THEY’RE far more than 500 miles from Hampden and there was never any chance of going to the game itself.
So the Sydney branch of the Hibs supporters club knew they were going to have to settle for the next best thing: watching the Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United in the pub.
That was until they realised they had another Hibs-related appointment in their diaries – catching the Proclaimers live at the Opera House.
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Incredibly, Hibs-mad Leith twins Craig and Charlie Reid are due to take to the Sydney stage at the same time as the action kicks off 10,500 miles away in Glasgow on Saturday, April 16.
Gary Cooper, the Sydney supporters group organiser, told the News: “It’s an incredible coincidence. Tickets for the concert went on sale back in November and, with the Opera House only holding around 2500, they went pretty quickly.
“One of the guys actually mentioned the Scottish Cup semi-finals were scheduled for that weekend but, of course, Hibs hadn’t even started playing in this season’s competition at that stage.
“With the clocks having gone back in Scotland and ours changing this weekend, we’ll be nine hours ahead which means the 12.15pm kick-off could not be better for us to get together and watch it. “But the concert starts at 8pm and with a support band I’d imagine that will mean the Proclaimers will be taking to the stage just about that time.
“The tickets cost the equivalent of £50 and with a lot of us taking our wives that’s a fair outlay so we hope the Proclaimers are pretty sharp.
“The pub we go to is about 15 minutes away in a taxi, the other side of the bay, and there was some talk of getting a delayed transmission, but nowadays it would be pretty hard to avoid hearing the scoreline. “A good number of us are sitting together at the concert and I’m sure we’ll be getting updates on our phones so Craig and Charlie will know how things are going.”
But while the fans in Sydney are cursing their luck, their friends at the Hibs supporters club in Melbourne are having a laugh at their expense.
Mr Cooper, who originally hails from Lorne Street and worked as a nurse at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital before emigrating, said: “There’s always a bit of banter between us as to who has the most members and so on.
“They’re laughing their heads off at us but they are also mightily relieved because with the semi-finals being played that Saturday and Sunday they know it could quite as easily have been them in our situation with the Proclaimers in Melbourne the following night.”
While they may be on the other side of the world, Mr Cooper revealed that Hibs fans Down Under are still passionate about the team.
He said: “We had about 50 of us together for the League Cup final. We managed to pick up a feed from an internet channel and relayed it on a big screen.
“Obviously we’d been hoping to be celebrating rather than feeling miserable but some of us had to take shelter in a casino afterwards until the local transport system kicked into action at 5am.”
Mr Cooper is certain that if Hibs make the final he’ll be flying home. He said: “Quite a few came back over for the League Cup final and with direct flights from Sydney to Glasgow, the fares are not that expensive. One problem, though, is the colour of Qatar Airways who are offering the best deals is ... maroon.”