A HIBS fanatic who died following a heart attack on Christmas Eve is to be honoured with a huge banner at the Scottish Cup Final.
Gordon Gray, who was 53, will be at Hampden in spirit with his name written across a green and white flag as his bereaved family watch the derby at home alongside his urn – which will be draped in Hibs colours.
The father-of-two tragically died days after a suffering a cardiac arrest thought to have been brought on by chemotherapy tablets he was prescribed to combat stomach cancer.
More than 1200 mourners attended his funeral at Warriston Crematorium, followed by a wake at Easter Road supporters’ club.
In a poignant celebration of Gordon’s life – and his unbridled devotion to Hibs – his family threw a pre-Cup Final party at their Trinity home on Saturday with the flag tribute festooned across a wall.
His wife Gail said the banner dedicated to her late husband and set to be unfurled at Hampden was a “beautiful gesture” to a man who lived and breathed Hibernian FC.
“This is a huge thing for our family, especially for Gordon’s mum and dad,” she said. “For us to see this huge banner dedicated to him at the Cup Final will be lovely.
“We have a room that is just full of football memorabilia and his urn will be sat on the couch with a Hibs scarf round it, and we will watch the game with him. We will celebrate or commiserate with him whatever what the outcome. Hopefully he will be here on the day watching over everybody.”
Gail said the support from Gordon’s closest friends had been “overwhelming” since his death and has vowed to pin up the memorial flag at the bottom of their garden after the Cup Final.
The family suffered a double blow in the week of Gordon’s cancer diagnosis, with his mother also being told she had lung cancer. She is now in recovery.
Speaking about her late husband, Gail said: “It’s still so hard to take in. Gordon was diagnosed with stomach cancer at the end of October and the doctors wanted him to have chemotherapy before removing his stomach. It seems he suffered a reaction to the chemotherapy tablets and had a heart attack on Christmas Eve.
“What we get some peace from is that what he had in front of him was horrific.
“They were going to have to remove his stomach so he would have missed things he enjoyed like a curry on a Friday night,
“Perhaps the heart attack was a blessing because he didn’t suffer.
“He was a guy with everything to live for and loved his family so much.”
Mr Gray, who co-owned a painter and decorators business, is survived by his wife Gail, son Dale, 34, daughter Lauren, 25, and one-year-old grand-daughter Ellis.
Celtic-fan Dale has scooped a ticket to the Cup Final to represent his father in the Hibs crowd.
Please don’t dismiss Leith from Hibbies
HIBS fans have hit out at Scottish Cup victory parade plans that would see the winners’ bus bypass the club’s spiritual heartland of Leith en route to Easter Road.
Supporters said the decision to cut onto London Road – eschewing Leith Walk and Duke Street – was “nonsensical”.
Should Hibs triumph over rivals Hearts at Hampden ,the triumphant players will parade the cup the following day.
Kevin Williamson, a Leither and Hibs fan, who was Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s first publisher, said he thought the decision not to go through Leith was a “really big mistake”.
Frank Dougan, a diehard Hibs supporter and ex-treasurer of the Hibs Supporters Association, added: “I think it’s very important they go through Leith, and the fans will be really disappointed if it doesn’t.”