Hibernian Football Club

Hibernian Football ClubHistoryNotable Past Players

A Football Report
Hibernian Football Club

Hibernian Football Club

Hibernian F.C., or Hibs, is based in Edinburgh and is not to be confused with the Hibernians Football team of Malta: that little ‘s’ makes all the difference! Hibs play in a strip of green and white and their home ground is Easter Road.


Hibernian FC was formed in 1875 by some Irish football fans and was named after the Roman word for Ireland. The club soon became a big attraction in Edinburgh and was one of the major forces to be reckoned with in Scottish football. In 1887 Hibernian defeated Preston North End in a match nicknamed the Association Football Championship of the World decider, because of the two teams’ achievements in their domestic cup trophies.

Hibs enjoyed enormous success throughout the 1940s and 50s where they won the 1947/8, 1950/1 and 1951/2 League Competitions. Their not-so-secret weapon was the attacking formation known as ‘The Famous Five’ consisting of Bobby Johnstone, Willie Ormond, Lawrie Reilly, Gordon Smith and Eddie Turnbull.

Hibs became the first British team to enter European competition in 1955. They competed in the Champions Cup and gave a fantastic performance against the German club, Rot Weiss Essen, winning 4-1 and drawing 1-1 on the return match in Scotland.

The team continued to the semi-finals where they were narrowly beaten by French team, Reims. The club also toured Europe and South America and played some high-profile matches with English sides, such as Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

In 1961 Hibernian reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Fairs Cup but later lost to Roma in the third match play-off. Throughout the 60s Hibs enjoyed some fantastic victories, most famously over the phenomenal Real Madrid at Easter Road in 1964, where they won 2-0. They also emerged victorious against Barcelona, Lokomotiv Leipzig and Napoli, whose goalkeeper was the legendary Dino Zoff.

Hibernian was just as successful on their home turf, racing to another League Cup victory in 1972 against Celtic. They also carried home the Dryborough Cup twice in both 1972 and 1973. During this time of greatness, Hibernian F.C. was managed by ex-‘Famous Five’ striker, Eddie Turnbull. Hibs then missed out on all European competitions from 1979 and 1989 and it was a darker time on the home front too.

However, the team did sign past European Footballer of the Year, George Best, for two seasons and his arrival seemed to signal a change in the team’s fortunes. 1989 saw a return to Europe for Hibs and they began well with a couple of victories over Videoton of Hungary (1-0, 3-0). However, their luck quickly ran out when they were beaten (0-0, 0-1) by FC Liege of Belgium, although the excellent conduct of the fans at this match improved the reputation of the club.

Hibernian F.C. was in grave danger of being closed down at the beginning of the 1990s when Wallace Mercer of rivals, Hearts of Midlothian, decided he wanted just one main club in Edinburgh. However, the club was saved in 1991 by Sir Tom Farmer CBE.

This take-over saw a return to form for the club and they immediately won the 1991 Skol League Cup, beating Rangers and Dunfermline in the semi-finals and final respectively. In 1992 Hibs represented Scotland again in the European Cup, but they were beaten by Belgium’s Anderlecht on the away goals rule (2-2, 1-1).

The team reached the finals of the League Cup again but this time Rangers walked away victorious with a nail-biting 2-1 victory over Hibs. The 1994/5 season saw Hibernian F.C. finish up in third place in the League. After this, changes were made to the ground, with two new stands being constructed and the covered seat capacity rose to 16,000.

In 1996 Jim Duffy joined Hibs as manager, but they suffered one of their worst seasons to date. They battled hard against relegation and only just won the chance to stay in the Premier Division by beating Airdrie 5-2.

After this humiliating near-relegation, Duffy set about making some major changes to the line-up by introducing international players from Benin, Iceland and Trinidad; this was the first introduction of football internationals since the 1960s.

However, this did nothing to reverse the bad fortunes of the team and Duffy left in 1998. Duffy was quickly replaced by ex-Scottish international, Alex McLeish, but he came too late in the season to save Hibs from relegation.

McLeish faced the almost impossible task of taking Hibernian F.C. back up to the top of the Scottish Football League but the team, captained by John ‘Yogi’ Hughes, enjoyed an absolutely fantastic season.

Critics were completely against the team, but this only made them more determined to prove their worth. Their first home match was easily won and they then travelled to Aberdeen and beat the then-unbeaten team to a 1-0 victory, shocking football fans everywhere.

Over the season Hibs notched up a string of 24 wins in a row, 89 points and a total of 81 goals. The team finished at the top of the table, 21 points ahead of second place Falkirk. Back in the Premier League, the team sped up the table finishing with a 2-0 win over Hamilton at Firhill in 1999.

Hibs had enjoyed phenomenal and completely unexpected success and were crowned the rightful Champions of the Scottish Football League. They enjoyed moderate success in the middle of the table during the following season and also reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

In the 2000/1 season they notched up six consecutive wins, which sent them sky-rocketing to the top of the table. They also reached the final of the Tennant Cup for the first time in 22 years but narrowly lost out to Celtic at Hampden Park.

More renovations occurred at Easter Road during the 2001/2 season and a new West Stand was erected. The most famous match of their UEFA Cup bid was when Hibs came close to knocking out AEK Athens with scores of 0-2 at Athens and 3-2 at home.

McLeish bid a fond farewell to Hibernian F.C. in 2002 and was replaced by ex-Hibernian footballer, Franck Sauzee. However, the Frenchman failed to notch up the scores and was replaced after nine months by Kilmarnock’s Bobby Williamson. Under Williamson, Hibs enjoyed five wins in nine matches and remained one of the top Scottish teams.

Williamson left in May 2004 and was succeeded by Tony Mowbray, who wanted to concentrate on attacking. His tactics paid off and the team finished third in the 2004/5 season and qualified for the UEFA Cup in 2005/6. The 2005/6 season began even better with Hibs winning 11 of their 14 matches, but the second half of the season was not as successful and they finished fourth in the Championship.

Hibernian were sent home in the first round of the UEFA Cup after an embarrassing 1-5 defeat by the Ukrainian club, FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Their form later improved in the Scottish Cup, where they reached the semi-finals before being knocked out by Hearts.

The 2006/7 season saw Hibs finish sixth after a slow start and the departure of manager, Tony Mowbray; he was replaced by John Collins. Collins left after just over a year in charge. During his sole year with the club he managed to lead them to victory in the Scottish Cup.

Mixu Paatelainen took over management of Hibernian F.C. on 10th January 2008. The team have enjoyed some fantastic victories so far this season and look to continue this success, hopefully bringing the Scottish Cup to Hibernian for the second year running.

Notable Past Players

  • George Best – represented Hibs from 1979 to 1980, making 86 appearances for the team and scoring 34 goals. His time with Manchester United in the early part of his career is legendary, but his life was cut short in 2005 when he was aged just 59.
  • Franck Sauzee – was a French International before joining Hibernian F.C. in 1999. He played for the team for three years until 2002 when he retired and later became the manager of the team. He is still much loved by the Hibbies.
  • The Famous Five were one of the most formidable attacking formations known to football and they helped Hibernian F.C. to dominate Scottish football in the 1940s and 50s:
  1. Bobby Johnstone – joined Hibs in 1946 and remained with the team until 1955 when he left to join Manchester City. He later returned in 1959.
  2. Willie Ormond – represented Hibs from 1946 to 1961, scoring a total of 193 goals for the team. He later managed the team in 1980.
  3. Lawrie Reilly – began his footballing career with Hibs in 1945 aged just 16. He scored a total of 18 hat-tricks for the team, the first against Queen of the South in 1947. Reilly was the top scorer of the 1951/2 season, which was won by Hibs. His final appearance for the team was in 1958 and he remains the most capped player for the side.
  4. Gordon Smith – also started with Hibs aged 16 and scored a hat-trick in his first match against Hearts, helping the team to a 5-3 victory. He suffered an ankle injury in 1959 and left Hibernian, but later signed for Hearts and then Dundee, helping both sides to League success.
  5. Eddie Turnbull – was the final member of the Famous Five and he was also the first British player to score in a European competition in 1955. He managed Hibernian F.C. from 1971 to 1980, the most famous win during his time as manager being a 7-0 victory against arch-rivals Hearts.
The 2008 Team
NumberPositionName and Nationality
2DFKevin McCann (Scottish)
3DFAbederraouf Zarabi (Algerian)
4DFChris Hogg (English) Vice-Captain
5DFRob Jones (English) Captain
6MFBrian Kerr (Scottish)
7MFMerouanne Zemmama (Moroccan)
8FWClayton Donaldson (English)
9FWSteven Fletcher (Scottish)
10FWAbdesselam Benjelloun (Moroccan)
11MFAlan O’Brien (Irish)
12MFFilipe Morais (Portuguese)
14MFGuillaume Beuzelin (French)
15MFPatrick Noubissie (French)
16MFLewis Stevenson (Scottish)
17MFSean Lynch (Scottish)
19DFThierry Gathuessi (Cameroonian)
20MFJohn Rankin (Scottish)
21GKAndrew McNeil (Scottish)
22MFDean Shiels (Northern Irish)
23MFRoss Chisholm (Scottish)
24FWColin Nish (Scottish)
25DFDarren McCormack (Scottish)
26MFIan Murray (Scottish)
28FWRoss Campbell (Scottish)
29FWDamon Gray (English)
33DFPaul Hanlon (Scottish)
41GKDavid Grof (Hungarian)
50GKYves Makabu Ma-Kalambay (Belgian)
FWMichael Antoine-Curier (French) on loan to Dundee
MFKeegan Ayre (Canadian) on loan to Berwick Rangers
GKAlastair Brown (Scottish) on loan to Stenhousemuir
DFPatrick Mailey (Irish) on loan to Stenhousemuir
GKZbigniew Malkowski (Polish) on loan to Inverness Caledonian Thistle
DFDermot McCaffrey (Northern Irish) on loan to Livingston
DFBlair Tolmie (Scottish) on loan to Berwick Rangers

Club Honours

  • Scottish Football Champions: 1903, 1948, 1951 and 1952
  • Scottish Cup Winners: 1887, 1902
  • Scottish League Cup Winners: 1972, 1991, 2007
  • Southern League Cup Winners: 1944
  • Scottish Football League First Division Winners: 1981, 1999
  • Scottish Football League Division Two Winners: 1894, 1895, 1933
  • Dryborough Cup Winners: 1972, 1973
  • Summer Cup Winners: 1942, 1964


  • Highest Attendance: 65,860 vs. Hearts, 2/1/50
  • Greatest Victory: 11-1 vs. Airdrie, 24/10/59 and 11-1 vs. Hamilton, 6/11/65
  • Greatest Defeat: 0-10 vs. Rangers, 24/12/1898
  • Highest transfer fee paid:£750,000 for Ulises de la Cruz from Deportivo Quito
  • Highest transfer fee received: £4.4million for Scott Brown to Celtic

Ticket Information

Ticket prices depend on the opponents, but generally cost from £21 for adults and from £11 for concessions. For up-to-date information on ticket prices visit the official Hibernian F.C. ticket office here.

Half-Season Tickets are available for both the East and West Stands:

  • East Stand
  1. Adult: £160
  2. Seniors: £80
  3. Student and 15-18s: £65
  4. Hibs Kids 14s and under: £55
  • West Stand
  1. Adult: £140
  2. Seniors: £80
  3. Student and 15-18s: £65
  4. Hibs Kids 14s and under: £55
  5. Hibs Kids U5: £45

Children can also join the ‘Hibs Kids’ club, which costs just £10 and enables you to get low-cost season tickets. Children will also receive a regular newsletter, a birthday card on their birthday, free entry to Hibs Kids events, free entry into a competition to be a mascot for the day (5-11) or to be a ball person (11-15) and discounted rates to attend Hibernian Footie4Kids programmes.


Hibernian’s Easter Road is easily accessible by road, rail and air.

  • By road:
  1. From the North take the Forth Bridge and follow the A90 to Blackhall, take the left fork and follow it all the way down to Easter Road.
  2. From the East take the A1 in to Edinburgh over the first roundabout, then take a left at the second roundabout onto the old A1. You will come to Easter Road and the ground is signed from there.
  3. From the West take the M8 East to the end and take the left turning at the roundabout onto the A720 to the Gogar roundabout, joining the A8 and Hibernian F.C. will be signposted.
  • By rail: Get off at Waverley station, which is the stop after Haymarket. Leave via the Princess Street exit, cross the road and follow Leith Street to the second roundabout, you should pass the playhouse on your right, keep the roundabout on your left, and you’re there!
  • By air: Edinburgh Airport is quite far from the Easter Road ground so it is advised that if you are travelling in by air, you take a taxi, sharing it with others if at all possible to minimise costs. Alternatively there is an airport shuttle bus which will take you to Waverley station (see above for instructions from there)

Contact Details

Hibernian Football Club
Easter Road Stadium
12 Albion Place

Tel: 0131 661 2159
Ticket Office: 0131 661 1875
E-mail: club@hibernianfc.co.uk
Web: Hibernian F.C.

Scottish Cup Finals
YearTeamGoals ForOpponentsGoals Against
1979 (28 May)Hibernian2Rangers3
1979 (16 May)Hibernian0Rangers0
1979 (12 May)Hibernian0Rangers0
1914 (16 April)Hibernian1Celtic4
1914 (11 April)Hibernian0Celtic0
1896Hibernian1Hearts of Midlothian3
League Cup Finals
YearTeamGoals ForOpponentsGoals Against
1991Hibernian2Dunfermline Athletic0