Pat Stanton: Name street after Lawrie Reilly

Pat Stanton believes the rules should allow Lawrie Reilly to be honoured. Picture: Lesley Martin
Pat Stanton believes the rules should allow Lawrie Reilly to be honoured. Picture: Lesley Martin
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HIBS legend Pat Stanton has thrown his weight behind a campaign to see a street named after Famous Five striker Lawrie Reilly.

Easter Road favourite Stanton, who was capped 16 times by his country, has said he “cannot think of anyone more deserving” of the honour.

Stanton, who is the great-great nephew of Hibs’ first captain and co-founder Michael Whelehan, and now serves as the spokesman and trustee of the Hibernian Historic Trust, said: “Nothing would please me more than to see a street near the ground named after Lawrie Reilly. I used to go and watch Lawrie when I was a boy, and then I got to know him personally after he had stopped playing. We would go and watch games together. He was an out and out Hibs supporter, a terrific footballer and a very nice man as well. I don’t think there’s anyone more deserving, he was 100 per cent committed to Hibs.”

The Evening News campaign was launched after it was revealed council chiefs are planning to name a street, off Lochend Butterfly Way, after Edinburgh printer William Thyne.

However, when SNP councillor Alex Lunn suggested it would be perhaps more fitting to name the street after Reilly, he was told council policy does not allow streets to be named after people who have died less than ten years ago, though this is not a rule adopted by other Scots local authorities.

Stanton said: “I suppose Edinburgh council have that rule for a reason – though I don’t what that would be – but I’ll say again that there is no person more deserving than Lawrie and if this rule is not absolutely set in stone it would be a great honour, and one he would have been delighted with. Unfortunately, this decision is up to other people, but if it were up to me he would be the first choice.”

Meanwhile, readers have given the campaign to honour the local legend, who died in July at the age of 84, their overwhelming 
approval. His widow, Iris, has also given her blessing to the proposal, saying: “Lawrie was quite a modest man but I think he would really have thought a lot of that, I am sure. Hibs have already paid a lot of tributes to him but this would be from the city.”

Cllr Lunn said he hoped fellow councillors would support the campaign.

He said: “I’ll be looking to my colleagues on the planning committee especially to ensure they name the street in a manner in keeping with the area’s history. Lawrie Reilly was a working class hero to many in Edinburgh and also one of the greatest footballers Scotland has ever produced.

“To name a street so close to Easter Road Stadium after him would a true tribute to him and to the history of the local area.”

Reilly still holds the record for the number of caps won by a Hibs player, and is also still the club’s record championship goalscorer.

jen.lavery@edinburghnews.com