Hibs in 50 objects: No.27 – Cavanagh leaves mark on club

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Pat Cavanagh was a popular Hibs player and a founding member of the club.

He took part in Hibs’ first recorded game against Hearts on Christmas Day 1875 and also in the club’s first-ever cup win when they defeated Hearts after a replay at Union Park in the 1879 Edinburgh Association Cup (the cup is at present on display in the Easter Road boardroom).

Cavanagh was a registered Hibs player from 1875 to 1884, his last game a 4-2 defeat by Queen’s Park in a friendly at Easter Road on September 6, 1884, but before the advent of league football in 1890, most games apart from the national and local cup ties would usually be friendlies, benefit or other charity games so it is often difficult to obtain details.

However, records do show Cavanagh scored in a 2-1 win against Hearts in the Scottish Cup on November 15, 1879, Hibs’ other goal coming from Malachy Byrne. And he was captain of the team the following year when they played a friendly against English team Sheffield Holmes Zulu, a team set up to raise money for the widows and families of those who died in the Zulu War, a game Hibs won 6-0. Admission to the game on Christmas Day was 6d (less than 3p) with “ladies” admitted free and the crowd was 2000.

In his last season with the club, he was part of the team that beat St Bernards 1-0 in the final of the Earl of Rosebery’s Challenge Cup.

On retiring, Cavanagh became a member of the committee and later club president. Apparently, he later owned a building company that specialised amongst other things in laying pavements throughout the city, the name of the company imprinted in brass letters. This stone held by the Hibernian Historical Trust came (with permission) from the Morningside area several years ago.

• For information on Easter Road Stadium Tours, contact bmcgoldrick@hibernianfc.co.uk