Hibs Famous Five statue designs released

Sculptor Alan Herriot's sketch. Picture: contributed
Sculptor Alan Herriot's sketch. Picture: contributed
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DRAWINGS of a statue to commemorate the Famous Five have been released by a sculptor who wants to build the monument next to Easter Road Stadium.

This sketch done by life-long Hibs fan Alan Herriot in tribute to the legendary Hibs quintet has been handed to the club to get their feedback.

Alan Herriot. Picture: Greg Macvean

Alan Herriot. Picture: Greg Macvean

If approved, five individual plaques detailing the playing records of each Famous Five member would be installed on the statue’s plinth.

A location on Albion Place, next to the East Stand entrance, has been proposed for the statue, although the site is still to be finalised.

The exclusive picture follows a flood of support for a permanent memorial in the wake of the final surviving member of celebrated forward line, Lawrie Reilly, passing away earlier this month.

The once-in-a-lifetime group of players that also included Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Eddie Turnbull and Willie Ormond led Hibs to three league championships between 1948 and 1952 in what was a golden period for the Edinburgh club.

Mr Herriot said of his initial designs: “If the statue is to be made, it has to be the iconic image of the Famous Five coming straight at the camera.

“It was obviously set up at the training ground and the photographer has said ‘OK, just run towards me’. He took that picture and it has now become so well known that everyone recognises it as the Famous Five.

“Trying to do something else would not be the way to go.”

The image of the proposed statue has been shown to Hibs officials, but further discussions will take place before any decision is made.

Mr Herriot built the bronze statue of former Scottish striker Denis Law unveiled in Aberdeen last year and is also working on a statue of the Nazi-fighting brown bear, Private Wojtek, intended to stand in Princes Street Gardens.

Mike Riley, chairman of the Hibs Supporters Association, said it was the “right time” to build the statue, in spite of Hibs on-field woes to start the season.

He said: “I’m quite sure that the Hibs supporters club will volunteer some funds towards it. We would be quite prepared to help.

“This is all about Hibs’ history and that’s something nobody wants to forget about. It would still get embraced no matter the times and what was happening.”

On the location, Mr Riley said: “My preference would be outside the main entrance for the players and the directors.”

Radio DJ Grant Stott, who delivered a moving tribute at Reilly’s funeral, said Albion Place would be an ideal location.

He said: “It’d be wonderful if this got off the ground. It’s been talked about amongst the fans for a while, but until Lawrie passed it was maybe not appropriate.”

A spokesman for Hibs said the process was in the preliminary stages, adding: “Nothing has yet been commissioned or agreed. Discussions with the Hibernian Historical Trust also need to take place.”

Comment: How should they be remembered?

Alan Herriot’s proposal for his sculpture of the Famous Five outside Easter Road is sure to spark debate among Hibbies.

The legendary quintet look dynamic and together as they train side by side in his striking drawings.

All Hibbies will agree that the sporting legends deserve a fitting memorial in the Capital. But how should they best be remembered forever?

Should they, for instance. be placed upon a pedestal to tower above the fans or would they be better grounded among their own people?