Fish backs Lawrie Reilly street name bid

Haddington-based Fish, real name Derek Dick, says Edinburgh's rule on street naming is 'ridiculous'. Picture: Andrew Stuart
Haddington-based Fish, real name Derek Dick, says Edinburgh's rule on street naming is 'ridiculous'. Picture: Andrew Stuart
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ROCK star Fish has become the latest local hero to throw his weight behind the Evening News campaign to have a street named in honour of Hibs legend Lawrie Reilly.

City council chiefs have rejected a plan to name the new street near Easter Road Stadium after the sporting giant, who died last year aged 84, because their policy is only to honour people with street names after they have been dead for more than ten years.

But lifelong Hibs fan Fish, 55, who lives in Haddington, said: “It’s a ridiculous policy.

“Edinburgh council is being really short-sighted about this.

“It would be a great honour to Lawrie and to his family. I met him quite a few times and he was a lovely man.

“I never saw him play but both my parents and my grandad saw him.

“I really don’t think there should be a time limit on an accolade like this.

“And it’s not as if the road is miles away – it’s near the stadium, so it’s fitting.”

The strict rules do not apply in other parts of Scotland, and questions are being asked if the same rules could prevent the proposed renaming of Festival Square after Nelson Mandela, who died last month.

The former Marillion frontman – real name Derek Dick – added: “I don’t think naming a street after Lawrie Reilly would upset anyone. I know a lot of Hibs supporters would appreciate it.”

Mr Reilly’s Hibs record of 238 goals in 355 club matches and 22 goals from 38 caps for Scotland, making him the country’s fourth-highest international scorer, saw him inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Many readers of the Evening News have come out in support of the campaign, joining forces with Mr Reilly’s widow, Iris, Hibs legend Pat Stanton, and local councillor Alex Lunn, who first proposed the idea of honouring Mr Reilly after hearing that officials planned to name the street after Edinburgh printmaker William Thyne.

Cllr Lunn said: “Naming a street next to Lawrie Reilly’s stomping ground of Easter Road Stadium after him is the correct thing to do. It’s also keeping with the history of the local area.”

The campaign kicked off by Mr Lunn, who recently left Labour to join the SNP, has also received support from his former colleague, Labour Leith councillor Gordon Munro, who has urged the council to “relax” the “overly pedantic” policy.

Cllr Munro said: “You really have to think seriously about relaxing policies such as this.”