A LIFELONG Hibs fan has received a surprise visit from club legend Pat Stanton on his 90th birthday.
Season-ticket holder Joe McGuinness was celebrating the milestone at his son’s home in South Queensferry when the former footballer arrived.
But the war veteran, who took part in the Normandy Landings, did not immediately recognise his visitor.
His son, David McGuinness, 58, who arranged the visit through a friend, said: “It was quite funny. I said ‘Dad, someone else has arrived to see you’. He said ‘who is it?’, but he didn’t recognise him at first.
“And then about five seconds later, he clicked. His face was a picture.”
The former navy man was having afternoon tea with 40 family and friends when Stanton made his surprise appearance.
David said: “Pat kindly took time out on a Saturday afternoon to speak to my dad and all there about his career with Hibs, Celtic and Scotland.
“Before Pat departed he took questions from the audience, posed for photographs, signed autographs and finally presented my dad with his very own Former Hibs Players Association tie, which is very rare – a one-off given to each player by this small association.
“You can imagine my dad’s and everyone’s reaction to this and it brought to an end a memorable day. Pat took no fee and only asked – after considerable persuasion – that we make a small donation to his daughter’s charity, The Child Brain Injury Trust.
“This we did as a family and so did most of the guests. He was an absolute gentleman and a real credit to his own family and Hibernian FC.”
The club had also invited Joe to appear on the pitch at Easter Road on Saturday.
Being a “very modest man”, he declined but the club placed an article in the match programme about Joe, who was at the game with his three grandchildren, Laura, Kevin and Mark.
Joe, who now lives in Portobello, was born in Musselburgh on September 5, 1925 and attended Loretto RC school in the town.
He left school at 14 in 1939 to work at Andrew Dunn Greengrocers, then Jean Telfer Lemonade Works in Musselburgh, and Duncan’s Chocolate in Beaverhall Road, Edinburgh before joining the navy.
He volunteered at 18 in 1943 and served as a Stoker First Class on board HMS Melbreak in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and took part in the D-Day assault on Omaha Beach, Normandy, in 1944.
He was demobbed in 1946 at Port Edgar, South Queensferry, and joined the Post Office as a telephone engineer and finally retired from British Telecom in 1989.
He married Jessie in 1955 but she passed away on September 4, 2008, the day before his birthday