A GRAVESTONE will be erected at the unmarked grave of a Hibs legend next month – more than a century after the football great led the club to a long-distant Scottish Cup final triumph.
The memorial for Dan McMichael – one of the most influential figures in the club’s history – will be unveiled at a special ceremony held at his burial place behind the Famous Five Stand at Easter Road Stadium.
Hibs dignitaries including new manager Terry Butcher will flock to the Eastern Cemetery on December 7 to pay tribute to the Irishman who managed the club to a Scottish Cup victory and Scottish League triumph in 1902.
The gravestone, which will bear the symbol of the Celtic cross, has been paid for courtesy of £3000 raised by diehard fans.
St Patrick’s Hibernian Supporters’ Branch has organised the service and memorial, having been dismayed at no marker existing for such a notable figure in the club’s history.
A special inscription will be written on the tombstone, although the exact wording is yet to be revealed.
Branch secretary Gordon McKinley said: “We received donations from Hibs fans as far away as Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia and Qatar.
“It’s been a sad fact that our greatest manager has not been remembered. One of our members of the St Patrick’s branch found the unmarked grave and we felt it was unacceptable. There’s been a tremendous response from Hibernian supporters.”
McMichael moved to Edinburgh between 1895-98. The largely forgotten club hero worked in the roles of secretary, treasurer and team physiotherapist, and became Hibs’ longest-serving manager in a stint lasting 15 years. He died from chronic bronchitis in 1919, passing away at his home on Easter Road.
Winning the Scottish Cup final 111 years ago remains McMichael’s greatest achievement, particularly given one of Scottish football’s longest hoodoos has not been broken since.
Relatives ranging from grandchildren to great-great grandchildren are travelling from across Britain and abroad to be at the service.
One descendant will fly to the Capital from Belgium to personally recognise the achievements of the legendary manager.
The unveiling will be held from 11.30am. All Hibs supporters are invited to attend.
Hibs’ legend to do ceremony
ST PATRICK’S branch patron and Hibs legend Pat Stanton will unveil the headstone in front of the club’s existing board members on December 7.
The ceremony is being held three-and-a-half hours before Hibs players take to the pitch for their home game against Patrick Thistle.
A spokesman for the club said: “The club are delighted that such a fitting memorial to Dan McMichael has been created. It’s almost 100 years since he passed away, but he made a monumental contribution to Hibernian Football Club. Full credit to the St Patrick’s Branch for showing true Hibernian spirit to make the memorial become a reality.”