TIMELINE

 

Since the inception of the Club, Hibernian have always had an ambitious and progressive outlook.

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Hard work from the new Committee results in the Club signing a lease on a field called Drum Park, land that has remained Hibernian's home ever since. A year later the Club are admitted into the Scottish League via the newly formed Second Division.

Under a cloud of mourning following the passing of their founder, the Hibernians had to plan for the challenges ahead. Their first gesture however, was to donate their meagre funds in full to the Committee set up to erect a suitable memorial upon Canon Hannan's grave.

No money, no home, not enough players - adversity of the toughest possible kind, but these men of the Hibernians were made of stern stuff. However, a horrendous decision had to be made - should the Club move forward at a junior level and play on public parks, or take some time out to regroup and come back to the top level when they were strong enough.

There was no contest really, Hibernians would play at the top level or not at all and so time out was duly taken.

 


 

Taking time out to revive the Club

The time out period actually extended to some eighteen months, but during that period all connected with Hibernians gave 100% in their efforts to raise the Club from the ashes. The Committee, the CYMS, St. Mary Star of the Sea, Hibernian Swimming Club and of course the supporters all worked together to bring Hibernians back to life.

It was to be the men of St. Mary Star of the Sea who would take hold of the project to resuscitate Hibernians. Driven on by the likes of Philip and John Farmer, Charles Perry, Barney Lester and Thomas McCabe, the men of St. Mary Star of the Sea laid plans for a new Hibernian Football Club. Former Hibernian Thomas Flood also returned to the Hibernians Committee, after leaving Glasgow and the Committee of Celtic to take up employment and residence in Edinburgh.

In a major departure from the old set up, these men decided that a new Hibernian would exist for the benefit of the whole community of Edinburgh and Leith and not, as in the past, solely for the Catholics. The new Club would be run as a business and the team would be open to any player, regardless of religious background as it would be to anyone who wanted to support it. Whilst these men of vision knew their aims would be difficult to achieve, they set about the task with ferocious determination, helped enormously by the reaction in Little Ireland where the revolutionary ideas were met with great enthusiasm. The group, dedicated to their task, were delighted to receive the full support and backing of Michael Whelahan who was a close friend of Charles Perry. Michael was willing to accept that this new Hibernian would not sully the memory of the old, just because it was to depart from its original ideals.

Fundraising began in earnest with the new Committee men getting things going with personal donations before going out to the business world and individuals in an attempt to swell the coffers. With strenuous efforts being made to secure a new home for Hibernians, the Committee suffered a blow when star player James Blessington signed for Celtic.

 

James Blessington

James Blessington

 

Like McGhee and McMahon before him, Blessington firstly ensured that Hibernians were happy for him to secure his footballing future and though sad to see him go, the honourable men of the Committee would not stand in this good servant's way. Blessington went on to have a glittering career with both Celtic and Scotland.

 


 

A new home

With Philip Farmer at the fore, Hibernians worked hard at resurrecting the beloved green jerseys and securing a new home. Philip was the grandfather of Sir Tom Farmer, who performed a similar deed by taking a controlling interest in the Club and saved Hibernian from extinction in 1990.

Towards the end of 1892, the Committee signed a lease on a field called Drum Park. The field had a slope and the access was not great but this was to become the home of Hibernian Football Club, a home they still occupy to this day.

With Philip Farmer appointed treasurer of the resurrected Hibernians, every penny that could be raised was put into creating a suitable new home ground for the Club. Meanwhile, the search for players began and as intimated in the beginning of this new venture, the search went on all over Scotland for players of any religious denomination checked out as to ability.

Membership of the East of Scotland FA was sought and gained before, following several weeks of frantic work to make things ready, the new ground was formally opened on 4th February 1893 with a challenge match against Clyde. The fact that they went down 4-3 with a makeshift team mattered not. It had been 21 months since Hibernians last played a game, but against all the odds they had refused to die. The final eleven months of that period were those in which Philip Farmer drove things forward and but for his dedication and endless hours of work, together with his fellow Committee members, there might not be a Hibernian Football Club today. Every Hibernian fan down the years since owes those men a huge debt of gratitude.

Membership of the SFA was sought and gained as Hibernians played a series of friendly matches both home and way with encouraging results as the team tried to blend together. Most notable of those results were a narrow 4-3 defeat in Paisley to St. Mirren and a stunning 3-2 home win over a very strong Dumbarton. Both of those Clubs were playing regularly in a strong Scottish League. Hibernians were back and eager to become involved in that League after having missed out at its inception.

 


 

A foot in the Scottish League door

Gaining entry to the League set up was proving difficult as with only one Division in place, Hibernians would have to contest any vacancy with others and such a opening was only likely to arise by a member Club folding. Whilst the Committee pondered this problem, encouraging news arrived from an unlikely source.

Airdrieonians wrote to Hibernians asking if they would lend their support to the creation of a Second Division of the Scottish League! This idea was seized upon immediately and Hibernians threw their full weight behind the campaign. Thomas Flood represented Hibernians at the inaugural meeting and the Club was accepted as a member of the newly formed League.

The Hibernians had a foot in the door now - and the only way was up.

 


 

OVERVIEW

 

The Club donate their meagre funds in full to the Committee set up to erect a suitable memorial upon Canon Hannan's grave.

Hibernians take some time out, roughly eighteen months, to regroup and compete in Scottish football when they felt strong enough.

The men of St. Mary Star of the Sea lay plans for a new Hibernian Football Club, a team that benefits the whole community of Edinburgh and Leith and not, as in the past, solely for the Catholic population.

The Committee sign a lease on a field called Drum Park, land that has remained Hibernian's home ever since.

Philip Farmer, the grandfather of Sir Tom Farmer, is appointed Treasurer of the resurrected Hibernians.

Hibernian acquire membership of the East of Scotland Football Association and Scottish Football Association.

The new Drum Park ground is formally opened on 4th February 1893 with a challenge match against Clyde.

Still excluded from the Scottish League, Hibernians lend their support to Airdrieonians in putting an idea forward for the creation of a Scottish Second Division.

 

Written as part of 'The Origins of Hibernian' series

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