Hibbies are daring to dream that this year could be the one to exorcise the club’s Scottish Cup Final demons, says long-suffering fan Andy MacVannan
‘One of these days Hibs will make the final and win!” says Charlie Reid of Proclaimers fame. He is just one of many Hibs fans that talk with honest sincerity about the remarkable impact that the club has had on them. But I still wonder whether the story has another chapter yet to be written and Saturday could provide the answer.
Hibernian will meet Rangers in the 2016 Scottish Cup Final. Success in this fixture could spark an intensity that will be hard to measure. One that could reinforce and validate every Hibs fan’s sense of faith, patience and loyalty towards the club they love.
Hibernian have not won this cup since 1902 – some 114 years. The lust for winning this trophy is almost unfathomable. The musician Colin Whitson sums it up perfectly when he says, “There are so many people in my family that have said it’s got to be won before they die and, yeah, they have all died.”
Should we win then I’m sure that the players would deserve all immediate plaudits and praise. Despite their failure to gain promotion to the top flight of Scottish football, just last weekend in the SPL second round play-off.
They still have this incredible opportunity to become living legends among every Hibs fan far and wide.
For me and many other Hibernian fans, the team would almost be incidental in the real meaning of this potential story; success on Saturday could only be celebrated with a sense of stoicism by the club’s fans. The current squad would eventually journey on to pastures new and perhaps not truly share the sense of history that had just been made.
Let us only imagine the party the Republic of Leith could throw in the wake of a cup success. This community has surely waited long enough, whilst proving to be pretty adept at the art of celebration over the years.
“I once told my wife we hadn’t won the Scottish Cup for over a hundred years, but all she remembered was me saying, ‘We haven’t won in over a hundred years’,” says actor Dougray Scott. So Hibs fans have learnt to embrace a certain “humour” surrounding their Scottish Cup record. But the issue still rankles and tugs from the sidelines. It needs to be exorcised and soon.
But is this cup final any different?
Given Hibs recent record against Rangers and our propensity to traditionally fight hard in this fixture – Hibbies believe it is possible this time. Stranger things have happened.
• Andy MacVannan is author of We are Hibernian
Published in Edinburgh Evening News 19th May 2016