HIBS fans queued around the block for Cup Final tickets as excitement surrounding the fixture begins to reach fever pitch in Leith.
With the green-and-white army desperate to see their side lift their first Scottish Cup Final trophy since 1902, there was a clamour for tickets yesterday and a clear vibe that this could be Hibs’ year.
Faithful fans brushed off their underdog status saying their stunning semi-final 4-3 comeback over Falkirk – and a desire to banish memories of a certain final last year – will help them overcome the 11-4 odds the bookies have slapped on them overcoming league champs Celtic.
One fan in the queue said: “This is our year. We can feel it, we’re about to make history. Celtic don’t have a good record there and we have a certain hoodoo from twelve months to lay to rest.”
Yesterday’s queue was for season ticket holders. And demand was so strong, club officials had to stop fans from joining the Easter Road queue beyond 2pm so everyone’s order could be processed. A club spokesman described the interest as “phenomenal”..
One person desperate not to lose his place in the queue was Stuart Pearson, 35, a shop worker who hails from Cameron Toll.
The die hard fan – who had been standing for four hours – said: “The final is all I’m thinking about at the minute. My girlfriend Fiona is about to give birth to my child – she was due on Saturday – so I hope I’m not going to be stuck in this queue much longer!”
SFA bosses confirmed ticket and seating allocation arrangements for next month’s showdown and said the clubs’ allocation at Hampden would be split 50/50 between the two sides, with Hibs supporters due to be accommodated in the 52,000-capacity stadium’s north/south and west stands.
Priority for tickets is given to season ticket holders, but Mike Reilly, chairman of the Hibs Supporters Club, said he feared many supporters who “deserve” to go to the game would lose out. He said: “I’m a great believer that people who go to the semi-finals should get a ticket. Not everybody can afford to buy a season ticket but I do know people who go to every cup game – I’m worried that there are going to be a good few folk who deserve to go the Cup Final who will lose out.”
A club spokesperson said: “The demand has been phenomenal – we sold thousands of Cup Final tickets on Wednesday.
“Season ticket members have turned out in force, braved the elements and remained patient.
“We would like to thank all season ticket members for the patience shown during the opening day of the priority window. Supporters are reminded that there are still another 10 days remaining for season ticket members to secure their seat.”
The view from the queue
They’re fan-tastic. These Hibby die-hards gave us their view of the big game from the queue.
Liam Gormley, 24, Corstorphine: “There was no chance I was going to miss the cup final. We’re going to be the underdogs and I think we’ll raise Celtic’s game.”
Lesley Walls, 33, Cameron Toll: “We’ve got a good chance against Celtic. I started taking my son to the games years ago and that’s how I got in to supporting Hibs.”
Owen Conway, 23, Portobello: “We have a better chance against Celtic than if it had been Dundee United, because we’re going in to this as the underdogs.”
Fergus Roxburgh, 21, Craighouse: “If we only go down by three I will be happy - I’m not really that confident about it. I’ve taken a day off to queue up for tickets.”