My birthday today. 46! Funnily enough, I was watching the T2 Trainspotting DVD with Cathie and Ian (my parents) last Saturday night and there’s as scene in it when Renton has a wee mini-meltdown and confesses to the less-than-sympathetic-died- blonde-cokehead-sociopath- Sick-Boy that, ‘I’M FORTY-SIX AND I’M F*****!’ That really resonated with me! For various reasons. However, my life’s ambition was realised on the 21st of May 2016, but, today, wouldn’t it be fantastic if the Hibs could win 3-2 in Glas Vegas for the third successive time at three successively different stadia!
Anyway, back to the matter in hand:
– Tuesday, 30 September 1975: UEFA Cup, 1st round, 2nd leg: Liverpool 3-1 Hibs. With Hibs (having missed a penalty (John Brownlie’s weak effort saved by Ray Clemence)) only one up through a Joe Harper goal on a night of biblical monsoon conditions such that the attendance was only 19,000 (for purposes of comparison, nearly 40,000 attended ER for the Leeds fixture in the same tourney only two years earlier), this was always going to be a big ask. And that big ask was made even bigger by ET’s erroneous decision to drop King Paddy Stanton (the latter’s aerial prowess might have negated half-Scottish Toshack’s). However, following the half-Scot from Canton’s opener, Alex Edwards equalised after the half hour mark. At half-time it was still 1-1. Liverpool needed two to go through. Unfortunately, they – through Toshack (who scored a hat-trick on the night) – got them. But, while the role of ‘gallant losers’ (copyright Neil Lennon) is not something to be proud of (after all, you’ve still lost), let’s put Hibs’ two performances into context. Liverpool won the tournament. Hibs came closest of all those other teams to knocking them out. Liverpool won the title that season (from QPR on the last day). Liverpool won the European Cup the following year. Then three more times in the next seven years. It really was a brave effort by the Hibs. The same season hertz (who had had a fortuitous series of Scottish Cup draws) required a replay – and an og from Walter ‘Fannybaws’ Smith – to knock part-time Dumbarton out of the Scottish Cup semi.
An interesting post-script is the fact that the following night the epic ‘Thrilla in Manilla’ fifteen rounder between the boxing greats Joe Frazier and Mohammed Ali took place. Now, that’s when heavyweight boxing was good!
– Saturday, 30 September 1978: SPL: Hibs 1-1 Morton. Hibs, having ousted Norrkoping from Europe midweek, needed a last minute equaliser by Ally MacLeod to salvage a point and maintain their unbeaten run.
– Saturday, 30 September 1989: SPL: Hibs 2-2 Dunfermline. Hibs, having beaten Videoton 3-0 away (for a 4-0 aggregate success) in Hungery midweek, produced a rather lethargic and tired performance against Jim Leishman’s buoyant Pars (who had already knocked us out of the Skol Cup at ER that season). We (Dad, Grant and I) drove up from South Wales for this as it was my 18th birthday and I wanted to see the Hibs (supporting the Hibs from so far away is frustrating; you cannae just go to the game, or even drive there and back in the day (like so many south Wales-based Man U fans I know do); it’s a long weekend usually). So we got up and 5 and off we went! Robertson opened the scoring for Dunfermline going up the slope, before Houchy equalised going down it. Into the second half and Judas Goram bizarrely headed the ball out of the box, which started a move which ended with The Messiah (JC) putting us 2-1 up! (John Collins – the finest Scottish-born player I have ever seen for the Hibs; better than Scott Brown; better than John McGinn; better than Leigh Griffiths, in my opinion – scoring for us on my 18th bday is a very happy Hibby memory for me!) However, back came the Pars and Robertson got his second of the day to ensure a share of the spoils. Which, to be fair, was probably about right. hertz lost 1-0 at the lodge.
After the match I had my first legal pint in the Iona Bar!
P.S. hertz hosted the Pars the following midweek. And lost 2-1!
– Saturday, 30 September 2000: SPL: St Johnstone 0-3 Hibs. This season (2000/01) is still my favourite Hibs season. We actually challenged for the title until the break. We had only three games until the break. We were unbeaten in derbies for the first time since 1976-77. We f****** hertz 6-2 on Sunday, 22 October. The week before we had beaten the dead hunz 1-0. And the fixture before that game was this. Goals by Russell Latapy, David Zitelli and the single most talented individual I have ever seen at ER: Franck Sauzee, of course, gave us a comfortable win. I still rate that Judas Iscarrot Hibs team as the best I have ever seen in my time as a supporter. Better than Mowbray’s. better than Collins’s. better than Stubbs’s. And better than Lennon’s. Though I think our present one – if he sorts the defence out – is a decent side.
– Sunday, 30 September 2001: SPL: Livvie 1-0 Hibs. Having bravely been defeated over the two legs by AEK Athens midweek, Hibs took a huge support (I estimate that there were 8,000 Hibbies in the official attendance of 10,016) for the short trip to Livvie’s LEGOLAND arena. It wasn’t a great game, but I thought we were worth a draw.
– Saturday, 30 September 2006: SPL: St Mirren 1-0 Hibs. It what it would transpire was Tony Mowbray’s last match as Hibs manager, a goal by David Van Zanten (of all people) was enough to see the points stay at Love Street. I was at Cardiff City-Wolves with The Goose and assorted reprobates. City won 4 nowt!
Anyway, boys and girls, we all ken that Celtic’s long unbeaten run will be ended today. As I mentioned above, a 3-2 bet is a good one. I ken it. You ken it. EVEN PATSY KENSIT!