THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

On the first day of January 1973, eleven men wrote
a very special chapter in the history of Hibernian
Football Club. They were the famous Turnbull’s
Tornadoes and they humbled arch-rivals Hearts
in an epic 7-0 victory at Tynecastle stadium in
Edinburgh. Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary
of that historic match, Ted Brack tells the
extraordinary story of The Game on New Year’s Day.
No Hibs win over their local rivals has come close
to the epic 7-0 triumph which was recorded by the
great Turnbull’s Tornadoes team on the opening
day of 1973. It was a team so full of talent that
the names still resonate to this day: Herriot,
Brownlie, Schaedler, Stanton, Black, Blackley,
Edwards, O’Rourke, Gordon, Cropley and Duncan
– all managed, of course, by the imperious Eddie
Turnbull. And in their greatest ever game, their
silky skills enabled them to achieve a record victory
against an able Hearts side that was left reeling by
the scale of its defeat.

Ted Brack is a retired headteacher and a lifelong
Hibs supporter. He is the author of the bestselling
Hibs books There is a Bonny Fitba Team and
There’s Only One Sauzée and co-author of Pat
Stanton’s Hibernian Dream Team and The Life
and Times of Last Minute Reilly.

‘Ted Brack has done a superb job in bringing this historic occasion
to life. His book is a must read for every Hibs fan.’

With first-hand accounts of the day from Tornadoes
like ice cool goalkeeper Jim Herriot, world-class
full back John Brownlie, rock-solid centre half Jim
Black, classy and composed sweeper John Blackley,
midfield maestros Alex Edwards and Alex Cropley,
goal scorer supreme Jimmy O’Rourke and the
peerless captain Pat Stanton, this is the definitive
account of a match which still boasts the record
competitive winning margin between Edinburgh’s
Big Two – Hearts supporters please note. And with
the memories of fans who were there and some
who wish they had been, The Game on New Year’s
Day is a must read for Hibees everywhere.

Pat Stanton Hibernian FC and Scotland

BLACK & WHITE PUBLISHING
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THE GAME ON

NEW YEAR’S DAY

Also by Ted Brack
There is a Bonny Fitba Team: Fifty Years on the Hibee Highway
Pat Stanton’s Hibernian Dream Team
(Pat Stanton with Ted Brack)
The Life and Times of Last Minute Reilly
(Lawrie Reilly with Ted Brack)
There’s Only One Sauze´e

THE GAME ON

NEW YEAR’S DAY
TED BRACK

BLACK & WHITE PUBLISHING

First published 2012
by Black & White Publishing Ltd
29 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh EH6 6JL
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

12 13 14 15

ISBN: 978 1 84502 481 9
Copyright # Ted Brack 2012
The right of Ted Brack to be identified as the author
of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without
permission in writing from the publisher.
The publisher has made every reasonable effort
to contact copyright holders of images in the picture section.
Any errors are inadvertent and anyone who, for any reason,
has not been contacted is invited to write to the publisher
so that a full acknowledgment can be made
in subsequent editions of this work.
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Typeset by Iolaire Typesetting, Newtonmore
Printed and bound by Scandbook, Sweden

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

vii

FOREWORD BY JIMMY O’ROURKE

xi

INTRODUCTION: DOWN ALL THE DERBIES

xv

PROLOGUE: HEARTBREAK AT HAMPDEN PART 1

1

PART ONE
APPROACHING A DATE WITH DESTINY
CHAPTER 1 — A PROMISE KEPT

21

CHAPTER 2 — LEAGUE CUP GLORY

28

CHAPTER 3 — ENDING THE YEAR IN STYLE

45

PART TWO
TURNBULL’S TORNADOES TRAVEL TO TYNECASTLE
CHAPTER 4 — THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE

53

CHAPTER 5 — THE MEN IN THE MIDDLE

63

CHAPTER 6 — GOAL MACHINES IN GREEN

70

CHAPTER 7 — THE BACKROOM BOYS

77

PART THREE
THE GREATEST GAME IN HISTORY
CHAPTER 8 — THE FIRST HALF – FANTASY BECOMES FACT

85

CHAPTER 9 — INSIDE THE DRESSING ROOM

93

CHAPTER 10 — SECOND HALF – SEVENTH HEAVEN IS ATTAINED

95

PART FOUR
AN ANTI-CLIMACTIC AFTERMATH
CHAPTER 11 — THE COSTLIEST OF VICTORIES

107

CHAPTER 12 — SECOND BEST IN SPLIT

113

CHAPTER 13 — THE TEAM IT IS A-CHANGING

121

CHAPTER 14 — TERMINATING TURNBULL’S TORNADOES

133

PART FIVE
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CLASS OF ’73?
CHAPTER 15 — THE BOYS AT THE BACK

145

CHAPTER 16 — THE MIDFIELD MAESTROS

165

CHAPTER 17 — THE FRONT THREE

180

CHAPTER 18 — THE MANAGER AND HIS MEN

191

PART SIX
FOREVER WE’LL BE SINGING
INTRODUCTION: THE FANS LOOK BACK

201

CHAPTER 19 — WE WERE THERE

203

CHAPTER 20 — WE COULDN’T BE THERE

234

EPILOGUE: HEARTBREAK AT HAMPDEN PART 2

248

PART SEVEN
STATISTICAL APPENDIX COMPILED BY BOBBY SINNET

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Standing at Tynecastle watching Hibs beat Hearts 7-0 on their own
turf on the first day of January in 1973 was one of the happiest and
best experiences of my life. I am a nervous spectator and I never take
anything for granted in a game no matter how many goals Hibs are
ahead and how little time is left to play. That’s what watching the
Hibees does for you.
When Alan Gordon headed Hibs seventh goal in the 75th minute
of the most unforgettable of all derbies for all of a Hibernian
persuasion, even I relaxed a bit and accepted that this was one
match which the Hibees were not going to throw away.
What a game and what a performance by a great Hibs team of
many talents, Eddie Turnbull’s fabulous Tornadoes. It wasn’t just
that we had beaten Hearts 7-0. It was the manner in which victory
had been achieved. A decent Hearts team had been swept aside by
an all-round display of classic soccer – what the Turnbull’s Tornadoes song calls ‘The best brand of football the world’s ever seen’.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to watch this epic encounter
witnessed quantity of goals and quality of play.
The players who wore the green and white of Hibernian that day
were my heroes then and they are still heroes to me now. I wanted
this book, commemorating and celebrating ‘The Game on New
Year’s Day’, to contain the voice of the players who represented
Hibs on that magical Monday afternoon.
vii

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

Despite a lot of effort to do so, I wasn’t able to obtain contact
details for Arthur Duncan who now lives in New Zealand. Eddie
Turnbull, Wilson Humphries, Alan Gordon and Erich Schaedler are
sadly no longer with us. However, Jim Herriot, John Brownlie, Jim
Black, John Blackley, Alex Edwards, Pat Stanton, Alex Cropley,
Jimmy O’Rourke and John Fraser could not have been more pleasant or helpful.
They welcomed me into their homes and regaled me with
memories, stories and opinion, all of which give this record of a
historic Hibee occasion its insight and authenticity. The players
were warm, friendly and totally honest. Their first-hand account of a
momentous match, the lead-up to it and the events which followed
it fascinated me and I hope that they will be of equal interest to
everyone who reads this book. These were the men who achieved a
record-breaking feat and to share their recollections of it was an
absolute privilege. I thank the Tornadoes for beating Hearts 7-0 and
I thank them too for their contributions to this book. They have
greatly enhanced it.
I would especially like to thank Jimmy O’Rourke for his fine
foreword. The forewords to my previous Hibs books and collaborations have been written by Pat Stanton, Sir Alex Ferguson, Hugh
McIlvanney and Alex McLeish. In continuing that distinguished
line, I could not have chosen anyone better than Jimmy. He was a
superb player and is as fervent a Hibee now as he was when he wore
the green and white with such distinction. Jimmy, I am very grateful
to you for your excellent contribution.
I also wish to record my appreciation of my fellow supporters
who have provided me with their memories and anecdotes of ‘The
Greatest Game in History’. Their stories provide the perfect tailpiece
to the book.
The book also contains a comprehensive statistical section which
details all the relevant information about the Hibs-Hearts derby
fixture since its inception in 1875. For that part of the book, I am
indebted to that superb statistician and fine Hibee, Bobby Sinnet.
Bobby, many thanks.
viii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

As always, the team at Black & White Publishing led by Campbell
Brown were highly supportive and hugely helpful. My sincere
thanks go to Campbell, Alison McBride, John Richardson, Janne
Moller and Paul Eckersley.
My family share my love of Hibs and, like me, have suffered for
the cause for many years. As our beloved team’s successes become
more fleeting, they also become more precious. That is why we
should fully celebrate our all-time great moments and beating
Hearts 7-0 at Tynecastle certainly qualifies to be included in that
pantheon of pleasure and pride. While we fervently hope for a
return to the days when top players wear the green and white shirts
of Hibernian and play with class, flair and distinction (and let’s hope
that that state of affairs comes along sooner rather than later), we
can continue to enjoy the triumphs of the past. In remembering and
recording the 7-0 game, I have had my usual tremendous support
from my wife Margaret and children Patrick, Lisa, Dominic and
Kevin. I am very grateful to them.
Finally, I wish to thank everyone who buys this book for spending
their hard-earned money on the fruits of my labour. This is my fifth
book about the Hibees and I never fail to be touched by the amount
of people who attend the book launches, come along to our signing
sessions in book stores and purchase, read and enjoy my books. My
thanks to you all. Your support is very much appreciated.
I hope that this books stirs up many happy Hibernian memories.
Writing it certainly did exactly that for me.
Ted Brack

ix

FOREWOR D
BY JIMMY O’ROURKE

There are times in our lives when all our dreams come true. This
happened for me on New Year’s Day 1973. The Hibs team I was
proud to be a part of was in a rich vein of form. We had had a great
December and this had included winning the League Cup by beating
Celtic at Hampden. That was special, not least because I scored one of
our goals and my great friend Pat Stanton scored the other.
We had achieved this with a group of young men from Falkirk,
Lanarkshire, Fife, Peebles and, of course, Edinburgh. This was a
tribute to our team of home grown talent. Unlike the modern game,
we had no need for expensive foreign imports.
Everyone who knows anything about Edinburgh football is
aware of what happened on January 1st 1973. We beat Hearts
7-0 at Tynecastle. It was a simply sensational result considering
that Hearts had a decent team and the match was played on away
territory. The rivalry between the two sets of supporters really shone
through that day so Hibs winning as convincingly as we did meant
a great deal to our fans.
It was a pleasure for me to have been involved in such a historic
occasion and to have been on the same park as so many talented
players. We weren’t just a talented football team, we were fitter
than anyone in the league thanks to our outstanding trainer Tom
McNiven.
xi

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

We had a great manager in Eddie Turnbull who worked us for
hours on end on the training ground. We forwards were coached in
launching what Eddie called ‘waves of attacks’. Jim Herriot and the
back four had to learn to deal with attacking players coming at them
from all angles. All of us reaped the benefit of this hard endeavour
when we took to the field on a Saturday. Doing the right things
became second nature to us.
The manager’s excellent backroom staff of Wilson Humphries,
John Fraser and Stan Vincent all played their part and I couldn’t
have asked for better teammates.
Jim Herriot in goal was a quiet big guy who made some inspiring
saves at vital times. John Brownlie had it all. He was the best right
back I have ever seen. His full back partner, Erich Schaedler, was the
fittest player I ever encountered in my years in the game. He could
play as well.
Our centre half Jim Black was a big, honest man who did his
defensive job admirably. He linked really well with John Blackley
who I always thought of as ‘the quiet assassin’. John was hard and
skilful in equal measure and a real, top class centre back.
In midfield we had three special players. Alex Edwards was the
first footballing ‘sat-nav’. He could pinpoint his passes to any
player in any area of the pitch. Alex could have landed the ball on
a button from fifty yards away. Alex Cropley, on the other side of
the park, had a magical left foot and was a great tackler. He was a
pretty good passer as well and he weighed in with his fair share of
goals.
Then we had our captain, Pat Stanton. What can I say? Pat led us
by example and it was the best example you could possibly get. He
was a wonderful football player and we did our best to follow in his
footsteps.
Up front, we had the man we called ‘The Flyer’, Arthur Duncan,
on the left wing. Everyone knows that Arthur had searing pace but
don’t forget that he was brave too and scored goals aplenty. Somebody who scored even more goals than Arthur was my strike
partner Alan Gordon. I couldn’t have had a better partner than
xii

FOREWORD

Alan. His play was intelligent and full of skill. He and I had a great
understanding.
I loved playing for the team I love. I contributed my fair share of
goals as well as quite a few assists and I was never afraid to work for
the cause. I trained hard and I played hard. That is the way Eddie
Turnbull coached us and that is why he was able to mould a truly
great team.
I was privileged to be one of Turnbull’s Tornadoes and part of the
Hibs team which achieved a record breaking seven goal victory over
Hearts. Ted’s book has brought back many happy memories for
me and my teammates. I wish The Game on New Year’s Day every
success.
Jimmy O’Rourke

xiii

Introduction

DOWN ALL THE DERBIES

Derby matches are intense affairs. While the Old Firm match always
seems to be given pride of place in the derby roll call, supporters of
other clubs would argue that their confrontations with their closest
local rivals mean every bit as much.
Try telling a Mancunian or a Scouser that Rangers versus Celtic is
more important than United against City or Liverpool taking on
Everton. Don’t even think about suggesting to fans of Hibs and
Hearts that the great Glasgow match-up comes close to the Edinburgh derby for thrills and spills. To the capital’s cognoscenti the
battle between green and maroon is paramount.
Hibs and Hearts players and especially supporters want to win
the match against their local rivals more than any other. For Hibees
and Jambos, a win in the derby allows them to walk tall at school, at
work, in the local or just along the street. Victory gives them licence
to lord it over their friends and relations of the opposite persuasion.
Being in the ascendancy is wonderful but being on the receiving end
is terrible.
The Hibernian v Heart of Midlothian match is a venerable institution. The fixture dates back well over a century. The two teams met for
the first time at the Meadows on Christmas Day 1875. Sadly, Hearts
won 1-0. In doing so, they set down a marker for the decades ahead.
In season 1886-87, Hibs had one of their best ever teams. They
won the Scottish Cup for the first time and on their way to the final
xv

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

saw off the challenge of Hearts by no less than 5 goals to 1. Derby
domination didn’t end there though in that particular campaign. In
matches in other competitions, the men in maroon were taken care
off 3-0, 5-2 and 7-1 respectively. In the 7-1 game, the great James
McGhee scored five times in the first twenty-five minutes. 7-1 is an
impressive score but, as everyone reading this book knows, it was to
be bettered at a later date.
Hibs played their first New Year match in 1883. It wasn’t against
Hearts though. St Johnstone provided the opposition and probably
wished that they hadn’t bothered as they were thrashed to the tune
of 13-0.
The first New Year derby took place on January 1st 1895 with
Hearts winning 6-1. The match was of the friendly variety though so
it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Mind you, I don’t think there is
such a thing as a friendly match involving the two teams from
opposite ends of Edinburgh.
An encounter which was undoubtedly official was played at
Logie Green in 1896. 17,340 supporters turned up to watch an all
Edinburgh Scottish Cup Final. Hearts came out on top 3-1.
The first half of the twentieth century saw Hibs enjoy mixed
fortunes on the derby front. In 1901, they met Hearts in a Scottish
Cup semi-final for the first time and lost 2-1 after a replay. On New
Year’s Day 1934, Hibs lost 4-1 at home to Hearts. That was quite
definitely bad news. On the positive side, though, it was Hearts first
win at Easter Road since 1919 and their first victory in a New Year
derby for 19 years.
By the 1940s, Hibs were building a great team. In 1941, Gordon
Smith who had been snatched by Willie McCartney from under
Hearts’ noses, scored a hat trick on his debut in a 5-3 win at
Tynecastle. Another great name, Matt Busby, the legendary manager of Manchester United, was on the scoresheet in a 2-2 derby
draw in 1942.
When the 1950s dawned, Hibs were at the summit of British
football. They had won the league championship and were on the
brink of winning it twice more. When Hearts came to Easter Road
xvi

DOWN ALL THE DERBIES

on January 2nd 1950, interest in the game was so high that 65,860
spectators crammed into the ground. Gordon Smith gave Hibs the
lead but Hearts were strong at that time too and the maroons fought
back to silence the huge crowd by winning 2-1. The attendance at
that match remains a record turnout for any football match in
Scotland played outwith Glasgow.
While Hibs had no problem overcoming Rangers or Celtic during
their early fifties halcyon days, they almost always encountered
difficulties when Hearts provided the opposition. The maroons
seemed to reserve their best, most committed performances for
matches against their city rivals and, in a trend which has continued
to the present day, they never seemed to be short of luck in derby
fixtures.
Hibs did get the better of things in September 1952 when Lawrie
Reilly notched a hat trick in a 3-1 home victory. In the 58 years since
Lawrie’s feat, only three other Hibs players have managed to score
three or more goals in a game against Hearts. One of those was Joe
Baker who went one better than his illustrious predecessor in the
number 9 jersey by scoring four goals in a 4-3 Scottish Cup victory at
Tynecastle in 1958. Hearts were running away with the league
championship that season and strongly fancied themselves to
achieve a league and cup double. The 17-year-old Master Baker
and his Hibernian teammates had other ideas.
Another hat trickster was Pat Quinn. The little midfield general
had his moment of glory in Gorgie in 1967 as Hibs swept to a
convincing 4-1 win. Thirty-three years would pass before anyone
else in a green and white shirt was able to notch another derby day
treble.
In 1983, a young forward who had come close to signing for Hibs,
made his derby day debut for Hearts. His name was John Robertson
and he marked his first appearance in the local shootout with two
goals in a winning cause. The little striker was to inflict untold
misery on Hibs in the decade and a half ahead.
In 1985, Hibs under John Blackley were fighting to avoid relegation. They needed something from the derby tussle at Tynecastle but
xvii

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

found themselves 2-0 down with only a few minutes of the match
remaining. Step forward left winger Joe McBride, the son of an
outstanding striker, the recently deceased and greatly lamented Joe
McBride senior. Joe senior knew what it meant to find the net in a
derby game and now his son conjured up two late goals to secure a
draw, a point and ultimately, Premier League survival.
As the eighties drew to a close, Hearts embarked on an unbeaten
run which became the despair of all Hibs supporters. For 22
successive matches, the Hibees failed to defeat their greatest rivals.
There were nine draws and a fair bit of misfortune. No game
exemplifies this lack of luck more than the Scottish Cup tie at Easter
Road in February 1994. The game entered added-on time locked at
1-1. Hibs had enjoyed the better of things and were pushing for a
winning goal.
Hearts counter attacked though and Wayne Foster found himself
one on one with Jim Leighton. Leighton came out to narrow the
angle and like the great goalkeeper he was made himself big.
However, he forgot to close his legs, and probably more by accident
than design, Foster fired the ball between them and into the Hibs
net.
Thankfully Hibs didn’t have to wait too much longer to end
Hearts undefeated sequence. Six months later, Gordon Hunter
scored an iconic goal at Tynecastle and the maroons’ stranglehold
was broken. Hibs best unbeaten run, incidentally, is 12 matches
during the period 1974 to 1978. Hibs won seven of these games and
drew the other five. From January 1969 to January 1973, Hibs played
Hearts nine times and didn’t lose a goal. Hearts greatest number of
consecutive wins in competitive derby fixtures is seven. Sadly, the
most successive wins that Hibs can boast is only three.
In 1998, Hearts were in contention for the League Championship
while Hibs were looking down the barrel at the prospect of relegation to the First Division. Although the last derby match of the
season took place in mid-April, it was played in freezing weather
punctuated by flurries of snow. Two outstanding goals from Barry
Lavety and Kevin Harper secured a 2-1 home win. John Robertson
xviii

DOWN ALL THE DERBIES

was on target for Hearts in a derby match for the last time. Hibs
victory went a long way towards scuppering Hearts title hopes but
it wasn’t enough to keep them in the top league.
The last derby fixture of the twentieth century was enacted at
Tynecastle on Sunday December 19th 1999. Hearts entered the
’Millennium Derby’ as hot favourites and exited it as 3-0 losers.
The early noughties saw some high scoring victories. Hearts managed four goals a few times and even notched five on one occasion.
Hibs went one better in October 2000, though, when they won 6-2
and Mixu Paatelainen emulated Reilly, Baker and Quinn in becoming a post-war derby hat trick scorer.
One particularly sad derby day for all Hibees was a 4-0 Scottish
Cup semi-final defeat in 2006. Hibs went into the game with a long
injury list and an unreliable goalkeeper. They paid dearly for both.
Hibs haven’t in fact beaten Hearts in the Scottish Cup since 1979
when Gordon Rae and George Stewart scored to gain a 2-1 victory.
Hibs most recent victory over Hearts came in May 2009 when
Derek Riordan’s reward for netting a penalty winner was to be
attacked by a disgruntled Hearts supporter. Hearts are once again
building an unbeaten derby run. When this book went to the
printers, they had gone eleven games without defeat. Indeed of
the 48 derbies played in the current century, 24 have resulted in
Hearts triumphs while Hibs have only managed to win 9 times.
Since the introduction of the Premier League neither Hibs nor
Hearts has managed to win all four League derbies in any one
season. Hearts did though win all three league games played in
season 2011-12. Over the course of the fixtures though, it has to be
admitted with reluctance and regret that Hearts have had much the
better of it. In league matches, Hibs have won only 28% of their
home derbies and 22% of those played away from home. Of the
316 competitive derbies which have been contested, Hearts have
triumphed 139 times. Hibs have only won 88 times. It is hard to
understand how any one team could have been so lucky so often.
Hibs have, though, won more New Year derbies than Hearts. The
greens have won 31 to the maroons 29.
xix

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

Thirty-six players have represented both Hibs and Hearts. The
most famous of the men to play for both sides are Gordon Smith,
Willie Hamilton and Alan Gordon. The most recent is Danny
Galbraith who never played a first team game for Hearts and
one of the most illustrious is Bobby Atherton, Hibs captain when
they last won the cup in 1902.
The Hibs player who has played in the most derby matches in the
league is Gordon Hunter who played in 36 capital contests. Pat
McGinlay played only two games less. Another Pat, the great
Stanton, played most derbies among the Turnbull’s Tornadoes
team. He managed 26 appearances against the men in maroon.
In all competitive derbies, Gordon Smith has made the most
appearances. He played against Hearts on 38 occasions and also
scored the highest total of goals in all competitive fixtures with his
tally of 15.
Hibs highest scorer in league matches against Hearts is Lawrie
Reilly with 10 goals. Next comes Derek Riordan, Eddie Turnbull and
Arthur Duncan with 7 each. These statistics pale into insignificance
when compared with John Robertson’s 27 derby goals for Hearts.
Even the most ardent Hibs fan would have to admit that Hearts
have done better than Hibs in derby matches in the 137 years over
which the fixture has been played. The last derby played before this
book went to print was one of the most high profile fixtures of all.
On 19 May 2012, Hibs and Hearts met at Hampden in the first allEdinburgh Scottish Cup Final since 1896. Hibs went into that final
with one of their least distinguished teams. In the match itself,
Hearts Ian Black should have been sent off but wasn’t, Hibs had a
player correctly sent off and the maroons were given a penalty at a
crucial time in the game for an offence which clearly took place
outside the penalty area. In the end Hearts deservedly won 5-1
which is a crushingly convincing margin for a historic cup final
between local rivals. That result hurt Hibs fans very badly. As I
write these words, I am still suffering from the disappointment of
that defeat. With that victory, Hearts and their supporters earned
bragging rights which can never be taken away.
xx

DOWN ALL THE DERBIES

There is one boast, though, that Hibees can make which Jambos
cannot refute. Hibs hold the record-winning margin in a competitive
derby. That margin is SEVEN goals. As no-one needs reminding,
that record was established on January 1st 1973 when Hibs humiliated their fiercest rivals on their own turf by the score of 7-0.
The match in question has been immortalised in song and newsprint. This book, which is published as the 40th anniversary of Hibs
greatest ever triumph draws ever closer, sets out to record this
happiest and most historic of Hibernian occasions through the eyes
of the players who wore the green and white jerseys on the great day
and the supporters who watched the game unfold before their
euphoric but scarcely believing eyes. Some of those who are too
young to have been at Tynecastle on the day itself, have heard the
tales of it down through the years. They have also been given the
opportunity to have their say.
In truth, Hibs record against Hearts is a sorry one. The 2012
Scottish Cup final capitulation has added significantly to the catalogue of derby disappointments which supporters of Hibernian
Football Club continue to endure. That is why major victories,
few and far between as they are, need to be treasured.
The 6-2 win in October 2000 may already be 12 years distant but
its memory is no less sweet. It is now almost four decades since Hibs
greatest derby triumph of all – that unforgettable game on New
Year’s Day 1973. This is the story of Hearts 0 Hibernian 7 and it truly
is a story to savour.

xxi

Prologue

HEARTBREAK A T H A M P D E N P A R T 1

As season 2010-2011 meandered towards an end which couldn’t
come quickly enough for most Hibs supporters, the team under the
less than inspired management of Colin Calderwood was making
heavy weather of its closing bottom six fixtures. A home game
against St Johnstone had just been lost in depressingly, disappointing fashion and fans making their way from the game were focused
on lamenting the shortcomings of the current side.
Word began to spread through the crowd that it had just been
announced on the radio that Eddie Turnbull had died. This sad
news put the team’s current malaise into sharp perspective and
directed the minds of older supporter back to better times.
A number of days later, I stood with my wife and granddaughter
on the concourse to the East Stand at Easter Road and bowed my
head in respect and remembrance as Turnbull’s funeral cortege
drove past. There was a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. In
my mind were a host of memories of a great and combative player I
had watched in the latter days of his career and a visionary manager
who had lead Hibs to great heights in the early nineteen seventies
before his team’s fortunes had waned.
I may not have agreed with every decision that Eddie Turnbull
took as his managerial reign at Easter Road developed but I most
certainly recognised his achievements and realised just how great
the football played by his original team had been. My thoughts went
1

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

back to his appointment as Hibs manager in the summer of 1971 and
the huge excitement engendered among the Hibs support by that
appointment.
Turnbull’s predecessor, Dave Ewing had not been a great success.
He had failed to get the most out of a talented squad of players and
it was no great surprise when he returned to England after a few
short months in the managerial hot seat. Eddie Turnbull had built a
fine side at Aberdeen and he was the man every Hibs follower
wanted to take charge at Easter Road. Chairman Tom Hart moved
heaven and earth to get his man and eventually he did. The news
that the midfield dynamo whose all-round excellence had provided
the platform for the Famous Five to weave its magic was coming
home was met with unbridled joy among the Hibs support.
John Fraser, who was on Hibs coaching staff at the time, knew
Eddie Turnbull well. Fraser, a fine servant to Hibs as a right winger,
centre forward and full back and who had also captained the team
to victory over Real Madrid and to three wins over Rangers in one
season, had made his debut in 1956 playing alongside all of the
Famous Five except Bobby Johnstone who had left for Manchester
City by then. He recalls, ‘My first match was against East Fife and I
played on the right wing. We won 6-0 and what struck me was how
vocal players like Eddie and Lawrie Reilly were. Eddie was like a
coach on the park.
‘Lawrie had a lot to say but it was more to do with his will to
win. He was always urging you on and nipping away at the
opposition. Lawrie set really high standards and would never
settle for second best. I remember in training one day, we were
playing a bounce game. Big Tommy Younger let in a goal that he
possibly could have saved. Lawrie wasn’t best pleased and told
Tommy so. In no time at all they were eyeballing each other and
had to be pulled apart.
‘It was funny really because they were the best of pals off the park
and Tommy towered over Lawrie. It just showed how much desire
for high quality there was in that team and among players like
Lawrie and Eddie.
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‘It was obvious to everyone at the club that Eddie was cut out to
be a manager. When he retired, he was made trainer. That was a role
in those days which was a combination of coach and physiotherapist. Hugh Shaw was still the manager but he spent most of his time
in his office. Eddie took the training and gave the team talk on a
Saturday. Mr Shaw would come in after Eddie had finished and
send us out with a few rallying words but that was about the extent
of his involvement. Eddie was pretty much running the show. Mind
you, if we lost on a Saturday we knew that the manager would
make his presence felt on a Monday by putting us through a
gruelling physical training routine to punish us. It was a good
reason not to lose.
‘Hugh Shaw had, of course managed the Famous Five team
during its reign of success. By the time I came into the team though,
he was an older man and happy to leave most things to Eddie as
trainer. One good habit he had retained was to ask each player at the
pre-match meal to give his views on the day’s game. He was happy
to let even the younger player have their say and he listened
carefully to what was said. He was probably ahead of his time
in that respect.’
John Fraser had mixed feelings when he heard that Eddie Turnbull was returning to Easter Road. He says, ‘Tom McNiven was our
physio at that time and he was outstanding at his job. When Tom
and I heard that Eddie was coming back, we were delighted for the
club because he had been really successful at Aberdeen and we
knew how good he was. However, we were worried for our own
jobs. Usually when a new manager comes in, he brings his own
backroom team with him and there is a clearout of the old guard.
We were concerned that this might happen with Eddie. In the event
our apprehension wasn’t warranted. Eddie assured us as soon as he
arrived that he wanted us to stay at the club. We couldn’t have been
more pleased.’
Fraser had worked under a number of previous managers including the great Jock Stein. He remembers his time with Stein
fondly. ‘Jock was a tremendous manager. By the time he came to
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THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

Hibs, I had moved to right back after playing mainly as a right
winger. It was Eddie Turnbull, in fact, who was instrumental in my
switch to full back. We were playing Dundee and our right back
John Grant got injured. There were no substitutes in those days so
Eddie, who was captain, took charge. He told me to go back to full
back and kept me right through the game telling me when to jockey,
when to tackle, when to show the winger the outside and things like
that. His insight was superb and I had found a new position! When
Jock took over, he encouraged me to overlap and attack more. He
had studied the work of Helenio Herrera, the great Inter Milan
manager whose left back Giacinto Facchetti would bomb forward at
every opportunity. Stein decided he wanted me to do the same. He
took this ploy further with Tommy Gemmell when he went back to
Celtic.
‘Big Jock’s man management was an education. We had Willie
Hamilton with us at that time and his ability was second to none.
His attitude, though, was less than dedicated. One day at training
when Willie was clearly under the weather from his previous
evening’s socialising, Stein came up to me. He said ‘‘I’m telling
you this as captain so you don’t speak up to defend him but I’m
going to sort Hamilton out when we get back into the dressing
room. It’s for his own good and the good of the team so don’t even
think about intervening.’’ When we got back in after training, Stein
steamed into Willie.
‘He stood over him and said, ‘‘You’re a complete disgrace. You’re
a disgrace to yourself, to your talent and to this club. Get your
clothes on, get out of here and don’t come back until I tell you. If I
decide to let you come back that is.’’ Willie got changed quickly and
slunk out of the dressing room. There was a shocked silence. Big
Jock let him stew for three weeks before he called him back. Willie
had learned his lesson and he was a complete revelation for the rest
of his time at Easter Road.’
On becoming manager of Hibs, Eddie Turnbull wasted no time in
making his mark. He informed the players, press and public that
Hibs training would be entirely different now and that the accent
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would be very much on ball work and tactical thinking. John Fraser
loved being part of his coaching staff. He recalls, ‘It was a pleasure
to work under Eddie. Whereas Stein had used a blackboard to make
his tactical points, Eddie used the training pitch. When Stein went
through something on his board, he would always finish by saying,
‘‘Do you all understand what I am looking for?’’ We all nodded
back at him because he had an intimidating presence and I don’t
think anyone wanted him to think that they didn’t follow what he
was telling us. I’m not sure if everyone really always understood
what he wanted though.
‘Eddie was different. He did lots of what he called ‘‘functional
training’’. He drilled the players on the pitch time and time again in
game situations. He worked with the back four, he developed the
running off the ball and the switching of play which become such a
trademark of his team. The players worked so hard and so often on
the basics of the team’s tactical approach that these moves became
second nature to them. When similar situations arose on a Saturday,
they did the right things instinctively. It may sound simple but it
required a lot of hard work and was brilliantly effective.’
Fraser recently went down to Manchester with other members of
the Hibs Former Players Association. They had dinner with Sir Alex
Ferguson and he invited them to come and watch his team’s training
at Carrington. The training was really intensive and John Fraser says
that it took him back to the type of training that Hibs used to do under
Eddie Turnbull: ‘Manchester United were playing a practice match. It
was red bibs against yellow bibs and nobody was holding back. I
noticed that Paul Scholes was wearing a green bib. This was because
he was playing for both sides. Whenever either team got the ball they
looked for Scholes and passed to him. The purpose was to make
picking out Scholes a reflex action for all members of the United team.
That is why when you watched them play, Scholes was so obviously
the fulcrum of their playing system. It reminded me of Eddie’s
functional training. He was years ahead of his time.’
The Hibs players loved the enlightened approach of their new
manager and after a series of indifferent results in pre-season
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friendlies, they hit the ground running when the season proper got
underway.
Turnbull, at that point had made only one signing. He had moved
for the former Dunfermline, Birmingham City and Scotland goalkeeper Jim Herriot who had been playing in South Africa. Herriot
recalls feeling excited when he received Eddie Turnbull’s telephone
call. He says, ‘I knew that with Eddie Turnbull in charge at Hibs,
there was every chance of the club winning something. When Eddie
contacted me, I told him what my terms were and he agreed to
them. To be honest, I would have accepted whatever he had offered
me as I was really keen to go to Hibs.
‘Hibs had tried to sign me back in the Sixties when I was still at
Dunfermline but Jock Stein, who was in charge at East End Park at
the time had refused to let me go. I didn’t want to miss out on going
to Easter Road a second time.’
Nicknamed ‘Big Bob’ by his teammates because he had sleepy
eyes like the Hollywood legend Robert Mitchum, Herriot exuded
calm and assurance and brought out the best in his defensive
colleagues. Herriot admits that while he liked to give off an air
of unflappability, he wasn’t quite so relaxed inside. ‘I used to get
nervous before games. There’s a lot of pressure on you as a goalkeeper but you can’t let your nerves show. You have to give out the
right aura to your defenders.’
These defenders included players like John Brownlie, Erich Schaedler, Jim Black and John Blackley whose talents were obvious. To
that point, these talents hadn’t been fully utilised on a consistent
basis. Eddie Turnbull would soon change that.
Sweeper supreme Blackley remembers well the early impact
made by the new man in charge: ‘Willie McFarlane and Dave Ewing
were both popular with the players. Willie, in particular, was a real
enthusiast and a great motivator but, when it came to coaching,
Eddie Turnbull was in a different league. He drilled the back four
constantly. Jim Herriot would be in goal with big John Brownlie, Jim
Black, Erich Schaedler and me in front of him. The midfield players
and forwards would come at us in waves and we would defend for
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our lives. We would attempt to go as long as possible without losing
a goal. Jim Herriot would shout at us and keep us right and we soon
developed into a compact unit in every sense. We developed a bond
as a defence and took a fierce pride in doing our job well. Eddie
would stop the game every so often to make a point. Every training
session was an education.’
Jim Herriot agrees: ‘The midfield players and forwards would
constantly come at the back four and me. Eddie said to me,
‘‘Remember, you’re the gaffer in there. Let them know it.’’ I used
to tell the back four to leave the space in the six-yard box to me and I
would come for everything in that area. When we did those training
drills, the only protection we had was one of the young players
acting as a ‘chaser’ in front of the back four. Apart from that, we
used to have to take on six top quality attacking players on our own.
Sometimes, we kept them out for ages. It was great training and
defending in games on a Saturday seemed easy in comparison.’
That great attacking full back John Brownlie, who could also be
relied on defensively, agrees with his former teammates and long
time friends. ‘We would be told to come back in the afternoons to
work on specific parts of our game. Sometimes you came in on your
own and, at other times, a group of you came back for extra work.
It all had a benefit to you as an individual and to the team as whole.
It definitely made you a better player.’
Blackley doesn’t remember Eddie Turnbull as being big on praise
during these sessions. ‘He would have a quiet word in your ear on a
one to one basis and you would feel a million dollars but he didn’t
like to praise you in front of the rest of the group.’
Rock solid centre half Jim Black feels a bit more praise from the
boss would have been no bad thing. He says, ‘It would have been
good to get praised in front of the rest of the team. It would have
built your confidence. That wasn’t Eddie’s way though. He worried
that handing out praise might breed complacency.
‘He was brilliant at instilling a team ethic in us. He would
constantly tell the most gifted players in the squad and, we had
some real high-class performers, how much they needed the other
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THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

players in the group. He would say, ‘‘Remember, they can do things
that you can’t and you need them as much as they need you.’’ ’
There was no shortage of quality in the midfield area either. Pat
Stanton, undoubtedly one of Hibs greatest ever players, was approaching the peak of his career and a left footed bundle of energetic
excellence called Alex Cropley was beginning to make his mark.
Up front, Joe Baker, recently and rapturously welcomed back
from Sunderland, was in possession of the number nine jersey and
he had a popular strike partner in Jimmy O’Rourke whose love of
Hibs was well known. O’Rourke had a prodigious work rate and the
eye for goal of a natural marksman. Jimmy was delighted when ‘The
Baker Boy’ came back to Hibs. ‘When Joe walked into the dressing
room, Bobby Duncan and I bowed down before him and paid him
homage. He was my hero.’ Width in the front line was provided by a
flying machine called Arthur Duncan who was also no slouch in the
scoring department.
Jimmy O’Rourke remembers the impact made by the arrival of
Eddie Turnbull. ‘Eddie was highly organised and he brought
structure and discipline to the club. We had some seriously good
players but we had been underachieving. Things were a bit casual.
People would turn up late and their performances would be
inconsistent. Eddie soon changed all that.
‘The previous manager Dave Ewing had given me permission to
return a couple of days later than the rest of the players for pre-season
training to fit in with my holiday arrangements. When I came into
training, Eddie was waiting for me. He left me in no doubt that
training was far more important than holidays and made it clear that I
better not be late for anything ever again. As I walked in, he said to the
rest of the team, ‘There’s a professional for you.’ I tried to tell him that
Ewing had told me that it was alright to come back late. He wasn’t
interested and told me in no uncertain terms that he hadn’t been
impressed by the first impression I had made and that I had better
show him what I was made of. I definitely got the message.
‘Eddie got us playing wee games in training which were aimed
at sharpening our passing and improving our defending. We took
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them seriously and enjoyed them. They made a difference on a
Saturday.’
Club captain Pat Stanton, Jimmy’s friend and colleague since their
school days at Holy Cross Academy in the early 1960s also recalls
the early days of the Turnbull regime: ‘Like all great managers,’ says
Pat, ‘Eddie kept it simple. He didn’t believe in overcomplicating
things and would tell us before a game or at half time, ‘‘Right, sit
down and I’ll tell you how to beat this lot.’’ He was more concerned
with what we could do to the other team than what they might do to
us. He liked width in his team as well.’
O’Rourke says that Turnbull was a perfectionist: ‘Eddie would
never settle for anything but the best. I remember one day he had
Bobby Smith who was an excellent player practising a free kick
routine. Bobby kept overhitting the ball and Eddie took off the
bunnet he was wearing and threw it on the ground in frustration.
He said, ‘‘No wonder I take a wee drink now and again!’’ Mind you,
we didn’t often have to practise things in training more than once
because there was a lot of quality in our squad.’
Alex Cropley had learnt of Eddie Turnbull’s arrival from one of
his neighbours as he walked along the street. Alex recalls: ‘He
shouted over to me, ‘‘Eddie Turnbull’s your new manager. He’ll
make you play.’’ He was dead right. From the minute Eddie came
in, every one of us in the team sensed that something special was
in the air. We felt that we could go on and win things. We didn’t
talk about it a lot but there was a definite unity of purpose among
us and real belief that we could succeed around Easter Road. There
was a real atmosphere of ‘‘one for all and all for one’’. It was a
great dressing room with a lot of characters and lot of strong
personalities but no personality was stronger than that of the
manager.
‘With some managers, praise is cheap. With Eddie, it was like
gold dust. He would praise the whole team after a great performance but he didn’t often hand out compliments to individuals.
When he did have a good word for you, it meant a lot. I remember
scoring a really good goal against Hearts at Easter Road and he said
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THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

to me afterwards that the way I had been aware of exactly where the
goal was as I struck and placed the ball had told him that I was
going to be a real, top player. I went around with a smile on my face
for a week after that.’
In the early 1970s the Scottish season always began with the
League Cup qualifying sections. Each section was made up of four
teams and the winner of this group qualified for the quarter-finals.
For season 1971-72, Hibs were drawn with Motherwell, Dundee
United and Kilmarnock. Hibs raced through their section in magnificent style. Baker was on fire, displaying all his old pace and
prowess and getting among the goals. A 3-0 win at Motherwell in
the first sectional match signalled Hibs intentions and they qualified
for the knockout stages without losing a game.
In fact, they won the first five and would have made club history
if they had managed to come out on top in their last match at Rugby
Park. In the event a goalless draw saw them retain their unbeaten
record but fail to enter the history books. The undoubted star of the
League Cup qualifying ties though was Alex Cropley. Cropley
scored four goals in the first four games and impressed everyone
with his classy play.
When the league campaign got underway, Hibs were faced with
what could have been a daunting prospect by being asked to visit
Tynecastle for their opening league fixture. Eddie Turnbull sent out
a clear signal that he expected his team to dominate derby matches
by steering his team to a 2-0 victory. The goals came from Cropley
(yet again) and Johnny Hamilton. Hamilton was a talented young
player who was equally at home on the right wing or in midfield.
Although he never managed to achieve a regular starting place in
Turnbull’s Hibs teams, he was an important and productive squad
player in the manager’s early time in charge.
Falkirk, who were riding high at that time, provided the opposition in the two legged quarter-final tie and managed to get the better
of Hibs. Joe Baker had sustained a hip injury. Initially, he wasn’t
expected to be out for long but his recovery period proved to
be lengthy and he was sorely missed. Falkirk’s old stadium at
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Brockville was packed for the first leg match and the atmosphere
was intense and intimidating.
Hibs dominated possession and pressure but the Bairns defended
stoutly and skilfully and with the help of a goal from a debatable
penalty and a last-second counter managed to secure a 2-0 victory.
Such was the interest in the match that over 18,000 fans packed into
the old ground to watch it.
Most Hibs fans still believed that their team could turn things
round in the return match and they very nearly did. Hibs attacked
incessantly and when Jimmy O’Rourke opened the scoring, the
comeback seemed on. Falkirk showed great character and commitment though to hang on for a 2-1 aggregate win despite the Hibees
receiving non-stop encouragement from a crowd of over 27,000.
Eddie Turnbull and his team swallowed their disappointment
and turned their attention to the business of the league. League form
was good and the manager began to fine-tune his squad.
First he signed Alex Edwards from Dunfermline. The little number seven was so good that Jock Stein had put him in the Dunfermline team when he was only 16 years old and he had looked
completely at home. Now the wee Fifer had fallen out with his
club. This opened the door for Hibs. Edwards cost around £15,000
but was, in fact, a priceless player. He had tremendous ball control
and the vision to see passes that lesser players couldn’t even begin to
visualise. He could also execute these passes with unerring accuracy
and was a master at unlocking defences. Like all great players, wee
Alex knew his own worth and the aura of confidence he exuded was
a positive influence on those around him.
Around this time, Hibs’ fine form was recognised when Scotland
manager Tommy Docherty selected Pat Stanton and Alex Cropley
for the European Nations Cup match against Portugal. Scotland
achieved an impressive victory and the Hibs duo were outstanding.
Alex Cropley remembers comparing the Scotland team boss with
his manager at Easter Road.
He says, ‘I was grateful to ‘The Doc’ for giving me the chance to
play for my country. I liked him. He was funny and entertaining but
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the novelty of working with him didn’t last. With Eddie Turnbull,
there was always an aura and an impact. He talked to us about the
game all the time and he did so in a way that we could understand.
He simplified things for us which is a gift that shouldn’t be underestimated. Docherty was a good motivator but he wasn’t in the
same class as Eddie Turnbull as a manager. Mind you, not many
were. When we stayed in hotels on trips to Europe, Eddie would
gather us round him in the evening and hold court. It was always
interesting. He would talk about other managers and say, ‘‘See him,
he’s a nice man and no a bad manager but nothing like as good as
me.’’ None of us ever disagreed.’
With Joe Baker still injured, Eddie Turnbull tried Arthur Duncan
at centre forward when Falkirk returned to Easter Road on league
business. The move was a great success as Hibs hammered six goals
past the Bairns with Duncan notching four of them. What would the
Hibees have given for just one of those goals in the earlier League
Cup tie?
In Baker’s continuing absence, Eddie Turnbull decided he needed
a more permanent replacement and moved to sign another striker.
This was another transfer coup as Alan Gordon was acquired from
Dundee United for a bargain price. Tall and elegant, Gordon was a
composed and consistent finisher who was adept at bringing other
players into the game and masterly in the air.
Eddie Turnbull had tried to sign Gordon when he was at Aberdeen but the move hadn’t worked out. When he heard that the big
striker might be available now, he wasted no time in contacting Jim
McLean and securing his signature.
McLean had only just begun his long reign at Tannadice and had
chosen Gordon to play against Hibs in one of his first matches in
charge. Hibs had won 3-0 and McLean had clearly not been
impressed by Gordon’s performance. In contrast, Eddie Turnbull
had clearly liked what he had seen and big Alan would be playing a
lot more regularly at Easter Road in future.
When the Scottish Cup came round in January 1972, Hibs were
given a really difficult draw. Partick Thistle, managed by Dave
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McParland were having a great season. They had won the League
Cup beating Celtic 4-1 in the final and astounding the football world
in the process.
With players of the quality of Alex Rae, Jimmy Bone, Denis
McQuade, Bobby Lawrie and Alan Rough in their ranks and
playing on their own ground at Firhill, Thistle must have gone
into the tie quietly fancying their chances. In the event, they were
comprehensively outplayed and Hibs, through goals from Gordon
and Schaedler, secured a 2-0 victory which was more comfortable
than most people had expected.
‘Shades’ goal was real collector’s piece. He hurled one of his
trademark long throws into the box and the ball was headed back in
his direction by one of the Partick defenders. Normally, Erich would
have controlled the ball and fired a cross into the danger area. On
this occasion, he went for broke. He volleyed the ball for goal and, to
his own delight and the joy of the large travelling Hibs support, sent
it flying into the roof of the net with maximum velocity. Alan Rough
could only stare in bemusement as the ball hurtled past him.
A couple of weeks later, Hibs travelled to Falkirk on league
business and won at that difficult venue by 3 goals to 2. Joe Baker
was back at last and, not surprisingly, on the score sheet. One of
Falkirk’s scorers was Alex Ferguson who at that time was a prolific
and feisty striker. An impressive victory was overshadowed though
by a serious injury to Alex Cropley. ‘Crop’ broke his ankle and
would be out for the rest of the season, which was a huge blow to
the club. As he recalls it now, his injury occurred in a tackle with the
man who is now Manchester United and English football’s most
successful manager. Not that Cropley blames the great man for his
injury: ‘It was just one of these things. Fergie had an eventful game
that day because if I remember correctly, he got sent off late in the
game.’ Pat Stanton recollects that Ferguson was genuinely upset
about Cropley’s accidental injury at the end of the match.
In the next round of the Scottish Cup, Baker and Gordon supplied
the goals in a 2-0 home win over Airdrie as Hibs eased into the last
eight. Aberdeen who were doing really well under the guidance of
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Eddie Turnbull’s successor, Jimmy Bonthrone, were the visitors for
the quarter-final and Turnbull would have derived satisfaction from
getting the better of his former club.
Jimmy O’Rourke opened the scoring within seconds of the kick-off
and another Baker goal sealed victory. Hibs were now in the semifinals and hope was rising among their support that the Scottish Cup
could be won again at last. Rangers provided the opposition at
Hampden and Hibs were probably reasonably content when a
Jimmy O’Rourke equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw and a replay.
Joe Baker played in the semi-final but wasn’t selected for the replay.
He was to be released at the end of the season. After the second game
against Rangers though, no-one’s mind was on the impending departure of a club legend. Everyone was focused on a forthcoming
Scottish Cup Final against Celtic.
If Hibs had been tentative in the first semi-final encounter with
Rangers, they were free flowing and irresistible in the second. Hibs
totally dominated the match and, for the fourth time in the 1971-72
Scottish Cup campaign won by the score of 2-0. Pat Stanton and
Alex Edwards got the goals and, in truth, the winning margin could
and should have been more.
Hibs followed up their semi-final win by going to Ibrox and
beating Rangers 2-1. Jimmy O’Rourke scored Hibs second goal from
the penalty spot. ‘It was the only penalty I can remember us ever
being awarded at Ibrox or Parkhead,’ says Jimmy, ‘so I wasn’t going
to miss it.’
The team’s form was now hugely impressive and they approached
the cup final with no little optimism. They couldn’t have had more
formidable opponents than Jock Stein’s Celtic. It was only five years
since Stein’s team had lifted the European Cup and they had reached
the final of Europe’s premier club competition for a second time only
two years previously. They boasted such great players as Jimmy
Johnstone, Bobby Lennox, Billy McNeill, George Connolly, Kenny
Dalglish and Lou Macari and had inestimable big match experience.
Hibs had finished fourth in the old Scottish First Division. They
had won 19 matches and drawn 6 out of the 34 they had played in
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HEARTBREAK AT HAMPDEN PART 1

the old eighteen-team division and great progress had clearly been
made.
Eddie Turnbull had very often got the better of Jock Stein as a
player and there was reason to believe that he might be about to do
the same as a manager. Indeed, Aberdeen, under Turnbull, had
beaten Celtic 3-1 in the Scottish Cup Final just two years earlier and
this was also seen as a positive omen.
Sadly, the Scottish Cup Final, played in front of a crowd of
106,102, proved to be a massive anti-climax. Celtic struck early
through their captain Billy McNeill and, despite a brief Hibs rally
during which Alan Gordon equalised, ran out convincing 6-1
winners. Dixie Deans who was to cause Hibs supporters nearly
as much angst in the 1970s as John Robertson did in the eighties and
nineties scored a hat trick and too many Hibs players were overawed by the occasion.
Hibs made and missed quite a few goal-scoring chances but
defended weakly and naively. Both Pat Stanton and Jimmy
O’Rourke feel that the score was not a true reflection on the game.
Jimmy is of the opinion that Hibs could easily have scored four goals
themselves and Pat reflects, ‘It was one of these days. Everything
Celtic hit went in.’ John Blackley agrees with his captain. He says,
‘We could easily have made that game much closer if we had taken
all our chances.’
Blackley considers that a key factor in the eventual outcome of the
final was Eddie Turnbull’s decision to move him into midfield in an
attempt to wrest control of that area from Celtic. ‘By moving me
forward, Eddie left the rest of the defence one-on-one with the Celtic
forwards. It was a calculated risk to help us to win the cup but
unfortunately, on this occasion, it didn’t work. Celtic were deadly
on the counter attack and clinical in their finishing. I think if we had
got the score back to 2-2, Eddie would have put me back to sweeper
and the final outcome might well have been very different. It wasn’t
to be though.’
Alex Edwards knows why Eddie Turnbull chose to take a chance
on moving his sweeper forward. ‘We chased the game because that
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THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

was the way we played. We were an attacking team. We created as
many opportunities as they did. We just didn’t put our chances
away. Unfortunately for us, they took theirs.’
Jim Herriot thinks that the decision to move Blackley forward was
crucial. ‘Eddie Turnbull had a great tactical brain. He would make a
change at half time which would completely alter the flow of the
game. He decided to move Sloop forward at 2-1 to Celtic and it
might have worked but unfortunately it didn’t. Every time we
missed a chance, and believe me, we missed plenty, they would
hit us on the counter attack and we found ourselves exposed
without Sloop to sweep up behind the defence. After the game
Eddie told us that he had got that one wrong. I admired him for
that.’
Jim Black thinks that it was one of those matches when everything
went Celtic’s way. He says, ‘I remember Jimmy Johnstone hit a shot.
It was heading out of play when Dixie Deans stuck his head in the
way of it and it flew into our net. That summed up the sort of day it
was.’
Deans scored a Scottish Cup Final hat trick and proved to be a
scourge to Hibs in subsequent seasons. Jim Black recalls, ‘Dixie was
a real handful – a scavenger of goals. He always caused us problems. The funny thing is that when he played for Motherwell and I
played for Airdrie, we regularly faced each other in Lanarkshire
derbies and I usually kept him pretty quiet.’
Black adds, ‘Celtic’s big game experience was crucial. They had
played in a lot of finals including two European Cup Finals. This
was our first Scottish Cup Final.’
John Blackley says, ‘I wouldn’t say there was a fear of Celtic but
we were definitely a bit apprehensive.’ John Brownlie agrees: ‘We
gave Celtic a lot of respect that day. Looking back, we probably
respected them too much.’
Brownlie goes on, ‘I know I wasn’t at my best that day. At one
stage I tried to head the ball back to Jim Herriot from the half way
line which wasn’t a great idea. We were playing in front of over
100,000 fans and the occasion probably got to us a bit.’
16

HEARTBREAK AT HAMPDEN PART 1

Alex Edwards has strong views on most things and the possible
existence of a fear factor among the Hibs players at Hampden that
day is no exception. Edwards is in no doubt that there wasn’t, at
least not on his part. He says, ‘In 1968, I had gone to Parkhead with
Dunfermline and knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup less than a
year after they had won the European Cup in Lisbon so I certainly
wasn’t scared of them.’
Alex Cropley had missed the final as he was still recovering from
his broken ankle. He was in the dressing room at Hampden with his
teammates though and remembers well the air of disappointment.
What sticks in his mind most of all is John Blackley hurling his loser’s
medal across the room and shouting, ‘That’s no good to me.’ To this
day, Alex can’t remember if Blackley retrieved his medal afterwards.
The hurt among players and supporters was deep and heartfelt
because both groups knew that the team was capable of much,
much better. For the captain and his teammates, it was a long
journey home. As Pat Stanton recalls, ‘It was a very quiet coach on
the way back to Edinburgh. In fact I felt numb and despondent for
days afterwards. We had been given the chance to make history but
we hadn’t taken it. Then my thoughts began to turn to what we
could do to make things up to the fans.’
Jim Black remembers coaches Wilson Humphries and John Fraser
consoling the players after the game. The manager held his fire until
the Monday morning when the team reconvened at Easter Road.
Eddie had a simple message for us on the Monday morning. It was
‘‘We’ll be back.’’ ’
Eddie Turnbull was probably hurting more than most but he
remained defiant. He stated after the game that Hibs hadn’t come
close to doing themselves justice. Unlike some of his players, Turnbull was convinced Hibs performance had been adversely affected
by anxiety. He said, ‘I was worried before the game because the
players were white-faced and apprehensive. There was no selfbelief. When I had come back to Hibs, it was clear that the players
were scared of Celtic. Most teams were at that time because they
were so good. I wasn’t having that and I thought that I had got them
17

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

believing in themselves. I was obviously wrong though. Their fear
of Stein’s team at that stage was so deep seated that I hadn’t
managed to completely remove it.’ Turnbull went on to declare
that Hibs would be back at Hampden soon and that next time they
would win.
Alex Edwards overheard his boss talking to the press after the
game. He says, ‘I heard Eddie Turnbull telling the reporters that we
would be back. I totally agreed with him as we had too many good
players not to be back.’
The manager’s determination and confidence rallied the club’s
support who reflected on the old saying that ‘it’s always darkest
before the dawn’. As the pain and embarrassment of the humiliation
from the Hoops began to recede and thoughts began to turn
towards season 1972-73, no-one could have realised just how
prophetic Eddie Turnbull’s words would turn out to be and just
what glories would lie in wait for Hibernian Football Club in the
months ahead.

18

Part One
APPROACHING A DATE WITH DESTINY

Chapter 1

A PROMISE KEPT

As the pain of the punishment inflicted by Celtic began to ease, Hibs
fans started to look ahead to the forthcoming season 1972-73 with
optimism. They knew that they had good side which hadn’t done
itself justice at Hampden in May. The players felt the same. Skipper
Pat Stanton spoke for the whole team when he said, ‘We are aware
that we did not play to our potential in the Scottish Cup Final. We
have a lot more to offer than we showed that day. The result
flattered Celtic. The teams are much closer than that scoreline
suggests. We feel we’re as good as Celtic and we intend to prove it.’
Most importantly of all, Eddie Turnbull was convinced that his
players were a match for anyone and better than most. He considered that stage fright had played a part in the capitulation to
Celtic and he had a score to settle with the Parkhead men. Turnbull
also had no intention of being dominated by Celtic’s mighty
manager, the great Jock Stein. He said, ‘Stein likes to intimidate
people but he won’t intimidate me. I had the better of him as a
player and I intend to do the same as a manager.’
Turnbull recalled how, during his days as Aberdeen manager,
Stein had brought Celtic to Pittodrie on the back of a long undefeated run. Aberdeen had brought that run to an end and after the
match, the Celtic boss had said to his opposite number, ‘You
wouldn’t have played like that if you had been up against blue
jerseys.’ Turnbull took great exception to this remark pointing out
21

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

that he had little time for either member of the Old Firm and liked to
beat them both.
Now the Hibs boss was on a revenge mission. He wanted to go
back to Scotland’s national stadium and leave it bearing silverware.
He had promised the Hibs support that this would happen. Neither
the fans nor their manager could have guessed just how quickly
Eddie Turnbull’s prophecy was about to come true.
In the early 1970s there were only two leagues in Scotland – the
First Division and the Second Division. There were eighteen teams
in each league. Season 1972-73 saw the introduction of a new
competition sponsored by the brewers Drybrough. The four top
scoring teams from each league from the previous season would
take part in the Drybrough Cup.
Eddie Turnbull displayed confidence in his squad by making no
major summer signings. Hibs began their Drybrough Cup campaign in comfortable style by defeating Montrose 4-0. Not only was
the result convincing but the performance was impressive. Montrose kept their goal intact for half an hour but once Johnny
Hamilton had notched the opener, the floodgates opened. Further
counters from Stanton, Gordon and Duncan could easily have been
added to as Hibs ran their opponents ragged.
This took the Hibees through to a semi-final match-up with a
Rangers team which had just won the European Cup Winners Cup.
Captained by John Greig, this was a strong Ibrox side with their
indomitable skipper joined by such light blue luminaries as the
towering goalkeeper Peter McCloy, midfield powerhouse Alex
McDonald, flying winger Willie Johnston and the former Hibs goal
machine, centre forward Colin Stein.
Easter Road was packed for the occasion and most of those
present expected a really close match. What they got was something
much more one-sided. Turnbull’s Hibs were at their irresistible
best.
Alex Cropley was now fully recovered from his ankle break and
teamed up with Edwards to boss the midfield. The two Alex’s were
at their very best and Rangers just couldn’t cope with them. They
22

A PROMISE KEPT

also found John Brownlie a handful as the big right back surged
forward time and time again to cause all sorts of problems.
The Hibs fans were rapturous and the stadium rocked with noise
as the greens totally dominated the contest. The superb Stanton
opened the scoring and after the interval, the increasingly impressive Alan Gordon added two more, the second of which was a
trademark brilliant header. The final score was 3-0 but it could have
been many more. When Liverpool once beat Swansea 6-0 in the FA
Cup, Bill Shankly famously remarked after the game that Swansea
were ‘lucky to get nil.’ The same could have been said of Rangers on
that warm August Wednesday night in Leith. Hibs had now beaten
the Ibrox men three times in a row.
So, only three months after he had uttered them, Eddie Turnbull’s
words had come true. Hibs were indeed going back to Hampden.
Their opponents would once again be Celtic who had edged out
Aberdeen 3-2 after extra time in a pulsating semi-final at Parkhead.
The Drybrough Cup may not have been an established national
major trophy but it was a prestigious tournament which had caught
the public’s imagination. Anyone who doubts that need only look at
the attendance for the final. Over 85,000 fans crammed into Hampden on Saturday 5 August 1972 to witness a classic cup final.
One wonders how Eddie Turnbull and his team felt as their coach
pulled up outside Scotland’s national stadium and the players
disembarked to face up once again to the side which only a few
short months before had embarrassed them 6-1 on the same pitch.
Hibs would have been forgiven for harbouring a few doubts about
what lay ahead as they made their way to the dressing room. In fact,
there was no such uncertainty, only a determination to put the
record straight.
Hampden in those days was a massive bowl. When Scotland
played England there at that time, 134,000 supporters would fill the
ground to breaking point. Like most grounds, the majority of its
capacity was given over to terraced standing accommodation.
Because the Old Firm reached so many cup finals, their followers
had their own ends at Hampden. The uncovered end behind one
23

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

goal was given to the Celtic fans and Rangers had the covered
section at the opposite end of the stadium.
The large Hibs support which had retained the faith after its
Scottish Cup Final devastation was packed into the traditional
Rangers end. If the Hibees felt apprehensive, it didn’t show. In a
display of defiance, they outshouted and outsung their Celtic
counterparts as the teams took the field lead out by referee Bill
Mullan who was a Physical Education teacher from Dalkeith.
Hibs were without the influential Alex Edwards through injury
but the absence of their playmaker did not deter them as they set
about imposing themselves on Celtic from the first whistle. This was
to be no repeat of the faltering start made to the Scottish Cup Final in
May.
Hibs took control immediately and raced into a 3-0 lead. First Celtic
goalkeeper Evan Williams couldn’t hold a Pat Stanton shot and Alan
Gordon slotted away the rebound in clinical fashion. Gordon then
converted a Johnny Hamilton cross to double Hibs lead.
The big striker then went in search of his hat trick and might well
have got it if Billy McNeill hadn’t diverted his shot into his own net.
Three goals ahead and playing superbly, Hibs seemed on easy street
but then events took an unexpected turn. There was a disturbance at
the Celtic end of the ground and their supporters spilled onto the
pitch. Referee Mullan had no choice but to stop the game until the
police brought the situation under control. When the pitch was
cleared and the match restarted, Hibs had lost their concentration
and Celtic surged back into the game.
Billy McNeill made up for his earlier own goal by getting on target at
the correct end of the field. He was, of course, a regular scorer against
Hibs throughout his career. Jimmy Johnstone weighed in with two
more goals and Hibs, having been in cruise control before the break in
play, were grateful to reach full time still in contention at 3-3.
If a survey of those in the ground had been taken after ninety
minutes, the vast majority would have predicted a Celtic victory
after extra time. The momentum was with Stein’s men and the
outcome seemed inevitable.
24

A PROMISE KEPT

Turnbull and his team had other ideas though. Pat Stanton remembers well how the team felt as their manager addressed them prior to
the start of extra time: ‘Eddie Turnbull had done the footballing
preparation and we were also really fit,’ says Pat. ‘Our pre-season
work was of a very high standard. In Tom McNiven, we had an exceptional physio and fitness trainer. He was also expert in keeping us
injury free. We were way ahead of our time in the stretching exercises
we did and our stamina and sharpness work was second to none.’
Coach John Fraser agrees. ‘The manager had the team match
ready and Tom McNiven had them bursting with fitness and health.
Hibs pre-season training was magnificent and while most folk
would now have made Celtic favourites to lift the trophy, the Hibs
camp felt differently.’
Alex Cropley recalls Eddie Turnbull telling his team to sit down
on the Hampden turf. ‘He told us that we were going to go out and
win the match in extra time. I believed him. Defeat never entered my
mind.’
Jim Herriot too thought Hibs would pull through. The goalkeeper
says, ‘The competition was played under experimental rules. The
eighteen-yard lines at either end of the pitch had been extended to
cover the whole width of the field. Players couldn’t be offside
between halfway and the eighteen yard line. In my opinion, two
of Celtic’s three goals had been offside under any rules, new or old. I
couldn’t see why we shouldn’t win it again.’
Not everyone in the Hibs squad was quite so confident. John
Blackley recalls, ’When Jimmy Johnstone equalised just before full
time, I thought, ‘‘Oh no, here we go again.’’ Once we got going in
the extra time, though, our fitness saw us through.’
The confidence of the majority of the Hibs team proved to be
justified. Jimmy O’Rourke was on for Johnny Hamilton and he
made his presence felt by scoring one of the goals of his career.
Picking up a pass from Stanton, O’Rourke advanced towards the
Celtic goal. It’s best if Jimmy tells the rest of the story himself: ‘When
I got to about thirty yards out, I looked around for someone to pass
to. Everyone was marked so I decided that I might as well let fly. I
25

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

caught the ball perfectly and it screamed into the roof of the Celtic
net. What a goal. What a feeling.’
Most Hibs fans had been disappointed that O’Rourke had
been left out of Hibs starting line-up. Despite his obvious talent
and total commitment to the Hibs cause, Eddie Turnbull never
seemed totally convinced that the little goal machine in green
should play every week. When they stopped celebrating it,
most Hibees may have reflected that Jimmy’s wonder goal
had proved a point. The player himself was not thinking along
those lines: ‘I was just glad to have scored for the Hibs,’ says
O’Rourke. ‘I didn’t always understand it when I was left out but
all I could do when I played was give everything for the team and
try to score goals.’ No-one could ever doubt that that is exactly
what Jimmy did whenever he pulled on the green and white
jersey.
Hibs were holding on to their 4-3 lead as the Drybrough Cup
Final neared its conclusion. When Arthur Duncan picked up the ball
in the Celtic half, the Hibs supporters urged him to take it to the
corner flag to use up some time. Arthur initially had the same idea.
He says, ‘My idea was to run down the clock but that wasn’t really
my style of play.
‘I decided to take on Danny McGrain. I went past Danny and
came along the goal line. I could have crossed it but decided to have
a go even though it wasn’t the best of angles.’ It was, in fact, an
extremely acute angle but Duncan was never a man for the orthodox. As the fans in the Hibs end of the ground roared ‘cross it’,
Arthur took a shot and the ball ripped into the Celtic net. It was 5-3
and game over.
What a victory and what a riposte to Celtic after the Scottish Cup
Final. Rarely, if ever, had Jock Stein seen anyone score five goals
against his magnificent team but Hibs had achieved this feat and
done so in style. Three months earlier the Hibernian faithful had
made their way morosely from Hampden as Celtic had gone up to
receive the cup. Now they raised their voices and their green and
white scarves as Pat Stanton held aloft the Drybrough Cup.
26

A PROMISE KEPT

John Brownlie feels that winning this final was pivotal in the
development of Hibs at that time: ‘Winning that trophy was
massive. It really boosted our confidence. After the disappointment
of losing the Scottish Cup Final, to beat Celtic so soon afterwards
and score five goals in the process really put us on a high.’
Jim Black remembers Jimmy O’Rourke’s special goal to this day:
‘Jimmy’s goal was a beauty. It flew in from thirty yards. When that
hit the net, I knew we were going to win.’ John Brownlie still reflects
with a smile on Arthur Duncan’s clincher. ‘It was typical Arthur. We
were in the 120th minute and most players would have been looking
to waste time but not Arthur. All he was thinking about was scoring
a goal. Danny McGrain dived in on him and Arthur went past him
and fired it home. It was a great goal.’
Eddie Turnbull had delivered on his promise in double quick
time. That was impressive but what was even more impressive was
the way in which he had done it. Hibs had put on a superlative
display. They had combined skill and style to outplay a great team.
They had also displayed the character which some thought had
been lacking three months previously.
When Johnstone had made it 3-3 just before the end of normal
time, Hibs hearts could have sunk and their heads could have
dropped. To the players’ great credit, neither of these things happened. Prepared for extra time by an outstanding pre-season training regime and fortified by their manager’s words of wisdom, they
had stood tall and triumphed.
For Eddie Turnbull, there was justification for the confidence he
had displayed in his team but the manager had no intention of
resting on his laurels. Turnbull and his players had only just started.
The next few months had magical events in store.

27

Chapter 2

L E A G U E C U P GL O R Y

If you were a 50-year-old Hibs supporter in 1972, life would have
been pretty good. Born just after the First World War, you might
well have seen a bit of action in the latter part of World War Two.
After the end of this conflict, though, things had definitely looked
up.
By the time you were thirty, the National Health Service was well
established and Hibs had won the league three times in five years.
On either side of your fortieth birthday, your favourite team had
taken care of the Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. Barca
had been put to the sword by a team of attackers which included an
outstanding winger in Johnny McLeod and a record breaking
goalscorer in Joe Baker. Real had been outplayed by a team inspired
by the wayward genius of Willie Hamilton. Hamilton’s teammates
had included such fine players as Pat Stanton, Peter Cormack, Pat
Quinn and Neil Martin.
Now with the Drybrough Cup proudly displayed in the Easter
Road boardroom and highlights of Hibs great 5-3 victory in the final
of that competition available on the amazing new colour televisions
which were starting to find their way into the living rooms of most
households, there was every reason to be optimistic about Hibs
prospects for the season ahead. The club would be competing on
four fronts. They would bid for the League Championship which
Jock Stein’s Celtic had now won six times in a row, they would
28

LEAGUE CUP GLORY

embark on a continental adventure in the European Cup Winners
Cup and attempt to win the Scottish Cup for the first time in over 70
years. They would start the season in pursuit of the Scottish League
Cup, a trophy which Hibs had never won. With the quality of the
squad at Eddie Turnbull’s disposal, there was a realistic chance of
success in all of these competitions.
The sectional qualifying format for the later stages of the League
Cup was still in place in 1972. It had changed a little though. Instead
of the section winner qualifying for the quarter final, the top two
teams in each group would now go through to the last sixteen. As
will be seen, this amendment to the rules was to work in Hibs’
favour.
Hibs lined up with Queen’s Park, Queen of the South and
Aberdeen as they sought League Cup qualification. They won five
of their six games losing only to Aberdeen at Pittodrie. Hibs took
revenge on the Dons at Easter Road though in a game of no little
significance. This match saw the eleven players who would become
known as Turnbull’s Tornadoes lining up together in a competitive
match for the first time.
Aberdeen topped the section on goal difference and, under the old
system, Hibs would have been out. Fortunately, though, there was a
new approach now, and, suitably relieved, Hibs went through to
meet Dundee United.
Hibs now set course on their league programme and their
European campaign. An early league victory over Hearts at Easter
Road was most welcome. Hibs, wearing all green tops, played well
and won more comfortably than the 2-0 score line suggested. Alex
Cropley and Pat Stanton got the goals. ‘Crop’, in fact, was starting to
make a habit of scoring in derbies. Hibs were so dominant that Jim
Herriot only faced one Hearts shot on target during the whole game.
Next on the agenda was a trip to Portugal to play Sporting Lisbon in
the European Cup Winners Cup.
At that time, there were three major European trophies, the EUFA
Cup, the European Cup for national champions and the European
Cup Winners Cup for each country’s cup winners. Because Celtic
29

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

had achieved the league and cup double in Scotland in season 197172, Hibs had qualified for the Cup Winners Cup as Scottish Cup
runners-up so there had been some virtue in that painful 6-1
Hampden mauling after all.
Hibs chartered a flight for their trip to the Portuguese capital and
a number of former players joined the team on its journey. Wearing
purple tops this time, Hibs played magnificently but lost 2-1 to a
talented Sporting side. At one stage, Sporting were 2-0 ahead but
Arthur Duncan pulled a goal back to make the second leg a much
more viable proposition.
Jimmy O’Rourke remembers Duncan’s goal well: ‘When Arthur
set off on one of his runs, I used to do my best to keep pace with him
in case he cut the ball back from the bye line. It wasn’t easy as he was
a flying machine but I used to work my wee legs like pistons to get
there. Sometimes he would pull the ball back perfectly and other
times he would hit the crowd behind the goals. Then again, he might
try a shot from the angle. You could just never tell with Arthur. He
was predictable only in his unpredictability.
‘That night in Lisbon, I was in perfect position for a tap-in if
Arthur crossed the ball. When I saw that he was going to shoot I
began to roar at him but I had to swallow my words as he
hammered the ball into the Sporting net. I ended up just shouting,
‘‘Great goal Arthur’’. Mind you, I was shaking my head as I said it.’
The players knew that they had played really well against a good
team and fancied their chances of winning the tie back at Easter
Road. John Brownlie summed up their feelings after the game when
he said, ‘Wait till we get them down the slope.’
The great Gordon Smith, who had travelled with the official Hibs
party, told Alan Gordon on the return flight that Turnbull’s team’s
display that night had been better than anything which the Famous
Five had ever served up. That was praise indeed. Jimmy O’Rourke
recalls the build up to the Sporting Lisbon game very clearly. Jimmy
says now, ‘Eddie Turnbull took that game very seriously. In the
days leading up to the match, he expressly forbade us from having
even a single drink. After the game though, he told us that we could
30

LEAGUE CUP GLORY

have a few drinks in Estoril. Eddie didn’t say as much but he knew
how well we had played and this was his way of expressing his
appreciation.’
It was now time to return to League Cup duty and Hibs did so in
some style. They travelled to Tannadice for the first leg of a testing
tie against a Dundee United team which was on the rise under Jim
McLean.
Things didn’t look good at half time as the men in tangerine led 2-0.
At this point, Hibs manager took a hand. Coach John Fraser remembers how Eddie Turnbull worked. He says, ‘Eddie did most of his
talking about a match and our opposition in the days leading up to a
game. He liked to leave the players to focus on what lay ahead in the
minutes before they went out to play a game. He considered the half
time interval to be very important though. He could then reflect on
how the first half had gone and give the players their instructions on
how to make sure that they came in as winners at full time.’
Alex Cropley recalls the manager changing things round and
delivering some strong words during the break. Whatever Eddie
Turnbull said at half time at Tannadice, it proved to be mighty
effective. It was a transformed Hibs team which came out for the
second half to smash in five goals without reply.
Scoring machine Jimmy O’Rourke notched a hat trick and the
impressive Cropley added two more, one of which he remembers as
a ‘20 yard bash!’ Turnbull’s Hibees were growing in stature with
every match.
‘We were flying in the second half at Tannadice,’ says Cropley.
‘The turf was a bit scorched for some reason and I thought to myself
that Dundee United were being scorched by the way we were
playing as well.’
Next up was the return encounter with Sporting Lisbon. A
pinpoint Alex Edwards cross enabled Alan Gordon to bullet home
a first half header but Yazalde silenced and stunned the 26,000
crowd inside Easter Road with an immediate equaliser. He finished
well but the ball had originally broken to Sporting after a ricochet off
the referee.
31

THE GAME ON NEW YEAR’S DAY
On the first day of January 1973, eleven men wrote
a very special chapter in the history of Hibernian
Football Club. They were the famous Turnbull’s
Tornadoes and they humbled arch-rivals Hearts
in an epic 7-0 victory at Tynecastle stadium in
Edinburgh. Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary
of that historic match, Ted Brack tells the
extraordinary story of The Game on New Year’s Day.
No Hibs win over their local rivals has come close
to the epic 7-0 triumph which was recorded by the
great Turnbull’s Tornadoes team on the opening
day of 1973. It was a team so full of talent that
the names still resonate to this day: Herriot,
Brownlie, Schaedler, Stanton, Black, Blackley,
Edwards, O’Rourke, Gordon, Cropley and Duncan
– all managed, of course, by the imperious Eddie
Turnbull. And in their greatest ever game, their
silky skills enabled them to achieve a record victory
against an able Hearts side that was left reeling by
the scale of its defeat.

Ted Brack is a retired headteacher and a lifelong
Hibs supporter. He is the author of the bestselling
Hibs books There is a Bonny Fitba Team and
There’s Only One Sauzée and co-author of Pat
Stanton’s Hibernian Dream Team and The Life
and Times of Last Minute Reilly.

‘Ted Brack has done a superb job in bringing this historic occasion
to life. His book is a must read for every Hibs fan.’

With first-hand accounts of the day from Tornadoes
like ice cool goalkeeper Jim Herriot, world-class
full back John Brownlie, rock-solid centre half Jim
Black, classy and composed sweeper John Blackley,
midfield maestros Alex Edwards and Alex Cropley,
goal scorer supreme Jimmy O’Rourke and the
peerless captain Pat Stanton, this is the definitive
account of a match which still boasts the record
competitive winning margin between Edinburgh’s
Big Two – Hearts supporters please note. And with
the memories of fans who were there and some
who wish they had been, The Game on New Year’s
Day is a must read for Hibees everywhere.

Pat Stanton Hibernian FC and Scotland

BLACK & WHITE PUBLISHING
Back cover picture © SNS

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