THE PLAYERS

 

Players to wear the green and white of the Hibees.

Here is a growing collection of players and internationalists to feature for Hibernian throughout the years.

Position Goalkeeper

Jim Herriot would gain the distinction of being the first name in the roll-call for the team forever known as Turnbull's Tornadoes.

 

Jim Herriot Profile

When Eddie Turnbull returned to Easter Road as manager in 1971, he recognised that the basis of a very good team was already there, however it didn't take him long to identify the areas which could be strengthened, and one of those was the goalkeeper's slot.

Only two years before, Jim Herriot had played for Scotland against the auld enemy at Wembley, but since then he had fallen out of favour with Birmingham City and was playing his trade with Durban City in South Africa.

A call from Easter Road however, saw Jim heading for the capital where he would gain the distinction of being the first name in the roll-call for the team forever known as Turnbull's Tornadoes; eleven players who will always be revered by those privileged to have seen them in action.

Jim was born in Chapelhall near Airdrie on 20 December 1939, and honed his goalkeeping skills with junior side Douglasdale, whilst working as an apprentice bricklayer.

In 1958, he joined Dunfermline, but saw his chances limited as there were four other keepers on the Pars' books at the time, however the arrival of a certain Jock Stein changed that, and Jim was the chosen as back up to the established number one; Eddie Connachan.

With Stein in command, Dunfermline went from strength to strength, winning the Scottish Cup in 1961, and when Connachan left for Middlesbrough in 1963, Jim made the number one jersey his own.

When Stein left to take over Hibs, then Celtic, Jim continued as first choice keeper and helped the Pars to the 1965 Scottish Cup final but the Parkhead side proved to be too strong.

Herriot's performances also drew interest from English scouts and, he was transferred to Birmingham City for £18,000.

He was a fixture in the City side during the next four years and his form won international recognition, winning his first cap aged 28 in October 1968, during a 1-0 defeat of Denmark in Copenhagen.

During that time, Jock Stein made an enquiry about taking Jim back across the border, but was put off by the asking price which would have been a world record for a goalkeeper.

Jim played a further seven times for the national side, with his last cap coming in a 3-2 defeat by West Germany in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Hamburg.

During his playing days at St. Andrews Jim adopted the American Football technique of applying boot polish under and around his eyes to reduce the effects of glare from the sun, and one performance in particular, in a televised game against Manchester United, so impressed writer Alf Wight, that he chose Jim's name as a nom de plume for his best-selling book 'All creatures great and small.'

By 1970 Jim had fallen from favour at St Andrews and, following a loan spell with Mansfield Town, he left for South African side Durban City, but an offer from Eddie Turnbull saw him return to his home country, where he would win his only senior trophy.

He also gained a new nickname, thanks to Alex Edwards who spotted that he walked like actor Robert Mitchum 'dead suave,' so Jim became 'Big Bob' to his Easter Road team-mates. At Dunfermline he had been known as 'Kookie' after the detective in 77 Sunset Strip.

Jim made his debut in a 3-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park in the old League Cup group stages, and that season, Hibs reached the Scottish Cup final after disposing of Rangers 2-0 in a one sided semi-final at Hampden.

Unfortunately, Hibs came up against Jock Stein's Celtic who were unstoppable on the day, although the game was closer that the 6-1 score-line suggested, with both teams attacking throughout. Stein was aware that Jim liked to come for cross balls, and used Bobby Lennox to block his path, allowing Billy McNeil to open the scoring. He had actually used this tactic seven years previously when Celtic beat Dunfermline in 1965.

Although Alan Gordon equalised, Celtic ran riot in the second half with 'Dixie Deans' scoring a hat-trick.

After the game, Eddie Turnbull vowed that Hibs would be back at Hampden and would win the next game, and he was as true as his word.

The Drybrough Cup was introduced as a pre-season tournament for the highest scoring teams in both the first and second divisions, and Hibs beat Montrose 4-0 in the first round, before hammering Rangers 3-0 on a sunny evening at Easter Road. Serious crowd trouble that night in the old 'shed' led to benches being installed, taking away some of the atmosphere in the ground.

The final against Celtic attracted 49462 and Hibs stormed into a 3-0 lead, thanks to A Billy McNeil own goal and a double from Alan Gordon. Once again, crowd trouble caused the game to be stopped and the momentum passed to Celtic who managed to equalise taking the game into extra time.

A sensational 35 yard strike from substitute Jimmy O'Rourke restored Hibs lead, before Arthur Duncan wrapped the game up in the last minute.

This was the start of a 'never to be forgotten' few months for the club, beating Sporting Lisbon 6-1 at Easter Road then FC Besa 7-1 in the European Cup Winners Cup, whilst reaching the League Cup Final, disposing of Aberdeen, Airdrie Dundee United and Rangers on the way.

Once again their opponents were Celtic, and goals from Pat Stanton and Jimmy O'Rourke gave Hibs a two goal advantage before Kenny Dalglish pulled one back for the Hoops, but the Tornadoes held out for the victory, earning Jim his only winners medal in an illustrious career.

An 8-1 win over Ayr United followed, but the best was yet to come. On January 1 1973, Jim kept a clean sheet at Tynecastle as his team-mates ran riot and scored seven times. His part in this game is often overlooked but Hearts did create the odd chance which he dealt with accordingly.

That result saw Hibs climb to the top of the table, overtaking Celtic, and Chairman Tom Hart predicted that Hibs would win the title and possibly the Cup Winners Cup.

Alas it was not to be. Another clean sheet in the next game, a 1-0 win over East Fife, saw the end of the Tornadoes as John Brownlie suffered a broken leg and Alex Edwards reacted to constant fouling by throwing the ball away in disgust at the lack of protection from the referee. This earned him a booking and a 56 days (8 game) suspension.

A little known fact about that team is that they only played 22 games together, winning an incredible 19, drawing one and losing only two, one of which was the away leg of the European Cup Winners Cup tie against Sporting Lisbon.

A late goal by Hajduk Split meant Hibs travelled to former Yugoslavia with a 4-2 advantage in the quarter final, but they lost 3-0 to exit the tournament, and manager Eddie Turnbull blamed Jim for the defeat. The following week, Jim McArthur took over in goal, and Jim never played for the club again. In all competitions, Jim played 93 times for the club, winning 54.

He left soon after to join St Mirren before moving to Partick Thistle two years later. After a spell on loan with Morton in October 1975 Jim returned to Dunfermline in early 1976 before joining Morton permanently for the 1976/77 season. He retired from the game in the summer of 1977.

In season 2006/07, Jim was inducted into the Dunfermline Athletic Hall of Fame.

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.
You can kindly contribute by contacting us HERE.