the line when he’s struggling and needs an operation. But he knows it’s important we stick together.

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“As far as I’m aware [the operation] is a tidy up and it’s not too bad.

“At any level it’s great to play 500 games but to do it at one club, he knows exactly what it takes to be successful at Hibs, through tough times and the good times and he’s an example for everyone at the club.”

“A draw was the least we deserved from the game,” said Hanlon. “But it was disappointing not to get three points in my 500th game.’”

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