Alex Lunn: We must seize chance to pay tribute to Lawrie

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Easter Road Stadium is and always has been iconic. Like Tynecastle Stadium, it dominates its part of Edinburgh, and is integral to the culture of the city. Hearts and Hibs both have proud histories. What of course matters most, especially to fans, is players, and fans want players they can support.

Idols are, of course, something else. They are decided by the fans in pubs, on buses and now in online forums. These select few get the title of legend for their clubs and become working-class heroes. For Jambos like myself, it’s people like Willie Bauld, Donald Ford and John Robertson.

There are several Hibs idols, but the one who stands out most for Hibs supporters is undoubtedly Lawrie Reilly. Lawrie of course is not just a Hibs idol, he was also a Scotland idol. His famous nickname, “Last Minute Reilly”, actually came from his exploits while playing for Scotland. He was at the centre of arguably Hibs’ most successful period.

His funeral last year was attended by hundreds of football fans.

When I was asked if I had any thoughts on what a new street on the Lochend Butterfly site right next to the stadium should be called, I didn’t hesitate to put Lawrie Reilly’s name forward as the rightful choice.

Naming a street after him is, in my view, a very fitting tribute to a man who was not only a great ambassador for Hibs but also for Edinburgh, Scotland and the fans who idolised and admired him. These new flats at Lochend Butterfly are likely to be the last new flats built next to Easter Road Stadium for a generation. It will be disgraceful, considering their location, if a street is not named after a man who brought joy to thousands of fans over many years at Easter Road. Lawrie Reilly gave his all for club and country.

I hope Edinburgh will take this opportunity to give him this small honour.

A street named after him so close to his old stomping ground is not only fitting but it’s also in keeping with the history of the local area. I hope the planners at Edinburgh City Council and my fellow councillors will take this into consideration.

The so-called ten-year rule on street naming has been broken before in the right circumstances. This is one of those times. So let’s honour the legend that was Lawrie Reilly.

• Alex Lunn is an SNP councillor for Craigentinny and Duddingston