Hugh Howie was a versatile player and was an integral part of the post-war Hibernian sides.
Debut: Morton (1) vs Hibernian (0) - Scottish Southern League - 13/02/1943
Hugh Howie was born in Glasgow in 1924 and joined Hibernian from Newton Juniors during the war.
The versatile player was comfortable in both full-back positions, wing-half or centre half and made his debut for Hibs in a 1-0 defeat to Morton under the management of Willie McCartney. Hugh was a first-team regular during the first official post-war championship in 1946/47 and he would be an integral part of the side that reached the semi-finals of both the League Cup and Scottish Cup that same season.
It was in the Scottish Cup tie against Motherwell that Hugh scored his only goal for Hibs. After extra time the scoreline was still 1-1 so the ‘golden goal’ then came into operation. The ‘golden goal’ was an extension of the wartime‘emergency regulations that had been designed to reduce travelling difficulties in the case of replayed matches. If a game remained level at the end of the regulation 90 minutes then two periods of ten minutes would be played. If the game was still level, then an extra ten minute periods would be played until one side scored what would be deemed to be the winner.
Despite the valiant efforts of both sides, the score remained the same until the 142nd minute when Hugh, who was just inside his own half met a clearance first time, the ball soaring over the bemused Motherwell keeper and into the back of the net to earn the Hibs side a place in the first post-war Scottish Cup final. There was some doubt as to who was the more surprised, Hugh or the goalkeeper and from then on he would be known by fans and teammates alike as ‘Hands Howie'.
Programme featuring Hugh Howie in a match against Arsenal.
A few weeks after returning from international duty he complained of feeling unwell and would eventually be diagnosed with Tuberculosis, a far more serious illness then than it is today. His recovery would take some time but he would eventually return to reclaim his place in the first team in time to win Scottish Championship medals in 1951 and 1952.
After more than ten years at Easter Road and at the end of the 1953/54 season, Hugh decided that it was time to hang up his boots after 268 appearances across all competitions.
He retired from the game to become a sports reporter with the Daily Express and it was while working for the newspaper that he was tragically killed in January 1958 when the car he was testing for a friend swerved off the road and struck a lamppost. He was only 33 years old.
Full name: Hugh Howie
Date of Birth: 14th February 1924
Place of Birth: Glasgow, Scotland
Date of Death: 14th January 1958
National Team: Scotland
International Debut: Scotland (3) vs Wales (1) - British International Championship - 23rd October 1948
In October 1948, Hugh became the eleventh player then at Easter Road to gain international recognition when he was selected for the Scotland side to face Wales where he scored the opening goal in the 3-1 victory. It would turn out to be his only appearance for his country.
Hugh had taken over the right-back position in the national side from teammate Jock Govan due to illness and it was fairly unusual at the time for two players currently playing for the same side to represent their country in the same position.