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 Winger

The talented winger went from Easter Road apprentice to London showbiz personality in a short space of time.

 

Peter Marinello Profile

 

Peter Marinello - the skinny, dark haired lad with the Italian surname - was a precocious talent and, although the irrepressible winger was only with Hibernian for three seasons, he left a lasting impression.

A local lad brought up in Canonmills and educated at St Anthony's, Marinello had supported Hibernian from the terraces before honing his craft with Salvesen Boys' Club.

Selected for the same Scotland schoolboys team as Kenny Dalglish, the young Marinello's form had attracted approaches from both Chelsea and Port Vale.

But he resisted the lure of moving down south simply because there was only one team he wanted to play for - Hibernian.

In July 1966, after training with the club for a couple of years, Marinello agreed to join the groundstaff Hibernian and was rewarded with the princely wage of £12-per-week.

Graduating into the professional ranks on his 17th birthday, Marinello had already begun to show immense promise; establishing himself as a regular in the Scotland youth team.

His path through to the first team and Hibernian's famous number seven jersey - immortalised by the great Gordon Smith - was blocked by seasoned campaigner Alex Scott.

In his prime, Scott had been a powerful winger for both Rangers and Scotland and, since being signed by Bob Shankly from Everton in September 1967, had proved to be a useful part of Hibernian's attacking armoury.

But Marinello was unquestionably a marvellous talent - not only was he a world-class dribbler, but he also had scintillating pace; developed on the local running tracks.

His skill and confidence stood out on the training pitch which prompted boss Shankly to hand the 17-year-old his Hibernian debut at Raith Rovers in January 1968.

 

Peter Marinello 1

 

Catapulted back into the starting line-up four days later for the visit of Dundee United, Marinello stole the show in a 3-0 win at Easter Road.

Before the game, Shankly's instructions were concise: "Go out and run rings round them."

His impact on the match was so remarkable it prompted the Evening News to proudly declare: 'Here is a guaranteed star of the future.'

Marinello's prospects seemed limitless and well-informed observers marked the teenager down for a glorious future - a Hibernian star had been born.

The Easter Road crowd immediately warmed towards the stylish youngster with his fashionable haircut and his socks rolled down by his ankles.

There was a sprightly swagger and air of adventure about him which was exemplified by the way he relentlessly tormented his marker that day, United's veteran full-back Jimmy Briggs.

Even though the media were championing the merits of Marinello for the subsequent Fairs Cup quarter final tie against Leeds at Easter Road, Shankly restored Scott to the side.

But gradually Marinello made the outside-right position his own with some spellbinding performances - much to the delight of the Hibernian fans.

Gliding past opponents with ease - twisting his hips on the touchline like a matador to avoid tackles - Marinello was a potent attacking threat and a bona fide crowd pleaser.

Nevertheless he still had plenty to learn about making the right decisions on the pitch.

Sometimes he would madden both his team-mates and manager by hanging on to the ball too long and carelessly surrendering possession.

But once in full flow he was an enthralling sight to behold - a raw talent with genuine star quality.

In his second season at the club, Marinello continued to entertain and deliver match-winning performances in equal measure.

Now a first team regular, the gifted winger loved the freedom afforded to him by manager Shankly, who gave Marinello a free rein to drift in from the right flank.

Impressing alongside the likes of Peter Cormack, Marinello helped Hibernian reach the 1969 League Cup Final against Celtic at Hampden.

But even though he ran his marker Tommy Gemmell ragged, Hibernian were soundly beaten 6-2 with Celtic's Bobby Lennox scoring a hat-trick.

The following season proved to be Marinello's final campaign at Easter Road, but he left behind some captivating performances for the supporters to treasure.

An indifferent start to the League campaign saw Hibernian lose heavily at Ayr United on the opening day of the season.

But that proved to be a temporary blip as the team in green, under new manager Willie MacFarlane, embarked on a terrific run of results and marched up the table.

The wins kept on coming - including victories at both Celtic and Hearts - until in-form Hibernian travelled west to face league leaders Rangers at Ibrox.

What followed on 11 October 1969 was a fabulous solo display from Marinello as he tore the Rangers defence to shreds to score twice in a 3-1 win.

Swerving past Light Blue shirts like a downhill slalom skier, Marinello left a handful of defenders in his wake before finding the net.

He repeated the feat with an intoxicating cocktail of breathtaking flair, coolness and poise - showing the Scottish football public the full repertoire of his spectacular skill-set.

The performance underlined his ingenious talent and highlighted his prowess as a crowd-pleasing improviser.

In the aftermath of the triumph, Hibernian's youthful side were branded the 'Young Lions of Easter Road' by the media and the slightly-built winger nicknamed 'Nello' shone the brightest of all.

But a troublesome ankle injury then ruled him out for the team's next two matches against Kilmarnock and St Johnstone.

A call-up into Bobby Brown's 22-man squad for the World Cup qualifier against Austria in Vienna followed and a debut cap seemed inevitable.

But Marinello failed to recover from the same ankle ligament problem and was sidelined for a month before returning to first team duties for a 1-0 win over Clyde.

In the following game, Marinello linked up with Joe McBride to score the winner in a 1-0 victory against Dundee United; adding further weight to his burgeoning reputation.

Getting back to full fitness, Marinello recorded a substitute appearance for the Scotland under-23 team against France before featuring against Motherwell, Ayr and Dundee in late December.

As a result of his mercurial displays on the wing, speculation surrounding his future had begun to intensify with rumours in the press suggesting both Arsenal and Tottenham were interested in signing him.

 

Peter Marinello 2

 

Boss MacFarlane had already lined up an adequate replacement - Arthur Duncan - so Marinello bade farewell to Hibernian and joined Arsenal in a £100,000 transfer.

The move in January 1970 sparked off a blaze of publicity with Marinello immediately likened to George Best in terms of both his ability and mass appeal.

After a promising start to his Arsenal career, Marinello was thrust into the glare of the media spotlight; marketed as a 'football celebrity' rather than a plain footballer.

In the end, Marinello, who famously once appeared as a guest on 'Top of the Pops', was swallowed up by the all-encompassing hype and his once immense promise fizzled out.

Nevertheless Hibernian fans will remember an elegant, dashing right-winger, who captivated the crowd with some world-class performances for a few memorable seasons. 'Nello' was a special talent.

 


 

Full name Peter Marinello
Date of birth 20th February 1950
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland

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