Ron Gordon's family commited to taking Hibs forward as colleagues reveal three things former owner believed were vital to club's long-term success

Ron Gordon’s family say they never even contemplated walking away from Hibs. Instead they claim that their bond with the club has only strengthened since the man who took control In July 2019 sadly passed away earlier this year.

"Never! We never even thought about it,” stated his wife Kit, who assumed joint ownership of the club along with her son Ian, after the Peru-born businessman lost his fight with cancer.

Both were at the club’s East Mains training centre to witness the start of the inaugural Ron Gordon 24-Hour Football Challenge, which will see the club’s fans, staff and former players take it in shifts to play continuously from 3pm on Saturday until 3pm this afternoon, overseen by current players who will manage the teams..

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“[Owning Hibs] all started out as Ron's dream and he made it happen. He built it up to what it is today and we're very proud of everything he's done and by no means are we stepping away.

Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell with Ian and Kit Gordon during the inaugural 24-Hour Football Charity match in honour of the late Ron Gordon, at the Hibernian Training Centre. Photo by Mark Scates / SNS GroupHibs chief executive Ben Kensell with Ian and Kit Gordon during the inaugural 24-Hour Football Charity match in honour of the late Ron Gordon, at the Hibernian Training Centre. Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group
Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell with Ian and Kit Gordon during the inaugural 24-Hour Football Charity match in honour of the late Ron Gordon, at the Hibernian Training Centre. Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group

"We want to continue. Ron had plans and we plan to keep moving forward."

The charity event, which will now be held every year in his honour, is just another reason why the bonds that the family had already established with the club and the community have taken on even greater meaning in the past few months.

“Yeah, I think quite quickly, just being in the city and immersing ourselves in the fanbase it became apparent that this was something much bigger than we originally signed up for,” said Ian, who as well as being a board member, works closely with Director of Football Brian McDermott, manager Lee Johnson and chief executive Ben Kensell on matters of recruitment.

"We've kinda caught onto everything Hibs is, what it means, and the city itself. The reaction after everything that's happened has just shown how much this means.

"Looking back on it, the reaction to [Ron’s] passing has been incredible, and so has the support we've got as a family."

“Absolutely. We were blown over by the support,” added Kit, who divides her time between the home they bought in the Scottish capital and the US, where the family also own vineyards which are overseen by her other son Colin, and where she has a long history of philanthropic work.

"We came back to Edinburgh a few days after Ron's funeral in Washington DC and couldn't believe everything that, not just Hibs, but the football community in Scotland did for us.

"It makes us feel very welcome for sure."

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The charity event was the brainchild of Kensell, who said that the grieving process for all who knew and loved Gordon is ongoing but he added that knowing how passionate he was about the improvement project at the club made it easier to push on.

“It’s great to see things like this come together,” stated Kit, as the club geared up to welcome hundreds of players through the gates at East Mains and play on throughout the night.

“This is a combination of all of Ron’s loves, his love for the game, his love for Hibs and his love for the community and Hibernian Community Foundation.”

With those involved paying for the privilege of donning the green and white and living out childhood dreams, all the funds raised will go to the community foundation, helping provide free meals to those in need.

“It’s a great chance for the fans and staff to come together,” added the former owner’s widow. “It’s amazing. Ron always had a passion for football but Hibs had a very special part in his heart and we as a family are so committed to continuing his legacy.”

An infectiously-enthusiastic and driven man, who never switched off from plotting how to improve the club and the Scottish game as a whole, the round the clock aspect of the challenge also seems fitting. Something acknowledged by those who knew him best.

“He was very passionate about Hibs, it was Hibs all the time,” said his wife. “Ask Ben - they spoke all the time, Ian also. He loved it, ups and downs, everything - he loved it.”

And, the chairperson of the Hibernian Community Foundation, Mags McPherson can vouch for the fact that it was more than the first team achievements that mattered.

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“Ron was awesome. He believed a successful football club had three elements - you were successful on the pitch, successful commercially and you had to be a force for good in the community. And if you weren’t doing all three he didn’t think you had a successful football team.”

Which is why, while the success of the first team is pivotal, with a transfer window to negotiate, a European tie on the horizon and a new season to prepare for, the charity aspect remains so important, with Kensell among those taking part in the marathon event.

“He was a massive reason why I came to the club and he had an infectious personality so we still miss him on a daily basis. I still miss those conversations and the energy that he brought but there is a renewed commitment now to see his plans through.”And, he knows that the family feels the same way.

“I have always known that. Even when Ron was with us he was committed tenfold to this football club and to growing it, and the strategic investments since that point, in player purchases, like Elie Youan, and in what we’re doing on the capital expenditure side around Easter Road and HTC, all demonstrate that. They’ve proved that they are very, very committed and very, very involved with the club. So, I don’t think anything has changed. We’re just sticking to the plan.

"When you get so close to someone and that person was so committed to what they wanted to deliver, it’s normal that you want to see that through because you know how much it would mean to them.”



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