Hibs in 50 objects: No.9 – Coronation Cup award

The awards given to the Hibs players
The awards given to the Hibs players
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The Coronation Cup was a one-off football tournament to celebrate the coronation of the current Queen played between four Scottish and four English clubs, held in Glasgow in May 1953.

Hibs, Rangers, Celtic and Aberdeen represented Scotland with Manchester United, Newcastle United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur coming from south of the border.

Like the Empire Exhibition Trophy played in 1938 to commemorate the exhibition then underway in Bellahouston Park, it was held in very high regard by the clubs as at the time because it allowed teams to test themselves against opponents from another country in the days before European football.

The Famous Five were very much to the fore against their English opponents, Gordon Smith scoring in a 1-1 draw against Spurs before a Lawrie Reilly double was enough to win the replay 2-1. Reilly was again on target as Newcastle United were routed 4-0, Bobby Johnstone scoring once and Eddie Turnbull twice.

The final against Celtic, invited partly because their presence would guarantee large crowds – supported by the fact there were 117,000 at Hampden – was Hibs’ fourth game in just nine days and perhaps took its toll as the Glasgow club won 2-0. Each player was presented with a trophy, this one given to Jock Govan, as was the plaque of a ship which was gifted to all players following a friendly with Belgium at Hampden in 1948 when five Hibs players were in the team.

Govan was joined in that side by Easter Road team-mates Davie Shaw, Smith, Bobby Combe and Turnbull while, remarkably, only one Old Firm player was included, Rangers’ George Young who was Scotland captain.

Combe opened the scoring in the 2-0 win in the first half with East Fife’s David Duncan adding the second in the 59th minute.

Scotland: Jimmy Cowan (Morton), Govan, Shaw, William Campbell (Morton), Young, Smith, Combe, Johnston (Clyde), Turnbull, Duncan.

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