Looking for a gift for the beloved Hibee in the family, then how about the autobiography of Jackie Plenderleith, the only surviving player from Hibs first European game?

First and Last: How I Made European History With Hibs was co-written by Jackie and Tom Maxwell who also wrote the popular Fabulous Baker Boys book about brothers, Joe and Gerry.

Now aged 83, Jackie takes the readers back to 1955 and describes what it was like for a 17-year-old coal miner’s son to witness first-hand the awkward birth of the global phenomenon now known as the Champions League and his role in helping Hibs reach the semi-finals.

The former Scotland international relives his time playing alongside the Edinburgh club’s legendary ‘Famous Five’ forward line, and reveals how it felt to line up against the incomparable Ferenc Puskás twice in the space of two days while in South Africa.

Captain of the British Army team during his national service, a team-mate to Joe Baker at Hibs and Denis Law at Manchester City Jackie is the proud possessor of international caps from schoolboy to senior level.

Jackie kindly shared his memories with The Edinburgh Reporter. He recalled: “Writing the book has brought back so many great memories of my time playing for this great club.

“When Hibs entered the European Cup I travelled to Germany for the first-leg against Rot Weiss Essen who were the German champions and had some great players in their team. What many people don’t remember is that Germany were world champions, having won the world cup the

“Once the game started I was not nervous. I just played my normal game and we won 4-0 across there which was a fantastic result which would be inconceivable today.

“I stayed in the side for the next round against Djurgardens who were also a good team but I missed the semi-final against Rheims. They had a centre forward called Raymond Kopa who was one of the best players in the world but I firmly believe that I would have been able to deal with him.

“Without being big-headed I believe that Hibs would have won that game if I had been playing and reached the first European Cup final against Real Madrid.

“I am  proud to have played for Hibs and have no regrets about choosing them over the Old Firm or the top English clubs as I had a great time at Easter Road.”

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