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James Delaney looks back on the all bottle green shirt from the 2014/15 season and Hibernian's biggest win over Rangers since 1941.

The legendary Famous Five forward line that led the Hibernian attack in the years following the end of the Second World War are rightly remembered as one of the greatest group of players ever to grace Scottish football.

In their heyday, Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and Willie Ormond captured the imagination of football fans across the globe with their quick, attacking style, elevating Hibernian to new heights as the club captured league titles in 1948, 1951 and 1952.

Following the death of Lawrie Reilly in 2013, the final member of the celebrated Famous Five forward line to pass away, Hibernian removed the famous white sleeves from the 2014/15 home shirt as a tribute to the quintet.

Reilly ApplauseHibernian players take part in a minute's applause in memory of Lawrie Reilly

The shirt was to honour the decade all five were born, adopting the all green shirt worn in the 1920s, a distinct departure from the traditional white sleeved outfits almost exclusively worn by the club since the late thirties.

The shirt was given something of a modern upgrade with the addition of sponsor logos and the club crest, but it also included a few intricate details with the addition of an insignia bearing the words ‘Their memory matches on’ placed on the shoulder in tribute to the five, while white shorts and black socks were introduced to stay faithful to the original look.

In launching the shirt, the Club brought together living relatives of the five, with grandchildren of the famous forward line donning the jersey in the advertising campaign.

If the shirt was one way to honour the quintet, playing an attacking style of football while wearing it was another and the visit of Rangers to Easter Road in December 2014 provided the perfect platform for the Easter Road side to put on one of their best displays in recent memory.

The five had put on several classic games against the Ibrox club’s equally regarded ‘Iron Curtain’ defence in their pomp, but this was a day for the men in green and white to celebrate as they carved the Glasgow club open to record a stunning 4-0 win.

Early strikes from David Gray and Jason Cummings had the hosts two up inside 12 minutes, before Scott Robertson and Liam Craig capped an excellent display in the second period, but it was the performance of Scott Allan alongside the pair in the Hibernian midfield that caught the eye.

The Gers simply could not cope with Allan’s running, passing and creativity in the middle of the pitch as he laid on both the second half goals.

Kenny McDowall made his bow in the away dugout with Ally McCoist placed on gardening leave by the Ibrox club.

But the home side were in complete control from the first whistle and lead after just eight minutes when Gray thumped home a wonderful effort from the edge of the box.

Craig’s cross from the left was cleared to the full back who took a touch before arrowing a perfect shot beyond Steve Simonsen in the Gers’ goal.

Four minutes later, Alan Stubbs’ side doubled their lead when Cummings tapped in from close range. Allan picked out Craig with at the back post with a pinpoint delivery and the midfielder volleyed back across goal with Simonsen stranded for Cummings to finish from a yard out.

40JCJason Cummings is mobbed by team-mates after doubling his side's lead in the first-half

Rangers struggled to get a foothold in the game and the home side went close to ending it as a contest on several occasions in the first half as Simonsen reacted well to push away Cummings strike from range before Robertson skewed the rebound wide.

But with the away side floundering up against the hosts’ midfield running, it was always likely the men in green and white would add to their tally.

It took until after the hour before Robertson started and finished the move that led to the third. The midfielder won the ball in the centre circle before exchanging passes with Allan and slotting into the bottom corner.

Eight minutes later, Allan darted beyond the Gers’ back line before clipping it in for Craig to wrap up the points with a volleyed finish from 18 yards as Hibernian sealed their biggest win over the Glasgow club since 1941.

SA40Scott Robertson is congratulated on his goal by Hibernian team-mates Danny Handling and Scott Allan

Gordon Smith was the only one of the five to play on that day, bagging two in an 8-1 demolition of the Ibrox club and the class of 2014 did the legendary forward line proud with some thrilling attacking play.

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.
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