Lawrie Reilly funeral: Hibs fans to pay respects

Hibs players and fans take part in a minute's applause in memory of Lawrie Reilly before the match with Malmo. Picture: SNS
Hibs players and fans take part in a minute's applause in memory of Lawrie Reilly before the match with Malmo. Picture: SNS
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HUNDREDS of Hibs fans are expected to pay their last respects to club legend Lawrie Reilly when his funeral cortege passes Easter Road stadium next Friday.

The funeral will take place at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church in George Street before the hearse carrying Mr Reilly’s coffin drives past the East Stand en route to Warriston Crematorium.

Hibs’ current first team and the great and the good from the club’s past will be among the mourners saying their farewell to one of Scotland’s finest ever footballers and the last surviving member of the Famous Five forward line from the 1940s and 50s.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson could also join Mr Reilly’s widow Iris, son Lawrance and the rest of the family for the funeral.

Sir Alex sent best wishes to Mr Reilly in hospital just a few days before his death on Monday, but he is waiting to undergo a hip operation and it is not clear whether he will be able to attend.

Details of the funeral were announced by the family today. The church service and tributes will be held at 11am followed by committal at the crematorium’s Lorimer chapel at 1pm. The cortege is expected to pass the Easter Road stadium at around 12.15pm.

Fans are expected to turn out in their hundreds to honour the man who helped Hibs to three league titles and boasted an international strike rate better than that of Kenny Dalglish or Denis Law.

There will be family flowers only, but donations can be made to cancer research at the Western General Hospital.

Mr Reilly died on Monday, aged 84, after losing a battle with bone cancer.

There was a minute’s applause as a mark of respect at last night’s Europa League defeat to Malmo at Easter Road, during which the Hibs players wore black armbands in tribute.

A further celebration of his life and achievements will take place at Hibs’ league opener at home against Motherwell on August 4 when former players may also take to the pitch to pay tribute.

The club said details were still being finalised.

Mr Reilly appeared 235 times for Hibs between 1946-1958 and is still the club’s most-capped player.

Calls for a statue to Mr Reilly and the other members of the Famous Five – Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Eddie Turnbull and Willie Ormond – have won support from across the Capital’s footballing divide, with depute council leader and well-known Hearts fan Steve Cardownie among those backing the idea.