EXHIBITIONS & ARTEFACTS

 

Many of our historical exhibitions and artefact collections are situated within the West Stand of Easter Road Stadium.

Celebrating one of Hibernian's greatest players.

Gordon Smith, known as the Prince of Wingers, was a member of Hibernian's legendary Famous Five forward line which dominated Scottish football during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

 

 Gordon Smith

 

Trust Curator Tom Wright's research into wartime records suggests that, taking into account friendlies, benefit games and exhibition matches, Smith made over 700 appearances for Hibernian, scoring an astonishing 364 goals in what was a truly remarkable career.

By the time his playing days came to an end in 1964, Gordon had won the Scottish League Cup once, the Scottish League Championship five times - with three separate clubs - and amassed 19 Scotland Caps, scoring 4 goals and captaining the national side twice.

 

Gordon Smith 22

Gordon Smith playing for Scotland

 

Following his death in 2004, the Trust mounted an exhibition entitled 'The Life and Career of Gordon Smith' as a tribute to the Hibernian legend.

Held within the West Stand at Easter Road Stadium, the exhibition featured items on loan from the Smith family, along with some of the Trust's own artifacts, showcasing a selection of jerseys, caps, and items of memorabilia representing the career of Gordon Smith and the exploits of the Hibernian team of the period.

 


 

1950s Hibernian Jerseys

Gordon Smith's first League Championship win came when Hibernian won the title in season 1947/48. After again winning the League in 1951/52, Hugh Shaw's Hibs side went on to triumph again the following season before seeing a third successive title elude them in season 1953/54 on account of the goal average system used to separate them from Rangers.

The jersey below, worn by Gordon Smith's 'Famous Five' team mate Lawrie Reilly, illustrates the strips worn by Hibernian during their 1951/52 League Championship winning season.

 

 

After a career spanning 18 years which saw him play 310 league games, scoring 125 goals, the summer of 1959 saw Smith leaving Hibernian after being given a free transfer and crossing the city to join rivals Hearts where he went on to win the League Championship for the 4th time in his career and a League Cup medal.

The jersey below was worn by Gordon Smith during the final years of his Hibs career.

 

 


 

1961-1964 Dundee Football Club

After leaving Hearts in the summer of 1961 Smith entered into talks with Dundee manager Bill Shankly which saw him moving to Dens Park where he went on to score 9 goals in 97 games which included 70 League, 12 League Cup, 6 Scottish Cup and a remarkable 8 European Cup ties, between 1961 and 1964.

The official Dundee FC blazer worn by Gordon Smith during his Dundee career is shown.

The jersey was kindly loaned by the Smith family

 

 

 Smith played an pivotal role in Dundee's 1961/62 League Championship title success and their subsequent European Cup run which saw them beat Cologne, Sporting Lisbon and Anderlecht before suffering a semi-final defeat at the hands of AC Milan in 1963.

This is the number 11 jersey worn by Gordon Smith during the 1961/62 season.

The jersey was kindly loaned by the Smith family

 

 


 

SFL Jersey

Gordon Smith represented the Scottish Football League in Interleague games a total of 11 times.

He gained 4 SFL caps against the English Football League (1950, 1951, 1955, 1956), 4 against the League of Ireland (1948, 1949, 1952, 1955), 2 against the Irish League (1948, 1956) and 1 against a Danish Football Combination team (1955).

Shown below is the jersey worn by Gordon Smith whilst playing against the English Football League in season 1949/50.

 

 


 

1947 Scotland Jersey

Gordon Smith played 19 games for Scotland making his debut against Belgium in a 2-2 draw at Hampden Park on the 23rd of January 1946.

Shown below is Smith's shirt from a 1-1 draw against England on the 12th of April 1947.

 

 


 

1940s and 1950s Scotland Jerseys

During his international career, which ended in 1957, Smith competed for the number 7 jersey with Ranger's Willie Waddell who was capped 17 times in the same period.

Shown below is Smith's shirt from a 1-1 draw against England on the 14th of April 1956.

 

 

Smith scored four times for his country, against Yugoslavia, Austria, Hungary and Spain, his goals against Hungary and Austria coming in games which saw him captain the side. It is said Smith eclipsed Hungary's legendary Ferenc Puskas in the 3-1 defeat.

Shown below is Smith's white Scotland jersey from the late 1950s.

 

 


 

SFA Blazer and Caps

Along with an SFA blazer issued to Gordon Smith during his Scotland Career (1946/56) a selection of his caps are shown:

Scottish Schoolboy Cap 1937/38 (Ireland)
Full Scotland Cap 1955/56 (Wales, England, Ireland)
Scottish Schoolboy Cap 1937/38 (England)

During this period caps were only given to recognise appearances in Home Internationals, with one full cap being issued per season.

 

 


 

Czech Tour 1946

Hibernian became the first Scottish team to tour Europe after the Second World War when they embarked on a visit to Czechoslovakia in 1946.

June 1946 saw Hibs play 4 games, against Sparta Prague (3-1), Slavia Prague (3-2), Brno (1-3) and Vitkovice (7-1).

A selection of items given to the players in recognition of the tour are shown.

 

Gordon Smith 18

 


 

German Tour

May 1950 saw Hibernian tour the Continent, playing 6 games against some formidable opponents. After suffering a 3-2 defeat against Rapid Vienna, Hibs beat German teams Linzer (3-1), FC Augsberg (4-2), Bayern Munich (6-1) and Muhlberg (3-0). The final game of the tour saw a 1-0 victory against Swiss side Berne.

 

 

This booklet was issued to mark the game against Bayern Munich on the 14th of May 1950, a 6-1 victory which saw goals from Reilly, Ormond, Souness, Johnstone and a double from Gordon Smith. It is inscribed 'Best Wishes, Gordon Smith. Hibernian and Scotland'.

 


 

Brazil Tour Images 1953

In 1953 Hibernian played in the Octagonal Rivadavia Correa Meyer in Brazil, a competition labelled as a World Club Championship by the Brazilian FA. The team's invitation to compete in the Maracana Stadium was said to be on account of the reputation of Gordon Smith and his 'Famous Five' team mates rather than their qualification as Scottish League Champions for the 1951/52 season.

 

These images show Lawrie Reilly (top) and a team line-up at the Maracana Stadium. Each player was given a medal to commemorate the occasion - Jock Govan's can be seen in the top left hand corner.

 


 

Brazilian Newspaper 1953

The 1953 Octagonal Rivadavia Correa Meyer Tournament in Brazil saw Hibernian play games against Vasco da Gama (3-3), Bota Fogo (1-3) and Fluminenase (0-3).

 

This newspaper article, written in Portuguese, features a prominent image of Gordon Smith and is believed to make reference to Brazilian interest in signing Smith and his team mate Bobby Johnstone.

 


 

Passport and SFL gifts

This display shows a selection of gifts given to Gordon Smith in recognition of his appearances for the Scottish Football League in Interleague matches.

The grooming kit inscribed 'Scottish League v The Irish League - Season 1947/48 - G. Smith'.

The clock is inscribed 'Inter League Match - Scottish Football League v The Football League of Ireland - 1947/48 - G. Smith'

 

Also shown is Gordon's passport covering the period 1946-56. It shows numerous stamps relating to his Hibs and Scotland trips of the time, including Czechoslovakia in 1946 and Brazil in 1953.

Items kindly loaned by the Smith family and Tom Wright

 


 

Scottish Footballer of the Year Award 1951

In 1951 Gordon Smith was voted Scottish Footballer of the Year. The trophy was presented to him by The Sunday Mail's Rex Kingsley, seen right.

 

 


 

Scottish Railways Advert 1953

This British Railways poster from 1953 advertised the Football Special service for the 4th round Scottish Cup tie between Hibs and Aberdeen on Saturday the 14th of March. The poster lists the departure times and cost of the journeys from numerous small train stations within the Edinburgh area, most of which no longer exist, including Hibernian's own stop at Easter Road.

Item kindly loaned by Tom Wright

 

 


 

Gordon Smith Mirror

This mirror represents one of the many presentations made to Gordon Smith throughout his career. Depicting a football of the period, the mirror features an image of Smith at its centre.

Item kindly loaned by the Smith family

 

 


 

Hibernian Statuettes

This image features two Hibernian statuettes. The smaller of the two depicts Gordon Smith while the larger, kindly loaned by Robert Haldane, represents a Hibernian player of the period.

 

 


 

Dundee Football Club Memorabilia

This display features a number of items relating to Gordon Smith's time at Dundee.

  • Official Christmas card from Manchester United manager Matt Busby, dated 1961.
  • Brochure inscribed 'Dundee FC. Football League Championship Week-end 1962'.
  • Menu for a dinner held in honour of Dundee FC at the City Chambers, Dundee, on the 23rd of August 1962.
  • Programme from the home leg of the European Cup tie against Sporting Club of Lisbon on the 31st of October 1962.
  • Programme from the away leg of the European Cup tie against SP Anderlecht on the 6th of March 1963.
  • Invitation from the President of RSC Anderlecht to dinner in honour of Dundee FC on the 6th of May 1963.
  • Programme from the European Cup semi-final game at Dens Park against Milan on the 1st of May 1963.
  • Invitation from the Directors of Dundee FC to a dinner in honour of AC Milan held at the Royal Hotel, Dundee on Wednesday the 1st May 1963.
  • A copy of the DC Thomson publication 'The Hornet' depicting 'The Gay Gordon of Dundee' on the front cover.

Items kindly loaned by the Smith family

 

 


 

Golfing items

Gordon Smith was a great lover of the game of golf, his retiral to the town of North Berwick was attributed to his past time.

His favourite golfer was South African Bobby Locke who became a family friend.

This image shows a selection of Gordon's clubs, a book written by Bobby Locke and a photograph of Gordon and Bobby together.

Items kindly loaned by the Smith family

 

 


 

Unveiling of Gordon Smith's medals

The 28th of April 2011 saw the 70th anniversary of Hibernian legend Gordon Smith signing for the Club. The significance of the date made it particularly appropriate for the Trust to host the unveiling of a remarkable set of 14 medals won by the player. With the assistance of Hibernian Chairman Rod Petrie and the generous donations of a number of fans, the Trust were delighted to secure this unique piece of Scottish footballing history.

During his illustrious career Smith won the Scottish League Championship five times with a remarkable three non-Old Firm clubs and triumphed in the Scottish League Cup. As well as scoring four goals during an international career which saw him win 19 Scotland Caps, two as captain, he also represented the Scottish Football League in Inter League games a total of 11 times.

 

 

At an event held in the Boardroom at Easter Road Stadium, Gordon's son Tony officially handed over his father's medals to the Trust's Chairman Ian Young. Also in attendance were Trustees Lawrie Reilly and Pat Stanton, Rod Petrie and the donors who made the purchase possible.

The Trust is grateful for the assistance of Tony Smith, Rod Petrie and the donors involved. It is hoped the medals will be put on permanent display within the Stadium at a future date.

Gordon Smith's medal collection is as follows:

  • League Championship 1947/48 (Hibernian)
  • League Championship 1950/51 (Hibernian)
  • League Championship 1951/52 (Hibernian)
  • League Championship 1959/60 (Hearts)
  • League Championship 1961/62 (Dundee)
  • Scottish Cup Runner Up 1947 (Hibernian)
  • League Cup 1959 (Hearts)
  • 7 Inter League medals
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.