How Hibs became the first British club to play in the European Cup

08 January 2018 12:02
Hibs had only finished fifth in the league in 1955 but they had floodlights, prestige and the foresight to see that a European competition would catch onBy Jon Spurling for Nutmeg, part of the Guardian Sport NetworkAlthough Hibernian had finished a disappointing fifth in the league in the 1954-55 season, they were entirely suited to be Scotland’s first representatives in the inaugural season of the European Cup. That was according to L’Équipe editor Gabriel Hanot, who decreed that a club’s past achievements and appeal to spectators were key to entry, rather than simply winning domestic titles.“The feeling is one of enormous pride that Hibernian are embracing a wonderfully exciting new European competition,” said Hibs manager Hugh Shaw. “My chairman, Mr Swan, has long since advocated a tournament between European club sides. As for some of the debate about which teams should or shouldn’t play in the new competition, I leave that to others to speculate. The politics of football doesn’t interest me.” Yet politicking had gone a long way to smoothing Hibernian’s path into the competition and there was no better politician in the game than Swan. Related: Hamish McAlpine, the goalscoring goalie who inspired a piano ballad Related: The Lisbon Lions 50 years later: still the greatest story ever told in Scottish sport Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian