– Saturday, 18 October 1986: SPL: Hibs 1-1 Aberdeen. Not that we knew it at the time, but this was the last time Alex Ferguson managed his Aberdeen team at Easter Road. It was also the last time he would competitively manage anyone at Easter Road (although he did bring his Man U side north for Gordon Rae’s testimonial on Monday, 3 October 1988; a night when Joe Tortolano cut Strachan in half and was sent off for that challenge after about 8 minutes). Given that the Dons took the lead roughly midway through the first half, Gordon Chisholm’s close range shot following a corner (I think) going down the slope after about 76 minutes rescued a welcome point against a team expected to beat all opposition every week; much in the way the current Celtic team are. Also, this was only the second point we had taken against them at Easter Road since the Willie Irvine game of Saturday, 15 October 1983. Indeed, it was only the third point in total we had amassed against them since that game (we had rained on their title parade in a 2-2 draw at Pittodrie on Saturday, 5 May 1984; in truth, but for some outrageous refereeing by Alan Ferguson, we would have won that day. Alan Ferguson was guilty of even more egregious refereeing in their favour in a League match at Easter Road on Saturday, 23 March 1985.
Our record against Aberdeen in the 1980s was as follows:
1979-80: (1980 part) 1-1 away (the only away point we took that season, i.e. we lost 17 out of 18 away League matches. We were actually winning until they equalised very late on); 0-5 home
1981-82: 1-1, 0-3 home; 0-1, 1-3 away
1982-83: 1-1 autumn 82 ER; 0-2 Pittodrie 1.1.83; 1-4 (Scottish Cup ER Jan 83); 0-0 ER May 83 (Strachan missed pen for them); 0-5 Pittodrie May 83
1983-84: 2-1 (ER, Sat, 15.10.83); 1-2 Pittodrie Dec 83 (Irvine); 0-2 (ER, Feb 84); 2-2 (Pittodrie, Sat 5.5.84; McGachie, Rice)
1984-85: 1-4 (Pittodrie, Jamieson, Sat, 1.9.84); 0-3 (ER, Tues, 6.11.84; Durie missed pen for us at 0-0); 0-2 (Pittodrie, Sat, 5.1.85); 0-5 (ER, Sat, 23.3.85)
1985-86: 0-3 (Pittodrie, Sat, 10.8.85; John Collins’s debut); 1-1 (ER, Sat, 12.10.85; Cowan); 0-3 (Skol cup final, Hampden, Sun, 27.10.85); 0-4 (Pittodrie, Sat, 14.12.85; Durie sent off at 0-1); 0-1 (ER, Sat 22.2.86); 0-3 (Scottish Cup semi, Dens PArk, Sat, 5.4.86)
1986-87: 0-4 (Pittodrie, Weds, 13.8.86); 1-1 (Chisholm, ER, Sat, 18.10.86); 0-1 (Pittodrie, Sat, 13.12.86); 1-1 (McCluskey, ER, Sat, 7.3.87)
1987-88: 0-2 (ER, Sat, 26.9.87); 1-1 (Pittodrie, Weds, 25.11.87, Kane); 0-0 (ER, Sat, 9.1.88); 2-0 (Kane, Tortolano, Pittodrie, Weds, 4.5.88 – SIR DAVID GRAY’S DATE OF BIRTH!)
1988-89: 1-2 (Kane, Hibs wore all-white, Skol Cup q-f, Weds, 31.8.88); 0-0 (Pittodrie, Sat, 3.9.88); 1-2 (Archibald after 30 seconds; Archie also missed a penalty at 1-0 early in the second half, Sat, 5.11.88); 0-2 (Pittodrie, Sat, 7.1.89); 1-2 (Houchen, ER, Sat, 8.4.89)
1989-90 (1989 part): 0-1 (Pittodrie, Sat, 12.8.89); 0-3 (ER, Weds, 25.10.89)
Not a good record, as you can see. Although it did begin to improve (from a very low starting base) in 1987. By which time Fergie was exercising his hairdryer motivational tactics on inveterate drinkers like Norman Whiteside. Cracking player big Normski, mind. that goal to win the FA Cup final against a very good Everton team (knackered from their CWC exploits against the cheats of Rapid Vienna in midweek) was a thing of beauty.
– Saturday, 18 October 1997: SPL: Aberdeen 2-0 Hibs. The purple-shirted Hibs lost the second of what would transpire to be a run of seven successive defeats. To this day I still cannot comprehend how Lex Gold did not relieve him of his responsibilities after that run. I really, really cannot.
– Saturday, 18 October 2003: SPL: Hibs 0-2 Livvie. There was a larger-than-usual-for-the-time crowd of roughly 8,900 for this game because, sadly, on Monday, 6 October 2003 the legendary Joe Baker collapsed and died at a charity golf day in, I believe, his native Lanarkshire. Joe, as we all know, was (and still is) a Hibs legend. There was a special programme and contemporary players from his two spells as a Hibby would be introduced to the crowd at half-time. This attracted a few waiverers who would not normally have parted with hard-earned cash to watch Bobby bloody Williamson’s Hibs live. I, and all my mates, had a season ticket, of course. So I was there. Sat in the East. Seat P73. Digressing slightly, but this was the first year that our group split in terms of location of ground for STs. Fun Bobby, Dazdog etc. decamped to the West Upper that season. Where they have remained. I used to go there for Cup ties. So, for example, I saw us knock Celtic out of that season’s League Cup (on Thursday, 18 December 2003) from that stand. 2-1 was the score. And we gave them a goal start! A repeat on Saturday would be just fine and dandy!
On to the match, Hibs were murder. Abominable. I was a season ticket-holder for all of BW’s tenure, and I can honestly say that it was a really depressing time to be a Hibby. And that season – his last in charge – was dire. There were only three highlights all season: the ten men Garry O derby win on Sunday, 17 August 2003; the aforementioned Celtic League Cup victory; and last, and certainly not least, the penalties League Cup semi win against the old hunz, when only 7,000 of us bothered our jacksies to go through to Glasgow and actually physically attend.
This match was very similar to an earlier two goal home loss that season. When we had hosted Motherwell on Saturday, 13 September 2003. And the legendary Johnny Cash had passed away the previous day. Autumn 2003 was a sad time for losing heroes.
One post-script is that Livvie would be us four times that season. As well as this match, they beat us 1-0 at their lego-pit on Saturday, 17 January 2004 (I was there; it was dire); 2-0 in the League Cup final on Sunday, 14 March 2004 (possibly the most depressed I’ve ever felt coming out of Hampden; and I was at both Derbies played there; as well as numerous other cup final humiliations); and 4-1 on the last day of the season.
One omen is that this was – prior to this season – the last time we played Livvie in the League Cup. We beat both Rangers and Celtic in that year’s tournament. Is that an omen?
– Saturday, 18 October 2014: 1st division: Livvie 0-4 Hibs. Was on Alba. Missed it as I was working in the boozer. Cannae mind who scored, either.