Posts Tagged ‘ Jimmy O’Rourke ’

Former Hibs Favourite Gerry Baker Dies Aged 75


Hibernian FC have announced the sad news that former striker Gerry Baker has passed away aged 75 following a short illness.The news comes just over a month after the death of club legend Lawrie Reilly and Gerry took the time to travel to Edinburgh for the funeral although the two fans’ favourites never played in the same team. Continue reading

Fortieth Anniversary of the Famous Seven Nil Game

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of arguably the finest performance from a Hibs team in the club’s history.
The Irish News Review’s Hibernian correspondent John Hislop was one of the 35,989 spectators on that historic day and he recalls the players and manager who gained legendary status at the home of city rivals Hearts.
The previous season had ended with a 6-1 defeat to Jock Stein’s Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park, but despite the result, all Hibs’ fans could see that something special was happening at Easter Road. Manager Eddie Turnbull predicted that Hibs would soon be back at the National Stadium, and he was proved right at the start of the following season.
The Drybrough Cup featured the highest scoring teams in the first and second divisions at the time, and Hibs slaughtered Rangers three-nil at Easter Road in the semi-final, in a game best remembered for the off field crowd trouble in the old ‘cow shed.’ The final, three days later was also held up when Celtic fans outraged at being three-nil down invaded the pitch. The break spoiled Hibs concentration, and Celtic eventually clawed their way back into the game, forcing extra time. Goals from Jimmy O’Rourke and Arthur Duncan however saw the silverware head east along the M8.
A few months later, goals from Pat Stanton and Jimmy O’Rourke again saw off Celtic as Hibs won the League Cup.
An eight-one thrashing of Ayr United and a three-two win over Aberdeen in the league saw Hibs sitting two points behind Celtic as they travelled to Gorgie for the New Year’s Day game. The Old Firm derby had been postponed as a number of Celtic players had the flu, and Turnbull knew that his team could go top with a six goal victory.
In those days, games were not all ticket, and there was no segregation. Fans turned up at any turnstile and paid their money, before standing wherever they fancied on the terracing. Often, fans congregated behind whichever goal their team was attacking and would change ends at half time.
At Tynecastle however, the younger and more vocal supporters of both sides would face each other on the old covered terracing opposite the tunnel.
Hearts created some early chances and future Hibs coach Donald Park missed a decent opportunity for the home side before Hibs took the lead.
Erich Schaedler’s long throw was flicked on by Alan Gordon and Jimmy O’Rourke hammered a beautifully-struck left foot shot into the roof of the net.
A few minutes later, Alex Edwards sliced open the Hearts defence and Alan Gordon chested his pass down before tucking his shot into the net. Arthur Duncan exploited a defensive mistake to make it three 12 minutes later, then 10 minutes before the half-time break, and Alex Cropley volley made it four.
Hibs continued to attack, and after a well-worked short corner, Duncan’s glancing header slipping into the net to make it five just before half time.
After 56 minutes Hibs scored a sixth when Pat Stanton cut through the Hearts defence and slipped the ball past Kenny Garland, only to see his lifelong pal O’Rourke nudge the ball over the line. Since then Pat has regularly joked about Jimmy stealing his goal but he wasn’t complaining that day.
The scoring was completed when Alan Gordon nodded in an Arthur Duncan cross to make history and send Hibs top of the league.
The Hibs team that day was: Jim Herriot, John Brownlie, Erich Schaedler, Pat Stanton, Jim Black, John Blackley, Alex Edwards, Jimmy O’Rourke, Alan Gordon, Alex Cropley, and Arthur Duncan.
Jim Herriot had been one of Eddie Turnbull’s first signings. He was a Scotland international, and had played the majority of his career in England where his performances for Birmingham City had so impressed author James Alfred Wight that he stole Jim’s identity to write his ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ books.
The full backs were John Brownlie and Erich Schaedler. John was an unbelievable talent who had been capped by Scotland whilst still a teenager, which in those days was a remarkable achievement. ‘Shades’ had been bought from Stirling Albion by Willie Macfarlane, and was a tough tackler who belied his size. The son of a German POW, he also won international honours and was part of the Scotland World Cup Squad in Munich the following year.
In defence were Jim ‘Cilla’ Black, an under-rated tough centre half and the elegant ‘Sloop’ John Blackley who accompanied Schaedler to Munich.
In midfield was the incomparable Pat Stanton, who was described by Scotland boss Tommy Docherty as being better that Bobby Moore, England’s world cup captain. Stanton was class personified and how Hibs, who were never shy in selling their best players, were able to hold onto him for so long is a mystery. Everyone who saw Pat in action would agree that he could have graced any team in the UK, and his total of only sixteen Scotland caps is nothing short of a national disgrace.
Alongside Pat was Alex ‘Micky’ Edwards who is widely regarded as the best player never to win a Scotland cap. Had he been playing today, he would have been a first choice for his country, but at that time, the selectors preferred Old Firm players, no doubt to increase the crowd. To be fair though, Micky was in competition with Celtic’s Jimmy Johnstone and Rangers’ Willie Henderson at the time, and he did have a reputation for having a short temper, but very few before or since could pass the ball like him.
If Hibs were able to keep Pat Stanton, they could not do the same with Alex’ Sojer’ Cropley who graced Highbury and Villa Park in England’s top division. Born of Aldershot of Scottish parents, Cropley was one of the first players to be capped having been born outside the country, and his ability was such that he kept Kenny Dalglish out of the team. His skill on the ball was only rivalled by his bravery, and he suffered a number of serious injuries during his illustrious career.
On the left wing was Arthur ‘Nijinsky’ Duncan, whose nickname came from the horse rather than the ballet dancer, and whose speed caused problems for defenders everywhere.
Up front was ex Hearts forward Alan Gordon whose ability in the air was second to none. Once again, his lack of international caps in incomprehensible, for someone in his form. Strangely, although Scotland ignored Gordon, he was selected for a ‘Rest of the World’ team to play in West German defender Willi Schulz’s testimonial alongside Eusebio, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore. In fact for much of the 72/72 season, Alan was neck and neck with Gerd Muller and Eusebio for the European Golden Boot.
Partnering Alan Gordon up front was Jimmy O’Rourke who had made his Hibs debut as a 16 year old. Another vastly under-rated player, by those outside Leith, Jimmy was and remains a fans’ favourite and is still a welcome face on match days.
The manager Eddie Turnbull was considered by many to be a better coach that Jock Stein. He had been a member of the famous five forward-line who won three league titles and was the first British player to score a goal in European football. He won the Scottish Cup with Aberdeen before returning to Easter Road and will always be fondly remembered by the Hibs faithful.
The team were and remain known as ‘Turnbull’s Tornadoes’ after the song written by Chairman Tom Hart’s wife.
The following Saturday, nearly 18,000 turned up to see Hibs retain top spot with a late victory over East Fife, but during that game, John Brownlie suffered a broken leg and Alex Edwards, who had been continuously fouled eventually lost his patience and threw the ball away, earning a booking and a 56-day suspension which ended Hibs title challenge.
That famous eleven would never start another game in the green and white jersey. In fact the starting line-up only played 22 games together, winning 18, drawing two and losing two. One of the games they lost was in Lisbon to Sporting FC 2-1 in the first leg of a European Cup Winners Cup tie. They won the second leg 6-1.
Last word about the game goes to Harry Gilzean, the Evening News cartoonist whose ‘Fitba daft’ strip featured a Hibs fan and Hearts fan who attended every Edinburgh game and discussed what had happened.
In his cartoon following the seven nil game, the Hearts fan is sitting depressed with a can of beer whilst his wife attempts to cheer him up. He responds by telling her that she doesn’t understand as the Hibs fans will still be talking about that game for the next thirty years. It seems that even Harry underestimated what that day meant to the supporters.
To mark the occasion, author Ted Brack has written a book entitled ‘The Game on New Year’s Day. Hearts 0 Hibs 7,’ which is available in all good book shops and is excellent value at £15.99.

40 Years Ago Today: Hibs 2 Celtic 1

programme(1)Today marks the 40th anniversary of Hibs’ League Cup victory against Celtic at Hampden Park, and the Irish News Review takes a trip down memory lane with club legend John Brownlie and author of several Hibs books Ted Brack.

Few outside Edinburgh gave Hibs any chance when they met Jock Stein’s Celtic on that cold December day in 1972.  Celtic had been European Cup winners in 1967, and reached the final three years later where they lost narrowly to Feyenoord after extra time.  They had won the Scottish League title seven time in a row, and many believed that their team which contained several of Stein’s ‘Quality Street Gang’ was even better that the Lisbon Lions. If that wasn’t enough, Celtic had hammered Hibs 6-1 in the Scottish Cup Final in May.

After that defeat, manager Eddie Turnbull defiantly told the press that Hibs would be back at Hampden in the near future and they would win. Certainly those supporters who watched Hibs regularly could see that Turnbull had built a tremendous team, and a sizeable number travelled to Glasgow with an air of confidence.

Amazingly, given the fact that Hibs had won three league titles in four seasons in the late 40s and early 50s, appeared in a European Cup semi-final and a Fairs Cup semi-final which they only lost after a play off, beaten giants of the game such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon and Naples, and won the Summer Cup and the Drybrough Cup, they had not won a major trophy for seventy years.

Over 70,000 turned up to watch and the first half was evenly matched, but Hibs totally dominated the second period, taking the lead in the 60th minute when Billy McNeil fouled Alan Gordon on the edge of the penalty box. Alex Edwards and Jimmy O’Rourke stood over the ball as Celtic lined up their defensive wall, and when the referee blew his whistle, Edwards flicked the ball over the wall into space. Hibs skipper Pat Stanton was first to react, smashing the ball into the net past the helpless Williams.

Six minutes later Edwards sent Stanton clear on the right wing before running into the box. As he did so, he pointed to where he wanted the cross to go. Stanton obliged and O’Rourke’s diving header flew into the net, sending the Hibs fans wild.

Hibs should have added a third when Alan Gordon had a shot cleared off the line by McNeil, as Hibs dominated possession, but no Celtic team under Jock Stein ever gave up, and sure enough the Hoops pulled one back with thirteen minutes left when Kenny Dalglish latched onto a through ball before slotting it past Jim Herriot.

Rather than defend their slim advantage, Hibs continued to attack and comfortably saw out the 90 minutes to collect the cup which they showed off on their open topped bus parade through Edinburgh that night.

Hibs right back that day was John Brownlie, and for those Hibs fans who never had the privilege to seeing him play his talent saw him capped for Scotland against Russia as a teenager. In those days it was virtually unheard of for one so young to play for their country, and only Dennis Law had worn the famous dark blue jersey at a younger age. If he were playing in this era, John Brownlie would be valued in the tens of millions of pounds, and arguments would rage as to whether he or Gareth Bale was the better player. His name is still revered at Easter Road and whenever an all-time best Hibs XI is chosen, there is never any debate as to who was the club’s best ever right back.

Unfortunately less than a month after the Hampden triumph, John suffered a broken leg against East Fife in the game following the famous 7-0 win over Hearts. At that time Hibs were top of the league and in the quarter final of the European Cup Winners Cup. Chairman Tom Hart predicted that Hibs would win both competitions, but everyone who was at Easter Road that cold January day realised immediately that without John Brownlie, the dream was as good as over.

John told The Irish News Review “I have a lot of good memories about that particular game. We were all keen to do a lot better than we had in the Scottish Cup Final earlier that year when we lost 6-1 to Celtic.  We all knew that we were better than that and we wanted to do ourselves justice.

“I actually scored the only goal against Rangers in the semi-final, and some of their fans still won’t speak to me because of that.

“I was lucky to play as I went over on my ankle on the Monday before the final, and struggled to get fit. ‘Ned’ (Eddie Turnbull) kept it quiet and on the day of the match I got an injection for the pain. I managed to get through the 90 minutes but it was sore later that night.

“Celtic had a really good team at the time with players like Kenny Dalglish, Davie Hay, Danny Mcgrain, George Connolly and Lou Macari. Ned had us all up for the game telling us it was time to prove the people who had written us off wrong.

“Normally when we played Celtic I was up against Bobby Lennox, but he didn’t play so Jock Stein moved Jimmy Johnstone onto the left wing. I don’t know of word of my ankle injury had got out, but in any case I played well and Johnstone was subbed in the second half.

“It was a great team performance, but it was only when I watched the highlights later that I realised how well Pat Stanton had played. He was immense that day and led from the front, scoring the first goal and setting Jimmy O’Rourke up for the second. Kenny Dalglish pulled one back for Celtic, but we were the better team and deserved to win.

“That was probably the highlight of my time with Hibs, winning a major national competition. I had just turned 20 in the March, and I played with some great players at Easter Road like Pat Stanton, John Blackley, Alex Cropley, Jimmy O’Rourke, Alan Gordon and Alex Edwards. In fact I didn’t realise how good they were until I moved to Newcastle later in my career.

“After the cup win, we beat Ayr United 8-1, then Aberdeen before beating Hearts seven nil at Tynecastle. The following week, we played East Fife at Easter Road and I suffered a broken leg. Alex Edwards got booked that day and received a long suspension, and the team fell away a bit after that.”

John Brownlie spent eight year at Easter Road, playing 211 times and scoring 14 goals. He moved to Newcastle United in 1978 and had spells at Middlesbrough, Hartlepool United, Berwick Rangers and Blyth Spartans. He won 7 caps for Scotland. After retiring, he managed Cowdenbeath, Meadowbank Thistle, East Stirlingshire and Arbroath.

Standing on the Hampden terraces that day was Ted Brack, lifelong Hibs fan and author of several Hibs books, including ‘There is a Bonny Fitba Team,’ ‘The Life and Times of Last Minute Reilly,’ ‘There’s only one Sauzee,’ ‘Pat Stanton’s Hibernian Dream Team’ and ‘The Game on New Year’s Day. Hearts 0 Hibs 7.’

Ted recalls the game vividly and told The Irish News Review “I approached the 1972 League Cup Final with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension.  Hibs had an outstanding team full of genuinely great players and we had beaten Celtic 5-3 in the Drybrough Cup Final four months earlier.  However, Jock Stein’s great team, which was among the very best in Europe at that time had beaten Hibs 6-1 in the Scottish Cup Final the previous May and would be thirsting for revenge after losing five goals to a domestic rival, a possibly unparalleled number of goals to be lost in one game during Stein’s tenure.  Hibs hadn’t won a major national cup competition for 70 years.

“In the event, I needn’t have worried.  Hibs were magnificent and dominated the majority of the game.  Pat Stanton played the game of his life.  He was a man on a mission after the Scottish Cup Final drubbing handed out by Celtic earlier in the year.  Pat knew Hibs were much better than that result suggested and he set out to prove a point.  He certainly succeeded as he scored Hibs first goal, created their second for Jimmy O’Rourke and hit the post as well.

“When Kenny Dalglish pulled a goal back for Celtic near the end, some Hibs teams would have panicked.  Not this one though.  As Alex Cropley told me when I was researching my latest book ‘The Game on New Year’s Day’, ‘We took the game back to Celtic.  We had pace and movement right through our team and that saw us through.  We were like a well-oiled machine that day.’

“As a Hibs supporter that match brought me great joy.  Celtic had players like Billy McNeill, Jimmy Johnstone and Kenny Dalglish in their ranks yet Hibs played them off the park and lifted a national trophy in the process.  It doesn’t get much better.”

This Hibs team that day was: Jim Heriot, John Brownlie, Erich Schaedler, Pat Stanton, Jim Black, John Blackley, Alex Edwards, Jimmy O’Rourke, Alan Gordon, Alex Cropley and Arthur Duncan. The substitute was Johnny Hamilton.

The Celtic team was: Evan Williams, Danny McGrain, Jim Brogan, Pat McCluskey, Billy McNeil, David Hay, Jimmy Johnstone, George Connolly, Kenny Dalglish, Harry Hood and Lou Macari. The substitute was Tommy Callaghan.

Attendance 71,696