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Hibs’ Fans Finance Headstone For Former Manager Dan McMichael

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Hundreds of Hibs’ fans attended Saturday’s rededication service for former Manager, Secretary and Treasurer Dan McMichael at the Easter Cemetery in the shadow of the Famous Five Stand.

The event was organised by members of the St Patrick’s Branch of the Hibernian Supporters Association after it was discovered that Dan had been buried in an unmarked grave and a decision was quickly taken to rectify that situation.

Funds were raised and a suitable headstone was purchased to mark the resting place of the man who led Hibernian to their last Scottish Cup win in 1902.

Amongst those present were members of the McMichael family, club owner Sir Tom Farmer, Hibs’ legend Pat Stanton, current manager Terry Butcher, Chairman Rod Petrie and directors, Bruce Langham, Amanda Jones, Brian Houston, Jamie Marwick, Garry O’Hagan and Colin McNeil.

Dougie McLeod, chairman of St Pat’s, ‘compered’ the event and gave a brief history of Dan’s involvement with the club, before handing over to club legend and branch patron Patrick Gordon Stanton who unveiled the impressive headstone before talking of his pride at being asked to do so.

Mike Riley, Hibernian Supporters Association Chair then made a speech on behalf of the Hibs’ fans before Dan’s grandson Anthony McMichael replied on behalf of the family.

‘Tony,’ the last remaining grandchild, told how Dan lived on a small flat at 287 Easter Road with his wife Jane, her brother James ‘Judge’ Murphy (So named because he wore a wig) who also played for Hibs and the couple’s ten children so it was perhaps not surprising that he was happy to spend so much time at the club.

He then paid tribute to Hibs’ fan Hugh Cockburn whose charity bike ride from London to Edinburgh last year had raised much of the funds needed to buy the headstone, and presented him with a framed portrait of his grandfather.

Tony also mentioned that although Dan had never been known to say a bad word about anyone, he did take delight in beating a certain team from Glasgow who also played in green as they were forever trying to poach his players.

Terry Butcher joked that he also took delight in beating the team in green from Glasgow, but insisted that he also wanted to beat the team in blue as well. He then said that now that he knew where to come, he would be visiting Dan’s grave and asking him how he managed to win ‘that cup’.

He also spoke of his pride at having been asked to speak at the event.

Club Chairman Rod Petrie then told how Dan had been in charge of Hibs for 598 matches and as Confucius said, ‘a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step’  so therefore Terry Butcher only has 596 games to go to equal his record.

Rev Father John McFadden OMI – Parish Priest of St Mary’s Star of the Sea (Dan’s own Parish where he was a member of the Catholic Young Men’s Society) then blessed the gravestone before Paul White played a piper’s lament to end the emotional ceremony.

Everyone was then invited to the Pat Stanton Suite of the Hibs’ Supporters Club in Sunnyside for refreshments.

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