Intrepid fly-bees cross world for Hibs Scottish Cup final

Steven Sibbald is flying home for his second cup final this season. Picture: contributed
Steven Sibbald is flying home for his second cup final this season. Picture: contributed
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DEDICATED Hibs fan Steven Sibbald has left his girlfriend behind in Australia for the second time in two months to fly back to watch his team at Hampden.

Steven, 25, who has had a Hibs season ticket since he was four, is spending a year Down Under on a working holiday.

My girlfriend kind of understands our travels around Australia have had to go on the back burner for the time being because of money I keep spending on flights.

Steven Sibbald

But he made a 74-hour round trip from Sydney back to Scotland for the League Cup final in March and is due to arrive in Edinburgh again this afternoon ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.

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He and girlfriend Amy Ballantyne, who left the Capital last September and spent four months in South-East Asia, have had to postpone plans to go travelling in Australia because of the expense of Steven’s trips home for the football.

“Only Hibs would get to two cup finals the year I decide to go to Australia on a working holiday visa,” he said.

“Leaving my girlfriend for the second time in a couple months on the other side of the world is the hardest part but she kind of understands our travels around Australia have had to go on the back burner for the time being because of money I keep spending on flights.

“I really appreciate that she allows me to go without too much hassle.”

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Steven is travelling from Sydney via Adelaide and Doha with half a dozen other Hibs supporters, including Gordon McLeod, 20, who was born and bred in Melbourne but learned all about Hibs from his Edinburgh-born grandad, and has flown here several times just to be able to watch Hibs.

Also making a long-distance journey to be at Hampden is Chris Kettles, who is due to arrive from Milwaukee in the United States today.

Chris, a former history teacher at Ross High School in Tranent, said: “The Scottish Cup is also our Holy Grail. I would never forgive myself if we won it and I wasn’t there to see it.

“My family camped out after the play-off game on Friday to make sure we all got tickets together.

“I think the football gods owe us Hibs fans something. I don’t know of any supporters that seem to go through the amount of agony that we do. The players deserve a break to go their way as well – Saturday would be the perfect time for everything to click.”

And Chris Ferrier has travelled from Germany with his wife for the match. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he said.

“We are going to go on a bounce tour with the hibeesbounce.com forum. We go to a pre-match venue in Glasgow for a few hours then get the bus to Hampden. I’ve done this for the last three finals we have got to but it will be my wife’s first cup final so hopefully she is the lucky charm we need.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com