John Doolan dedicates Hibs cup win to late father

ON WHAT was clearly an emotional day for everyone concerned with the club, few felt the need to shed tears quite like Hibs first team coach John Doolan.

John Doolan, second right, celebrates the cup win with Andy 'Taff' Holden, Alan Stubbs and goalkeeping coach Alan Combe. Picture: SNS Group

The Liverpudlian lost his father after a long battle with cancer just 24 hours before Hibs lost their second leg Premiership play-off encounter with Falkirk ten days ago.

Doolan’s best friend and Hibs manager Alan Stubbs delivered the eulogy at John senior’s funeral a week ago, at the start of such a historic week for the club.

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“All the emotions I’ve been going through in terms of what happened but also in trying to focus on this, it’s scary,” said Doolan.

“But once I came into work, everyone – the manager, the players and the staff – have given me unbelievable support.

“It’s tough for me to talk about it now but he’ll have been looking down on that.

“That was for my old man.”

But Doolan was not so distracted after the final whistle on Saturday to fail to spot Rangers defender Rob Kiernan in a spot of bother as Hibs fans swarmed on to the pitch to celebrate a first Scottish Cup win since 1902.

Kiernan was among a number of Ibrox players and staff allegedly assaulted by supporters, with assistant manager Davie Weir also threatened.

“I was trying to hold Rob Kiernan back – I’ve known Rob since his Wigan Athletic days,” said Doolan.

“I coached him when I was part of the staff under Uwe Rosler and I never want to see anything like that so I was trying to get all the players off the pitch as quickly as possible in case things turned from being jubilant to ugly scenes.

“But if that’s what happened and our fans have done that to the Rangers players then I apologise on the club’s behalf. I would definitely want the fans concerned to be banned.

“Davie and Rob are both great lads and that shouldn’t be happening at a football match, it’s just stupid.”