GREG Barrie was thousands of miles from home when his beloved Hibs won the Scottish Cup final – yet emotions ran just as high.
The 24-year-old, from Colinton, celebrated the historic victory with around 60 other Hibs fans in a crammed pub in Melbourne, Australia, where he described the atmosphere as “incredible”.
“There were grown men standing in floods of tears – including myself – and just in total disbelief,” the former Firrhill High School pupil said. “My hands were on my head for a good 20 minutes after the final whistle.”
Among the crowd in the packed Charles Dickens Tavern were members of the Melbourne Hibs Supporters Club, some of whom have not been home for 20 years.
Greg has been living in Australia for two months and intends to stay for at least two years, fulfilling a long-held dream to live and work in the country.
I attended the league cup final just before I left for Australia and vowed on the way out of the ground that I wouldn’t come home for the Scottish Cup final if we made it because I was a curse on the team. Ridiculous as that is, I stuck to it and remain convinced that if I had come back we wouldn’t have won.Greg Barrie
Yet to witness Hibs win the Scottish Cup was not something he thought he would see on his trip.
“I attended the league cup final just before I left for Australia and vowed on the way out of the ground that I wouldn’t come home for the Scottish Cup final if we made it because I was a curse on the team,” he said. “Ridiculous as that is, I stuck to it and remain convinced that if I had come back we wouldn’t have won.”
But Greg was so confident Hibs would win that 12 hours before the match he carved “HFC Scottish Cup Winners 2016” on to a rock beside the beach on Great Ocean Road, using a pebble he picked up nearby.
“Thankfully it didn’t make me look silly for a change because I have a track record of making bold Hibs predictions that come back and bite me,” he said.
In Edinburgh, Greg lives with his parents Iain and Karen and his sister Robyn. He has been a Hibs fan since he was a toddler having been taken to a game with his dad.
“I was more or less transfixed from my first game and have never looked back – despite all the heartache,” he said.