It’s weird, normally in the build up to games like this I’m so nervous, so excited, so emotional weeks in advance. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick, listening to Sunshine on Leith will get the tears flowing, watching great Hibs moments on youtube will get me believing.
None of that this time. I suppose I have been preoccupied with our crazy ending to the season, so many important playoff games coming one after another every 3 days, it was madness and it kept me distracted because in all honesty promotion is more important. After getting past Raith I had a feeling we might be able to do it, Falkirk are a decent side but I felt we could take them. It was always going to be close and the first leg was exactly that, a very poor refereeing decision cost us the chance to make it 3-1 and take a very healthy lead to the Falkirk stadium, sadly it wasn’t to be and it ended in a Desmond, 2-2.
So onto Friday and a trip to Falkirk awaited. We set off, my dad along with our friends Kenny and Harry, who have been through so much with us over the years supporting Hibs. Our seats were beyond awful but it didn’t matter, we were there and that is all I cared about, I wouldn’t miss this for anything. Row D is better than the TV after all. We started so poorly and deserved to be 1-0 down, thankfully we got a break and Keatings level it from the spot before heading us 2-1(4-3 on agg) up at the break, Falkirk fans silenced and the Hibs support going mental, amazing moments.
Whatever Alan Stubbs said at HT seemed to work, we came out sharp and were much the better team until Falkirk equalized with 10 minutes to go, 2-2 on the night, 4-4 overall. Cummings hit the bar before probably the most horrible moment I have ever had supporting Hibs, a 93rd-minute winner from the home side. I couldn’t stand it, I quickly left my seat and said I’d catch my dad at the door, I absolutely hate watching other teams celebrate against us and that was too much for me. I just broke down when I got inside the stand, full on crying my eyes out, I was absolutely crushed. Everything had built up to this game, 2 years of visiting shitholes like Dumbarton and Alloa, freezing cold rain soaking me to my skin at Central park, Cowdenbeath, so many highs and lows and it was all gone just like that.
Eventually, my dad found me and hugged me and we made our way back to the car. Neither of us said a word, there was nothing to say. We got back to the car and found Kenny and Harry looking equally glum so we all just piled in and tried to forget about. Nobody said a word on that journey home. I dried my eyes with my scarf thought to myself ”I’d rather be a losing Hibby than a winning fan of anyone else”. I then put the window down and hung my scarf out of it before closing the window on the end of it and letting it blow alongside the car as we travelled back. My way of saying ”it will take more than this to stop me supporting Hibs”.
I felt like shit when I got home that night, I locked the door, went to my room and just sat on the floor crying for about half an hour. 20 years old and I still greet over my team losing, I probably always will. It was all for nothing…
Which brings me to the 2016 Scottish cup final, the last chance this season to make all the misery worth it – Hibernian vs Rangers at Hampden. Now I am starting to think about it, now I’m nervous, now I’m excited, now I’m an emotional wreck. What can I really say about Hibs winning the Scottish cup that hasn’t already been said? No one alive has seen it happen, 114 years since we last won the bloody thing. People have been born, supported Hibs home and away like me and they have died without seeing us win it. Alan Stubbs is the 30th manager to try and win it, 29 before him failed, some of our greatest ever heroes, Pat Stanton, Eddie Turnbull, Franck Sauzee didn’t manage to win it. Guys who built Hibs, guys who bleed Hibs could never get their hands on it.
I can’t put into words what it would mean to see us win it. Nobody can, there are no words to describe the scenes, the parties, the celebrations that it would trigger. They’d write songs about it but those songs could never come close to capturing how I’ll feel if David Gray gets his hands on it at 5 o’clock on Saturday. It truly is the holy grail as far as Hibs are concerned.
And if we lose again there is always next year eh?