HALL OF FAME

 

The Hall of Fame is a celebration of historic Hibernian careers and achievements.

Position Inside Forward

With his deft touch, incisive football brain and fantastic passing ability, the versatile Preston considered himself more a creator of goals than goal scorer, but this didn't prevent him from scoring many important goals for the club.

 

Tommy Preston

Tommy Preston. Inducted in 2017.

 

Having gone to Easter Road Stadium as a spectator in April 1954 for the visit of Celtic, Tommy Preston would, to his surprise, be told he was playing. This began his long association with the club.

He started the following season deputising for the ill Lawrie Reilly, but after scoring nine goals in the first seven games a place in the side just had to be made for him and on Reilly's return to fitness Preston was moved to inside left, with Eddie Turnbull moving back to wing half. He would rarely, barring injuries be out of the side during the next ten years.

Although the versatile Preston considered himself more a creator of goals than goal scorer, this didn't prevent him from scoring many important goals for the club, including four in Hibs record 11-1 away victory against Airdrie in 1959.

His most important goals would be scoring in both legs of Hibs' famous Fairs Cup victory over Barcelona in 1960/61, but his personal favourite strikes would be reserved for a game in Gorgie. To inaugurate the opening of the Hearts floodlights in 1957, Preston scored three in Hibs' 4-2 victory. A very young Joe Baker scored the other, leaving Preston to claim that there had been no better place to score a hat-trick than at Tynecastle.

Although international honours eluded him, he was named as travelling reserve for Scotland's first ever under-23 game, against England in February 1955. Selected to face England's under-23 side at Hillsborough the following year only a replayed Hibs Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers at Easter Road that same evening prevented him from taking his place in the Scottish side.

It was not only on the football field however that Preston took the eye. It was around this time that his good looks saw him commissioned for a series of fashion articles in The Scotsman newspaper as a part-time male model featuring the latest styles at the 'Pageant of Fashion' at the Waverly Market in Edinburgh. It is not known what comments his participation drew from his team-mates in the Easter Road dressing room.

He would later join St Mirren as player-coach with the added responsibility of training the youngsters in the evenings, with one of his protégéés the young future Scotland player Archie Gemmell, but a fall-out with the chairman hastened his end at Love Street after just one league game.

Disillusioned, Preston would turn his back on a game he had graced with distinction for well over ten years and he would enter the pub trade as landlord at several hostelries around the town before taking over the Annfield bar in Newhaven with his long-time partner, Janet.

Latterly Tommy was to be found at Easter Road on match days as a guest of the club. He died on 16th April 2015, aged 82.