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Posts Tagged ‘ Franck Sauzee ’

Tributes pour in for Hibs and Celtic legend Joe McBride

Scottish football fans are in mourning today following the news that former Hibs and Celtic star Joe McBride has died aged 74 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Joe was taken to hospital on Saturday, after suffering a stroke, but hopes that he would make a full recovery, were quashed last night when the sad news broke that he had lost his battle.

Joe was signed by Hibs boss Bob Shankly, brother of Liverpool legend Bill, to replace Colin Stein who joined Rangers for a record £100,000 and scored an incredible 58 goals in 91 games.

Former teammate John Brownlie was just a youngster when Joe signed, but knew him well and kept in touch with him. He told Irish News Review: “I was just a kid and Joe was a senior player, but I did manage to play in the same team as him. He was very helpful, and a great talker, as well as a prolific goal scorer. He had a soft spot for the Hibs after he left, and the last time I saw him was at the annual Joe Baker memorial golf day at Wishaw and he looked great. It’s a very sad day.”

Such is his standing at the club; Joe is in the ‘Hero’ category of Jim Jeffrey’s book Hibernian Players and Managers 1946-2009, along with legends such as Joe Baker, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull, Gordon Smith, Pat Stanton and Franck Sauzee.

Jeffrey starts his profile with the words “Joe McBride was simply a wonderful goal scorer, and only Ally McCoist and Willie Wallace in the post war era scored more goals than Joe.”

Author Ted Brack who had written four excellent books on Hibs, including Lawrie Reilly’s and Franck Sauzee’s autobiographies recalled Jos as a prolific goal scorer. He told the Irish News Review: “Joe was a prolific goal scorer. I remember one game in particular against Jock Stein’s Celtic when he scored both in a two nil win. One was an overhead kick which was one of the best goals I’ve seen at Easter Road. Pat Stanton had a great admiration for him as a player and a man. He reckoned that if Joe was one on one with the keeper you could put your mortgage on him scoring. He told me a story about the type of man Joe was. One day there was a bread strike in Glasgow and no-one could buy a loaf. Joe lived through there and had arranged to meet the team bus outside the ground instead of travelling through to Edinburgh first. As Pat was leaving he got a phone call from Joe asking if he could bring him a couple of loaves. Pat agreed, and a few minutes later, the phone rang again and Joe asked if he could get some more. Pat agreed, and Joe asked for 30 loaves. When they turned up at the ground, all Joe neighbours were there to collect their bread, which summed up the type of man he was, always thinking of others. I was very sad when I heard the news of his death. He was a man of many clubs, a man of many goals and a man of many friends”

Since the news of his death, many fans forums have been inundated with messages of sympathy for his family, highlighting the respect in which he was held by supporters of all clubs.

On Hibees Bounce, Haarlem Shuffler poster “One of the most memorable early matches I saw hanging onto a floodlight pylon behind the goals as Joe hammered two fantastic goals past Celtic in a game we were forecast to lose easily. What a player. Rest well man, cheered up my childhood.”

Joe the Hibby posted: “Deepest sympathy to Joe’s family and friends, a well thought of member of the Hibernian family, both as a player and a person.”

A spokesman for Hibs said today: “Our sincere thoughts are with his family at this difficult time, he left a lasting impression on our club and he will always be remembered with great affection.”

Meanwhile Hibs have announced that they will play East Fife at New Bayview Stadium on Saturday 14 July, kick off 2pm.

A large crowd is expected to see the debuts of Tim Clancy and Paul Cairney, along with the return of captain James McPake. New keeper Ben Williams is unlikely to start due to a lack of fitness.

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Hibs Legend Des Bremner Hoping For Hampden Success

Hibs legend Des Bremner may be based in the Midlands, but he still keeps an eye on what’s happening at his old club, and hopes to celebrate watching Pat Fenlon’s men achieve something that he was unable to do; win the Scottish Cup at Hampden.

The former Easter Road favourite has taken time out from his busy schedule as managing director of the PFA Finance Division, to speak exclusively to Irish News Review about his fond memories of his time in the capital and his gratitude to former manager Eddie Turnbull for showing faith in him from a young age. He also sends a message of support to everyone connected with the club and hopes to join in the celebration afterwards.

Any footballer on a list which includes George Best and Franck Sauzee has to be special and no-one who saw him play would suggest that Des Bremner did not deserve to be in such exalted company. Only five men, who have worn the famous green and white jersey, have lifted the European Cup, and the modest Bremner is the only one to have started his senior career in Leith.

Eddie Turnbull signed the talented youngster from Highland League side Deveronvale after initially spotting him when he was Aberdeen manager, and clearly felt that Bremner would be one for the future as there were no vacancies in a midfield that included Alex Edwards, Pat Stanton, Alex Cropley and Arthur Duncan. The team which is still revered by the Hibs faithful had won the League Cup and beaten Hearts 7-0 at Tynecastle to go to the top of the league whilst Bremner learned his trade quietly in the reserves.

Unfortunately, during the next game against lowly East Fife, right back John Brownlie suffered a broken leg, and the manager turned to the young Highlander to replace him. Bremner made 11 appearances at right back that season as Hibs finished second, and when Brownlie regained his fitness, he reverted to his preferred position in midfield.

The industrious Bremner won his first and only full cap as a substitute for Kenny Dalglish in Scotland’s 1-0 victory over Switzerland at Hampden in April 1976, but the fact that he only appeared once for his country said more about the selection process than his ability.

Bremner played over 200 times for Hibs in an eight year spell, including a famous night in the UEFA Cup against Leeds when Hibs only lost on penalties against a club generally considered to be one of the best in Europe at the time. He scored 18 goals for the club.

As the decade ended, Hibs reached the Scottish Cup Final against Rangers. The first two games ended in scoreless draws, so it’s not surprising that Bremner does not remember much about the games, but the cup eventually ended up at Ibrox after a five goal thriller when an unfortunate Arthur Duncan own goal in extra time separated the teams.

After the final, Bremner moved to Aston Villa, winning the league championship and then the European Cup against Bayern Munich in the De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam. Villa manager Ron Saunders was quoted at the time as saying that Des Bremner was ‘The most under-rated footballer he ever purchased.’

Bremner made 221 appearances for Villa, scoring ten goals, before making the short move to Birmingham City in 1984 where he stayed for five years. He then played a few games for Fulham and Walsall before ending his playing career with Stafford Rangers.

The former Hibs star told Irish News Review: “I have many fond memories of my time at Easter Road. We had a team that was competing with Rangers and Celtic at that time but not quite making that final step in the league and cup competions. Eddie Turnbull was a great coach and I learned a lot from him in my early years at Hibs which stood me in good stead for the rest of my footballing career.

“The players we had in the team at that time also helped me make the transition into the first team that bit easier even though I was replacing their mate John Brownlie. You could say that one player’s bad break was in my case another player’s good break. I sometimes wonder where my football career would have taken me if I had not been given that opportunity at that time.

“The Cup Final is obviously one of the highlights of my time at Hibs and it is also one of the disappointments as well. I can’t remember too much about the games other than Arthur Duncan’s own goal that lost us the final game, a fine near post header but in the wrong goal.

“I would like to wish everybody involved with the forthcoming Cup Final, the club, the players, all the staff and the supporters the very best of luck on the day. I hope we are all celebrating winning the cup on the day as this would be a great ending to a very disappointing season and give us some encouragement for next season.”

The other European Cup winners to play for Hibs were Ronnie Simpson and Bertie Auld who were both members of the triumphant Lisbon Lions in 1967, George Best who won it with Manchester United the following year and Franck Sauzee who lifted the trophy with Marseille in 1993.

Murray would endure the pain of relegation for cup win

It’s the question that has been asked and answered a thousand times in the pubs around Easter Road since Hibs eased past Ayr United to secure a semi-final place against Aberdeen at Hampden. Would you accept relegation, if it guaranteed a win in the Scottish Cup final?

Opinions are divided with some adamant that SPL survival must be the club’s number one priority, whilst the more romantic of the faithful argue that a season in division one would be a small price to pay to get the 110 year albatross off their necks.

The directors who worry about the financial implications are amongst the former, but one player is in the other camp. Club captain Ian Murray has no doubts and would happily swap relegation for cup glory on May 19, to erase the pain of their century old hoodoo. The midfielder whose season has been blighted by injury is desperate to see his beloved Hibs reach their first final since 2001 when a Henrik Larsson inspired Celtic led by Martin O’Neill beat Alex McLeish’s Hibs side 3-0. Murray played in that game as a teenager and should he feature in this year’s final, he will emulate the feat of legendary winger Arthur Duncan who played in two finals in the seventies.

The former Rangers and Norwich player said: “Our SPL form is poor but I’d say every fan and most of the players would take relegation if it meant we would win the Scottish Cup. “From a financial point of view for the club, the directors would pull their hair out if that happened, but as a romantic thing for the fans, they would take the Cup. If we could get both it would be fantastic”

“Second bottom of the SPL is not great at all but we’d all take that with a Cup Final appearance. “It has been that long and there have been so many great Hibs teams which haven’t won it and to get to a semi or final is a special achievement. The fans talk about it more than players but I don’t buy into hoodoos.”

Murray was just a teenager when he received the shock nod from gaffer Alex McLeish for the big day. “I don’t remember much talk about the hoodoo going into the 2001 final because we had such a good team. We were just unfortunate to come up against an exceptional Celtic side. I firmly believe had we kept that team in place, we could have had a chance of winning the title. But in the final Russell Latapy had his problems beforehand and didn’t play, while Franck Sauzee did play but wasn’t fully fit. We did really well for the first 30 minutes and Marc Libra had a chance in an even start. But things worked against us, such as Lubo Moravcik going off injured and Jackie McNamara coming on to score.”

“Celtic won well in the end but I feel that if we had faced anyone else that season, we would have won it. The hype around the game was fantastic, though, and it was great to be there.

“It was my first taste of a cup final at Hampden and it was so special for me, so to get back there would be fantastic. Stuart Lovell had missed eight games and I had been playing instead of him.

“It was the Wednesday beforehand and the gaffer pulled me in. I thought it was for the inevitable, ‘We’re going with experience line.’ I was expecting the bombshell and was ready to take it on the chin and be happy at just being around the squad.

“But then he said he’d play me wide right and Stuart was the one who was unhappy with the manager. It was a huge occasion, especially as I didn’t expect to play. I didn’t even tell my mum and dad I was playing as news might have got out. It was a great occasion and although we lost, it is a great memory.

“You hear people talking about losing these games and throwing away their medals but I don’t buy into that. Getting all the way to a final is a great achievement and something you should savour. Let’s face it, if I get back this season it’ll be my first since 2001 so they don’t come around too often.”

The versatile midfielder, who is in his testimonial year at Easter Road, is not underestimating the task of beating Craig Brown’s Aberdeen, and he is desperate to be in the squad after recovering from a long term groin injury. Last week, he came through sixty minutes in a bounce game against St Mirren at the East Mains training centre.

“I’ve not played in many semi-finals in the Scottish Cup. In 2000 I was on the bench when Aberdeen beat us 2-1. I played against Livingston when we reached the final in 2001 but I was suspended when Dundee United beat us 2-1 in 2005”.

“I know the feeling of being left out but if I am lucky I’ll get on the bench and at least have a wee chance of playing.

“I imagine I’ll be part of the squad. Perhaps the fact I can play a few positions might work in my favour but it’ll depend on how I train. If that goes well, you never know.”

Murray also knows that victory could set up an all-Edinburgh final if Hearts can beat champions Celtic on Sunday, and despite the dreadful record in recent derbies, he believes that winning the cup against Hearts would be the ultimate dream for him and the long suffering fans.

Murray said: “I expect Celtic to win the other semi but we would rather play Hearts as they are sixth in the table. Hearts have had the upper hand against us recently and we know that losing to our main rivals would be heart-breaking.”

“But beating them would make it extra special; you could lose the next 20 derbies and it would still be brilliant!”

If Murray does become only the second Hibs player to feature in two cup finals, he will no doubt hope for a different ending. The luckless Duncan scored the winning goal in the 1979 final, but unfortunately it was at the wrong end, and his diving header gave Rangers an undeserved 3-2 victory in the second replay at Hampden.

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