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The jersey in the photograph was recently donated to the Trust by an exiled Hibs supporter living in London.

Given to his father by Bobby Combe in the late 1940s, the jersey has no number on the back suggesting that it was worn either during the war itself or shortly after, as Hibs did not wear numbered jerseys until season 1946/47.

The shirt also bears the wartime utility label CC41, also known as the double cheeses. Recognised as a mark of quality, the utility label was introduced at the end of 1941 when materials such as cloth and wool were in very short supply, and also as a specific attempt to keep the cost of clothing down.

 

1940s Hibs Jersey

 

Strictly enforced government regulations controlled the amount of raw materials that could be supplied to manufacturers, the percentage of profit that could be made, and also the amount of material that could be used in clothing. These regulations included the maximum length of a shirt, the number of pockets that could be used on jackets and dresses, and a complete ban on turnups on men's trousers.

The restrictions were in place until 1952.

The shirt has a colourful history, according to its owner Simon Hope:

"I was given the jersey by my grandfather in the 1960s. I'm afraid that I used it as just another exotic piece of clothing to show off in. It was the 60's after all. The garment travelled with me to India and back a few times in the 1970s and was laundered by countless dhobi wallahs which may account for the faded colours."

Bobby Combe made a goal scoring debut for Hibs in April 1941 in a 5-3 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle. Also making his debut that day was Hibs legendary forward Gordon Smith who scored a hat trick. Both players would work alongside each other at Robb's shipyard in Leith, until Combe was called up for the armed forces later in the war. Captured by the Germans, he returned to become a mainstay in the great Hibs side of the late 1940s and early 1950s when the club, led by the illustrious Famous Five, won three League Championships inside a six year period.

Capped three times for Scotland in 1948, the solid and reliable Combe, who had featured in almost every position for the club during his 15 years at Easter Road, replaced Bobby Johnstone in the Hibs forward line when the latter moved to Manchester City in 1955.

He later became trainer at Easter Road then had a short spell as manager of Dumbarton, before retiring completely from the game.

If you can add to any historical article, perhaps with special memories, a favourite story or the results of your original research, the Hibernian Historical Trust would love to hear from you.
You can kindly contribute by contacting us HERE.