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During the early days of the Second World War, with the country divided up into regional leagues and a maximum wage limit in operation, football had reverted to what was in reality a part time occupation.

With a great number of the public now serving in the armed forces there was a severe drop in attendances at most games, accompanied by the obvious decrease in revenue. In order to redress the balance, particularly for some of the smaller clubs who were finding it difficult to balance their finances, Hibs chairman Harry Swan was instrumental in the setting up of a cup competition that would generate much needed revenue during the summer months.

After victories against Celtic and Clyde in the earlier rounds of the inaugural competition, a narrow victory over Dumbarton at Tynecastle in the semi final, set up a meeting with Rangers in the final at Hampden on 12 July 1941.

In the first half Rangers were by far the better side, racing to a 2-0 interval lead, but in the second period there was only one team in it. Two goals from Willie Finnigan, one from the penalty spot, levelled things, and a goal in the dying minutes by Hibs captain Bobby Baxter was enough to give the Edinburgh side the Summer cup.

At the after match victory dinner at the Central Hotel in Glasgow, Harry Swan was surprised when the Hibs manager Willie McCartney suggested that because of the chairman's part in the inauguration of the cup the trophy should be presented to him personally, and it was left to Mr W Cuff, President of the Football League to do the honours.

The Hibernian Historical Trust are indebted to the family of Harry Swan who have gifted the Summer Cup to the club in perpetuity, and it can be seen today in the Easter Road boardroom.


Summer Cup 1

The Summer Cup on display at Easter Road Stadium


The Hibernian side that defeated Rangers was Kerr, Shaw, Hall, Busby, Baxter, Kean, Nutley, Finnigan, Milne, Combe and Caskie.

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