Dozens queued outside the Hibs shop this morning in advance of the unveiling of the new home kit for Season 2013/14. They were quickly joined by hundreds more and shop staff struggled to cope with the initial demand.
Produced by the leading global sportswear brand, Nike, the new home kit is a classic Hibernian design with a ‘Forever Green’ applique branded onto the back.
The kit is completed with white shorts and green-and-white socks – a traditional look for the forthcoming season, and first to buy a top was East Stand Season Ticket Holder Jamie Douglas from Blackford in Edinburgh, who was actually at the back of the queue when the doors opened, but showing some nimble footwork that Danny Handling would have been proud of, he was first to reach the tills.
The strip returns to the more traditional lighter green after last year’s successful ‘bottle green’ top which was popular with the fans.
Teenage striker Danny Handling was on hand to model the strip, after returning from the Den Haag Under 20s tournament where he helped Scotland to 4th place, scoring twice in the opening game against Cruzeiro.
This will be an important year for the youngster and he is determined to be in the manager’s plans, particularly as he is one of only two strikers in the first team squad at present following the departure of Eoin Doyle to Chesterfield and Leigh Griffiths who has returned to parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Earlier this year Hibs main sponsors, Crabbie’s announced a search for five deserving supporters to be the face of this season’s Home kit launch.
Today the club introduced the ‘Famous Five’ all local community heroes and deserving supporters who have all showcased in their own ways, an all-encompassing commitment and great affection for Hibernian F.C.
The five chosen from the Hibernian community are Hugh Cockburn, Darren Stenhouse, Lex Sheils, David Fulton and Glen Milne.
Ron Young, Country Manager of Scotland at Halewood International, said: “We are very excited to have these local community heroes and huge Hibernian supporters launch the kit for the first time with Hibernian.
“When we became involved with Hibernian two years ago we were clear that this was an opportunity to give something back to the area where John Crabbie formulated the original ginger wine nearly 200 years ago.”
Russell Smith, Head of Commercial, said:- “We are delighted to work alongside Crabbie’s as we launch Hibernian’s first home kit by Nike with the five modern day community heroes, Cockburn, Stenhouse, Sheilds, Fulton and Milne.
“This is special gesture from the club and Crabbie’s to our supporters, who we value and appreciate and it highlights the unsung heroes from the stands at Easter Road.
“This is the first time we’ve asked supporters to help unveil our new home kit. There are thousands of deserving heroes within our community and we hope by recognising Your Famous Five, as we launch the Hibernian home kit for next year, we can further strengthen the bond between our supporters and the club.”
The ‘Famous Five’ stories are as follows:
As a supporter of Hibs for well over 40 years and despite now living in Sunderland, Hugh Cockburn recently helped raised over £2,000 for the Dan McMichael headstone fund. When planning his charity cycling trip from London to Edinburgh, Hugh heard about the efforts of the St. Patrick’s Hibernian Supporters’ Branch to give McMichael, Hibernian’s legendary cup-winning manager, the fitting tribute he deserves by giving his final resting place a proper headstone.
Almost six years ago, Darren Stenhouse began dedicating his time to help two local Edinburgh institutions. St. Mary’s School, which is situated very near to Easter Road and boasts current club owner Sir Tom Farmer amongst its former pupils, has been benefiting from Darren’s dedication and SFA Level 3 football coaching expertise for over half a decade now.
Leith Athletic FC also reaps the rewards of Darren’s motivation, love for the sport and dedication to his community. As a loyal Hibs supporter of over 40 years, Darren has followed his side across Europe, including their successful tie against Videoton, Hungary in the 1989/90 season.
However, it is his work closer to home that has caught the attention of the club and the surrounding area. Darren manages his St Mary’s side on a Saturday, Leith Athletic FC on a Sunday and their respective training sessions, which take up another two days of his week. It is this prolonged period of dedication that prompted some of his fellow Hibees to nominate Darren as one of the ‘Famous Five’ local heroes.
He uses his time at St. Mary’s, to not only improve the football skills of Edinburgh’s next generation but also to teach them about respect, fair-play, teamwork and the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle.
Lex Sheilds has been involved with Hibernian since a very young age; he was a schoolboy player for Hibs and is today still involved with some of the Hibernian Foundation’s partners. After a successful junior football career and a spell in management, Lex saw his football knowledge and experience as an opportunity to help others in the Edinburgh community. He began working for the Lothian Special Olympics and became a learning assistant for adults and children with learning difficulties.
Lex has been helping Elaine McKenna (head football coach) and the rest of the Lothian Special Olympics team for over 17 years. The movement was founded over 40 years ago and looks to give confidence and hope to people with learning disabilities. Lex dedicates his time and applies his management and playing skills to help run the football elements of the organisation.
Since his playing days, Lex has always been drawn to helping others, particularly those with learning disabilities as well as those who care for them. He finds the work very rewarding and feels that often he enjoys the coaching experience as much as they do. Lex’s long-term commitment to helping those that perhaps don’t always feel included in group or sporting activities is truly inspirational.
Two of Lex’s sons have played in the Hibernian setup, so the Sheilds’ family truly are a Hibs institution and it seemed very fitting for Lex to be nominated as one of the ‘Famous Five’ local heroes for his prolonged support and dedication to his club and community
As an avid Hibs supporter for over 50 years, David Fulton recently walked from Edinburgh to Hampden Park steps to raise money for the widow of his long-time friend, Charlie Adams. After Charlie passed away suddenly four weeks ago, David took it upon himself to walk the 45 mile journey, a mile for every year of Charlie’s life, prior to Hibs’ appearance in the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic.
With the great support of his friends, the club and the media, David completed the journey in less than ten hours and was greeted by the staff at Hampden Park at 6pm, the evening before his side was due to appear in the 2013 Scottish Cup Final. Without much notice or any preparation, the task was physically daunting. David described it as “the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, even harder than completing the Edinburgh Marathon”. Having known Charlie and his family for over 20 years, David was motivated during his journey by the thought that whilst his physical pain would go away, their grief would not.
Charlie’s family are overjoyed with David’s inspirational effort and eternally thankful for both the emotional and financial support that the walk has generated. To date, David estimates that he has raised over £3,000, all of which will be donated to Charlie’s widow, Anne Marie.
The journey that led Glen Milne to be nominated as one of the ‘Famous Five’ local heroes began in 2009. Having recently retired, Glen’s pension payments were unexpectedly cut. Understandably upset, he realised the only way to get the money back was to try and get healthier and down to an ideal weight in order to increase his life expectancy.
Despite having lost 5 stone in recent years, in 2009 he still weighed 19 stone and was struggling to lose any more. Hibernian Community Foundation had just begun their ‘Fit Fans in Training’ programme as part of their Men’s Health initiative. Glen signed up, and after the initial 12 weeks, he had lost over 2 stone in weight. The Community Foundation decided to have a further course for the ‘FFiT’ graduates – Fit for Change, and another 12 week session started. By the end of that initiative, Glen’s weight was down to 14.5 stone, just over what is considered a healthy weight.
By his 52nd birthday in April 2012, Glen had lost almost 7 stone since beginning the ‘Fit Fans in Training’ programme. For the first time since he turned 15, he can now fit into 32″ waist jeans. Since then, Glen has continued to remain healthy and active, subsequently he is now off high blood pressure medication, his cholesterol levels are down to the low side of normal and he was able to run for 2 miles for the first time since 1979. He continues to play his much loved 5-a-side football, but can now play outfield, and he’s even managed a couple of 11-a-side matches including captaining the Hibernian Fit Fans team.
The club shop will be open on Sunday and hopes business will be brisk as fans take advantage of the free stadium tours provided by the Hibernian Historical Trust between 1pm and 4pm.