Local author Ian Colquhoun’s latest book, The Hibs Are Here, which charts the period from 1992 to 1999 is now available for purchase and will prove to be a wonderful trip down memory lane for all Hibs fans.
One reader will win a signed copy of the book by answering the question at the bottom of this article to enter our competition. The winner will be chosen at random from the correct answers submitted by 5pm on 11 April 2021.
The “must read” book provides fresh insight through exclusive interviews with a number of the club’s players, coaches and managers including Darren Jackson, Keith Wright, Kevin McAllister, Jim Duffy, Graham Mitchell, Steven Tweed, David Farrell, Mark McGraw, Martin Ferguson and Chris Jackson.
Ian relives the joy of a UEFA Cup run, reaching another cup final and an historic third-place finish in the Scottish Premier Division; the highs and lows of an instant promotion following relegation, and the heartbreak of losing that final and two semi-final defeats.
The Hibs are Here charts the club’s journey, a fascinating period on the field and a momentous time off it, as Hibs transitioned to being a truly modern football club.
The book provides an in-depth look at the second half of manager Alex Miller’s reign, what happened next and how, in 1997 the club was briefly reinvigorated with a new boss and new ideas, only to suffer a relegation, yet bounced back within 12 months and returned to the top flight far stronger.
It also covers the Bosman ruling of 1995 which saw Hibs go from having a wholly British squad to signing a legion of foreign stars – some good, some mediocre and includes three cup semi-finals, one cup final, one gallant UEFA Cup adventure, a relegation, a resounding title win and ending the 20th century by routing their city rivals live on TV in the never to be forgotten Millennium Derby.
In addition it explains how big changes in Scottish, British and world football in the 90s affected the club and includes season by season diary chapters, bursting with facts, stats and fan observations plus a special chapter on the UEFA Cup trip to Anderlecht written by fellow fan Matt Kane and another on Hibs’ proposed move to Straiton written by Bobby Sinnet.
It looks at 90s Hibs fan culture, the songs, the supporters and the club’s cultural coolness with quirky and interesting stories about the club from that era, some funny, some unbelievable, some sad, some absolute nonsense but all fascinating.
Ian told The Edinburgh Reporter: “It was a joy to write this book which starts with a season by season account of Alex Miller’s last four and a half years, including match reports and description of goals, then becomes more summarised when first Jocky Scott then Jim Duffy took over and finishes with the famous ‘Millennium Derby’ victory under Alex McLeish. The 1990s were a roller coaster for Hibs, but a fascinating period and the decade started with lots of debt at a dilapidated Easter Road before finishing back in the Premier League with a new stadium and an exciting team under the ownership of Sir Tom Farmer.
“Alex Miller is often accused by fans of being negative however he never signed a bad player and almost all of them were attack minded such as Keith Wright, Darren Jackson, Michael O’Neil, Kevin McAllister and Pat McGinlay.
“Lockdown was the ideal time to get hold of people who were stuck in their houses and had time to speak. I really enjoyed interviewing Jim Duffy who was an amazing guy and who spoke very highly of the club. He took full responsibility for the relegation and what went wrong at that time. My favourite player Darren Jackson was also brilliant to interview as well, although I was like a nervous schoolboy before I called him, and he told a great story about standing in the tunnel opposite Ronaldo as Scotland faced Brazil in the opening game of the France 1998 World Cup finals and reflected on his amazing journey from Meadowbank Thistle.
“The club have always been very good to me but it was not formally involved in the book although the fans’ director Kieran Power helped me get contact details for some players as did Dougie McLeod and Maurice Dougan. Pitch Publishing have also been very supportive.”
During lockdown Ian created the Twitter account #TheHibsAreHere which has already proved to be hugely popular with football fans and provided some much needed entertainment to those missing the interaction that football provides.
He continued: “The aim was to publicise the book and initially it included some quizzes along with some stuff which I couldn’t fit in however since then I have included photographs from programmes and magazines as well as goals from the past.
“I have around 170 goals available on VHS and CD and started posting a 30-second clip every day to generate interest. The oldest one was from Hibs’ game against Manchester United in 1981 and these have proved to be very popular with over one million views per month. The twitter account has also helped people suffering isolation during this difficult time and I have received many messages from followers. Hopefully we can all get back to normal soon and like many others I can’t wait to get back inside Easter Road to watch Hibs in action.
Ian Colquhoun is a lifelong Hibs fan from West Lothian who has lived most of his life in Edinburgh. He was born into a Hibs’ family on both sides and watched his first game from the old South Stand at Easter Road during the summer of 1986 when John Blackley’s side trounced Chelsea 4-1, a result that would be inconceivable these days.
His first experience of journalism came at the age of 14, while on work experience at Easter Road, when he interviewed groundsman Pat Frost.
Ian has written two other Hibs books: “From Oblivion to Hampden” about the famous Skol/League Cup win in 1991 and “Hibernian On This Day”, which he co-wrote with his friend Bobby Sinnet.
For a chance to win a signed copy of Ian’s book, answer this question below: