Tommy Preston, Hibs legend, dies aged 82

TOMMY Preston, the inside forward who made over 300 appearances for Hibernian in all competitions has died at the age of 82.

Tommy Preston pictured in July 2013. Picture: Jane Barlow
Tommy Preston pictured in July 2013. Picture: Jane Barlow

Preston, who made his debut in a 3-0 home defeat to Celtic on April 17th 1954, scored 50 goals for Hibs in 313 matches.

Among his team-mates in that match were Famous Five members Bobby Johnstone, Willie Ormond and Eddie Turnbull, and Preston had played alongside Andy Murray’s grandfather Roy Erskine in the Easter Road side’s reserve team.

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His first goal came against East Fife, in a 3-1 League Cup defeat - and he scored five goals in the next three matches in wins over Aberdeen and Queen of the South, and another defeat to East Fife.

In 1955, he was part of the history-making side that met Rot Weiss Essen as Hibernian became the first British club to play in the European Cup.

Preston scored four in an 11-1 win over Airdrie in the 1959/60 season, in which Hibs racked up 106 goals but still only finished seventh.

After a glittering Hibs career, including goals against Barcelona at Easter Road and Camp Nou in the InterCities Fairs Cup and against Valencia at Easter Road, Preston joined St Mirren for 12 months before hanging up his boots in 1965.

Tommy Preston scores for Hibs against Valencia at Easter Road in 1963. Picture: TSPL

A popular figure at Easter Road, he continued to attend matches

A spokesman for Hibs said: “Hibs are saddened to learn that all time great Tommy Preston has passed away. He was 82. His memory marches on.”

Preston said in an interview with The Scotsman in 2013: “My first pal at the Hibs was Roy Erskine – Andy Murray’s grandfather.

“We were young men there together and every Tuesday after training we’d go for fish suppers at Dom’s in Easter Road and we’d be laughing and joking and not quite believing our luck that we’d managed to get onto the books of the club that had produced Famous Five.

“I wasn’t overawed; on the field I was always quite calm. But they were fantastic footballers. It was so easy alongside them; they played the game for you.”