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This is the first of a series of occasional articles highlighting unique artefacts within the Hibernian Historical Trust archives.

Formed in 2004 to help protect, preserve and promote the proud history of the football club, the Hibernian Historical Trust’s extensive collection of memorabilia contains over 3000 items dating back to the 1870s.




Our most recent acquisition is a Scottish League Championship medal won by the long serving Hibernian player Patrick ‘Paddy’ Callaghan in 1903.


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Callaghan, who also took part in the Scottish Cup victory over Celtic in 1902, joined the club from Jordanhill in 1898 making his first team debut the following year. Described at the time as a rugged but conscientious and intelligent player with two great feet, he also gained a reputation as a clean and gentlemanly competitor.

Capped for Scotland at inside left in the 3-0 victory against Ireland at the quaintly named Solitude Stadium in Belfast in 1900 when he lined up alongside team mate Robert Glen and soon to be team mate Harry Rennie, it would turn out to be his one and only cap for his country.


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A one-club man, during his 15 seasons at Easter Road Callaghan would make 309 league appearances scoring 71 goals, plus many others in cup fixtures. It is said that during this time he had occupied every position, including goalkeeper, before retiring in 1914. A conscientious and loyal servant, Callaghan died in Glasgow in 1959 aged almost 80.

The Trust is indebted to John Copeland who donated the medal.




Since the club’s groundbreaking tour of war torn Czechoslovakia in 1946, Hibs had made many trips abroad, most notably to Norway, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. However in the summer of 1953, they were destined to travel much further afield; this time South America.

The Copa Rivadavia Correia Meyer Tournament, otherwise known as The Octagonal International Championship was an eight-team tournament involving clubs from Uruguay, Portugal, Scotland and the host country Brazil.

Stationed in Rio not far from the world famous Copacabana Beach, Hibs had been drawn in a section that also included the Brazilian sides Vasco de Gama, Botafogo and Fluminense, all the games to take place in the recently built Maracana Stadium, which at that time had just replaced Hampden as the biggest football stadium in the world.


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The other section consisted of Corinthians and Sao Paulo from Brazil, the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon and National from Uruguay, with the top two teams from each section going through to the finals.

Although failing to win a game, losing two and drawing the other, Hibs had given a good account of themselves, particularly in the 3-3 draw against the eventual winners of the tournament Vasco de Gama, a performance later described in a local newspaper as the best display ever given by a visiting team in that country. It was later reported that Vasco de Gama had made offers for both Gordon Smith and Bobby Johnstone.

A Brazilian Football encyclopaedia printed in the late 1960s had devoted an entire chapter to the Scottish side and their influence on the Latin game during the tour of 1953. According to the book, Hibs had “played an interchanging positional game that had bamboozled their opponents and delighted the watching aficionados, and were included because at that time they were at the very forefront of the British game and brought to it a style that was original for those times.”




Jimmy O’Rourke joined Hibs straight from Holy Cross Academy in 1962. Despite the attentions of several other sides including Manchester United and Celtic, there was only ever going to be one destination for the Hibs mad youngster and that was Easter Road.

O’Rourke made his first team debut in Hibs’ 2-1 victory against Utrecht in the Fairs Cup at Easter Road on 12th December 1962 aged just 16, and at that time was not only the youngest player to make a first team debut for Hibs but also the youngest ever to take part in a competitive European game.

Looking every inch a real prospect he became an immediate first team regular, but unfortunately a severe injury received against Dundee United the following season would seriously hinder his promising career.


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Although the injury would keep him out of football for almost a year, it would take him much longer to completely recover and it was only after the arrival of Eddie Turnbull as manager at Easter Road in 1971 that O’Rourke’s career would really blossom.

Forming a prolific goalscoring partnership with Alan Gordon in the great Turnbull’s Tornadoes side of the early 1970s, scoring hat-tricks against Sporting Lisbon and the Albanian side Besa in that seasons Cup Winners Cup, he would also score one of the goals in Hibs’ 2-1 League victory over Celtic in 1972.

Only a few weeks later on 1st January 1973, Hibs would face city rivals Hearts in the New Year’s Derby. In what has since been described as “a pleasant afternoon at Tynecastle”, the Easter Road side would eventually record a famous 7-0 victory against a Hearts side that conceded only three goals at home that season; O’Rourke scoring twice and the other goals scored by Gordon (2) Duncan (2) and Cropley. The unstoppable Hibs were later described as “not only the team of the moment but the team of the future.”

The jersey has kindly been loaned to the Trust by the Hanretty family in memory of Helen O’Rourke.




Concerned at the major loss of revenue created mainly by the absence of games against the ’Old Firm’ in the wartime regional leagues that had been in place the previous season, in 1941 the Hibs Chairman Harry Swan had been instrumental in the setting up of an initially experimental Summer Cup competition featuring the top 16 sides in the country.

After home and away wins against Celtic and Clyde and a semi-final victory over Dumbarton at Tynecastle, Hibs faced Rangers in the inaugural final at Hampden. 2-0 behind at half-time, a revitalised Easter Road side came storming back after the break with two goals by Willie Finnigan, the winning goal scored by centre-half Bobby Baxter just before the end.

At the after match celebrations in the Central Hotel in Glasgow, the chairman thanked the victorious players for their efforts that according to him had resulted in the pride being restored at Easter Road, but had been astonished when it was suggested by the club that owing to his part in the revival of Hibs and his involvement in the inauguration of the cup itself, that the trophy should be presented to him personally.


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For many years the cup had remained in the possession of the Swan family and had been due to be handed down to Swan’s grandson Martin Sherington who lives in the United States, but on hearing of the Trusts efforts to promote the history of the club, several years ago Martin donated the cup to the Historical Trust in perpetuity believing that it should be “back home.” The Trust is indebted to Martin and his family for this wonderful gesture and the cup is now on display at the stadium.

Recently Martin and his wife visited Easter Road for the first time in many years and were delighted to be photographed with the trophy.


Written by Tom Wright

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.