Under new manager Jock Stein, Hibs start season 1964/65 with a bang by winning the Summer Cup against Aberdeen.
Hibs certainly started the 1964/65 season with a bang, travelling to Aberdeen on the first day of August to face the Dons in the first leg of the delayed Summer Cup Final. The match had been scheduled for the previous June but a typhoid outbreak in Aberdeen put paid to any thoughts of the team travelling north until after the close season. The teams had finished 9th and 10th the previous season with Hibs just two points behind their rivals for the silverware so a close game was anticipated.
In the Managers chair that season was Jock Stein who had arrived from Dunfermline and immediately made his mark on a mediocre Hibs side, introducing former Celt John McNamee and resurrecting the career of Willie Hamilton. The Pittodrie leg was a close affair with the home side winning 3-2 despite Hibs giving as good as they got and securing two fine away goals thanks to Jim Scott.
Hibernian versus Aberdeen, Summer Cup Final Second Leg, 1964
The Dons came to Edinburgh just four days later and this time Hibs triumphed 2-1 with goals from Stan Vincent and Eric Stevenson. Extra time couldn't separate them and the aggregate score of 4-4 meant a replay would be needed but League Cup activity awaited both sides and so the game was shelved until 2 September with Aberdeen winning the toss to determine the venue would be Pittodrie.
League Cup duty
The League Cup pitched Hibs into a group with Third Lanark, Dunfermline and Airdrie and the greens got off to the best possible start with a convincing 3-0 home win over Third Lanark, Neil Martin, Eric Stevenson and a Pat Stanton penalty providing the goals. Playing at left back that day for Thirds was a young Joe Davis who later went on to join Hibs becoming a real stalwart in the defence as well as a deadly marksman from the penalty spot in years to come.
League Cup ties were played on successive Saturday's and Wednesday's so the following midweek Hibs travelled to Jock Stein's old stamping ground of Dunfermline but it was not a happy return for the Gaffer as he watched his side losing 2-0 to a strong Pars side. As only the team which topped the group would qualify for the later stages, Hibs could not afford a slip up in their next game which saw Airdrie visiting Easter Road. The defensive frailties which had appeared at East End Park were not in evidence that day as a Jim Scott hat trick and singles from Willie Hamilton and Neil Martin secured a romping 5-0 win.
The League campaign would now begin and that pushed the remaining League Cup ties to midweek dates. Hibs started the long haul with a trip to Shawfield where they faced newly promoted Clyde and duly gave them a tough introduction to football at this higher level by running out 3-1 winners thanks to a double from the irrepressible Neil Martin and a cracker from Jim Scott.
Hibs were back in Glasgow the following midweek when they travelled to Cathkin Park where they put a plucky Third Lanark outfit to the sword with goals from Jim Scott and Pat Quinn thereby making their next fixture in that competition a real crunch game as Dunfermline would be the opposition and Hibs had already lost the first game in Fife. It was not to be as the Fifers took away a point in a 1-1 draw despite a bullet header from John McNamee.
The games were coming thick and fast now with that delayed replay in the Summer Cup coming up fast but the matter of the last League Cup group tie had to be addressed first with Hibs visiting Airdrie looking for a win which would only be meaningful if Third Lanark could beat Dunfermline. Hibs got their win rather easily with Willie Hamilton and a Peter Cormack hat trick securing a 4-1 win but Thirds could not overcome the Pars and so the Fifers progressed to the quarter finals.
Summer Cup Final replay
The Summer Cup tie was played on 2nd September 1964, two days before the Forth Road Bridge was officially opened to the public and so presumably Hibs travelled the long way around to reach Pittodrie. Thankfully, the journey had no tiring effect on the players as they coasted home 3-1 with the goals from Peter Cormack, Willie Hamilton and Jim Scott very nearly being added to but for an Ogston save from a Stanton penalty and shots against the woodwork by Martin and Cormack. Stein had barely arrived and already there was silverware in the trophy cabinet so allied to a decent run in the League Cup and a win in the opening League fixture, all was looking rosy down Easter Road way.
Aberdeeen versus Hibernian, Summer Cup Final Replay, 1964
Sadly, our near neighbours Heart of Midlothian put a damper on things when they visited Easter Road on League business the Saturday after the Summer Cup win and left with both points thanks to a deserved 5-3 victory. Manager Jock Stein was magnanimous in defeat and accepted that on the day Hearts had punished the Hibs defence for slack play. Unfortunately, Jim Scott's brace and a single from Neil Martin meant nothing.
Stein was a great motivator and soon had his players believing in themselves again as they made the short trip through to Brockville and returned with both points thanks to a solo effort by Jim Scott. This cheered the travelling fans who returned home in good spirits, possibly to watch the Daleks on Doctor Who given that the scary robot like creatures had made their first appearance on BBC TV that summer! An alternative may have been a trip to the pictures to watch Michael Caine in Zulu although many argued that Doctor Who was more realistic!
Aberdeen came calling next and they were keen to avenge that Summer Cup defeat but it was not to be as Hibs ran out worthy 4-2 winners thanks to another Jim Scott hat trick, one of which was a penalty and a single goal from Willie Hamilton. Although Neil Martin hadn't made the scoresheet that day he was consoled by the fact that he had been selected to play for the Scottish League against the League of Ireland. His previous appearances in the Scotland jersey had brought a goal in each game against the English League and France Under 23's
But for the blip against Hearts, the League campaign had started pretty well and the good form continued as Hibs travelled to Tannadice and defeated Dundee United 1-0 with Jim Scott continuing his purple patch in front of goal. The next game would be a real test for Stein's Hibees as Kilmarnock were due at Easter Road. Killie had a very strong team and the previous season they had finished second in the League behind Rangers, pushing the Ibrox Club all the way.
The Hibernian team of 1964/65
Back row left to right: Fraser, Leishman, Wilson, Stanton, McNamee, Stevenson
Front row left to right: O'Rourke, Hamilton, Vincent, Martin, Scott
In the Killmarnock team which arrived on Saturday 3rd October 1964 were goalkeeper Bobby Ferguson, a youngster who later played for Scotland on numerous occasions and Tommy McLean, the diminutive winger who was just 17 and had a glittering career ahead of him as a player. The Ayrshire side were too strong for Hibs on the day and only Neil Martin's strike gave any cheer in a 2-1 defeat.
Jock Stein is manager of Hibernian.
Hibernian draw on aggregrate against Aberdeen over two legs of the 1964 Summer Cup Final.
The Club are pipped to first place by Dunfermline in the group stages of the Scottish League Cup and are resultantly out of the competition.
The Summer Cup Final Replay is played at Pittodrie, with Hibernian victorious.
The team start brightly in the 1964/65 League campaign despite blips against Hearts and a strong Kilmarnock side.
Written by John Campbell as part of the 'Another Generation' series