Soooperb !Wonderful thread G.
I have a number of people to thank for being a Hibs fan. My Mum and Dad are both Leith born as were my four grandparents and generations before that. My Dad's dad, Stewart was born and brought up in Balfour Street, but was a season card holder at Tynecastle, the classic Leith Jambo, I even mind what the wee card thing looked like. However, his other team was, wait for it, Hibs! I come from what I like to think is a typical Edinburgh family, a mix of Catholic and Protestant, Hibs and Hearts, no old firm fans and even the non fitba fans 'preferred' one team or the other. My auld man was a Jambo as a kid but never took us to the football, my Mum is a Hibs fan, she gets up to high doe listening to the Hibs on the radio every weekend to this day!
Even though I lived out in Livingston by then, both my Granda and I were fitba daft and he would take me to Tynecastle one week, Easter Road the next. Hibernian in glorious emerald green, Hearts in skid mark maroon. I mind the climb up the auld high terrace steps, the view of Arthurs seat and the Forth the wafts of tobacco smoke and pies. All I mind of tynecastle is it being dark and smelling slightly of pish.
In the early 70's, Hibs were a joy to watch, Turnbull's Tornadoes, Hearts were pretty poor. I chose Hibs as my team and I would be sent on the 201 bus from Craigshill to St Andrew's Square, then walk down Picardy Place to my Granda's shop on the corner of London Road and Blenheim Place (he worked saturday mornings) and onwards to the football.
Once Hibs became my chosen team, it was my Hibs Uncles that took me along. My Uncle Hughie Manson from Pennywell was Hibs daft and would take me to home games, plonking me outside the Social Club* in the club car park behind the auld big terracing with juice and crisps before plonking me on the wall at the front of the terracing for each game. (* Can anyone mind the name of that Social Club, was it related to Lothian Buses?).
As I got a bit older, I would go with my pals from Livingston on the 201 bus, often joining my Mum's youngest brother Billy who had a flat in Albert Street, which we thought was cool! I have always argued Hibs have a large support out in Livingston and in towns such East and Mid Calder, Pumpherston, Winchburgh, Uphall and Broxburn and we would all jump on the Uphall and Broxburn Hibs Supporters Bus which picked up in all the aforementioned towns, travelling around Scotland following Hibs, and making friends I still have to this day. My best mate still goes home and away with me every week. We lived next door to each other in Crazyhill!
I also made many Hibs pals through the casual era, again many are friends for life. I worked abroad for five years and when I came home with my young family, and I picked up my life time affair with Hibernian. This era is the one where through initially being an admin on Hibs Net and subsequently a founding member of the Bounce, I have met thousands of Hibs fans, many of whom I consider good friends of mine now.
I thank each and every one of them, each and every one of you. The Hibernian Family, whilst suffering from the odd arsehole, and regularly disfunctional, is in the main a wonderful thing to be part of.
I mentioned my old man at the top of these ramblings. My Dad was an ill man for many years before we lost him last year, he could barely walk the length of himself most days. That glorious day in May, when the cup finally came home to Easter Road, my Mum and Dad settled down to watch the final on the telly. Sir David Gray, captain of Hibernian, scored that header in the 92nd minute of the game, my old man, brought up a Hearts fan, leaped out his chair like Lazarus, shouting "Ya Fucking Beauty" as the ball nestled in the net. He could have brought me up a Jambo, he never did. Thanks Dad.