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banner Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
99 years and counting ...
Franck Sauzee and Grant Brebner aim to end Hibernian's 99 year wait for Scottish Cup success
Franck Sauzee and Grant Brebner aim to end Hibernian's 99 year wait for Scottish Cup success
The Boer War was reaching its bloody conclusion, a Scottish Tory, Arthur Balfour, was Prime Minister and Buffalo Bill was touring Scotland the last time Hibernian lifted the Scottish Cup.

The Edinburgh side won the trophy for a second time back in 1902 but have not enjoyed success in the competition over the past 99 years despite fielding great teams in the 1920s, 50s and 70s.

The famous cup run started on 11 February with a 2-0 win over Clyde at Easter Road, who incidentally were dispatched 5-1 in the third round of this year's tournament.

Port Glasgow Athletic and Queen's Park were the next victims, beaten 5-1 and 7-1 respectively.

In the semi final, the club managed by Dan McMichael, who also acted as treasurer, secretary and some-time physiotherapist, travelled to Ibrox and came away with a 2-0 victory over Rangers.

Good sportsmen

Celtic were the opponents for the final, just as they will be on Saturday.

The game was due to be played at Ibrox on 12 April but tragedy had struck a week earlier when part of a newly-constructed stand collapsed claiming the lives of several spectators at a Scotland - England international.

The final was delayed for a fortnight and the venue was changed to Celtic Park.

A Catholic newspaper of the time, quoted in Alan Lugton's book The Making of Hibernian, said: " Hibernian, like good sportsmen were quite willing to come to Parkhead, as they felt that no first class team need fear to play on a first-class pitch such as is to be found there "

According to the club's historians, preparations for the big game consisted of brisk walks from Hibs' Easter Road home down to the beach at Portobello and back.

Cheekily backheeled

Camaraderie was encouraged with golf outings and regular nights of darts, dominoes and cards.

The Hibs side, none of whom were natives of Edinburgh, boasted several star players, including Scotland internationals - goalkeeper Harry Rennie, right-half Barney Breslin, inside-left Paddy Callaghan and centre forward Johnny Divers, as well as their skipper Bobby Atherton, who played for Wales.

Can Hibs end their 99 year wait?
Can Hibs end their 99 year wait?
A dull match watched by a crowd of 16,000, was settled with 15 minutes to go when inside-right Andy McGeechan cheekily backheeled the only goal of the game from a corner.

Atherton, who had seen an effort disallowed for offside, is said to have deceived the Celtic defence with a cry of "leave ra ba" in an impeccable Glaswegian accent.

Eighth final

The cup was shown off to thousands more fans as the returning heroes were carried along Edinburgh's Princes Street on a horse-drawn break, bringing the city to a standstill.

Later that year, Hibs went on to beat Hearts for the Rosebery Charity Cup and won the Glasgow Charity Cup, thrashing Celtic 6-2 in the final.

Next season they won the League Championship for the first time.

Saturday's game at Hampden will be the eighth time the Easter Road club have reached the Scottish Cup final since that win at Parkhead and Hibees fans will be hoping that they take the cup home before the anniversary reaches a century.

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