Alex Ferguson: No better celebration than Hibs' '˜Sunshine on Leith'
Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed popular Hibs anthem Sunshine on Leith as the best celebration in football, as he issued a stark warning to the SFA about leaving Hampden.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Record, the former Manchester United and Aberdeen boss told Scottish football’s governing body that quitting the national stadium would result in decades of history being lost - even for Edinburgh clubs. Both Hearts and Hibs have won the Scottish Cup at Hampden in the last ten years.
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Fergie, who cut his teeth in senior football with Hampden owners Queen’s Park, insists that abandoning the national stadium would also spell the end for the Spiders.
And Ferguson, who featured at Hampden numerous times as a player, said: “This is about more than money. We’re talking about leaving your history behind you.
“It’s as simple as this - if the SFA move games to Edinburgh, they would have to pull Hampden down as there’s no chance Queen’s Park could keep it going.
“Every brick you take away is a goal, a memory, a shot that hit the post or bar. Hampden is the centre of football. It’s history is riddled with fantastic games. You’re throwing away all that fantastic history, all those memories.”
The SFA have been linked with a move to BT Murrayfield in the Capital, the home of Scottish Rugby.
While football games have been played there - most recently Hearts, who staged some Scottish Premiership fixtures at the ground while Tynecastle’s main stand was being replaced - Ferguson is sceptical that the same sort of history could be recreated at the home of rugby.
“Hampden is where all the history has been formed. We’re talking about leaving our national stadium here.
“The hotbed of football is the Glasgow area. You had six Glasgow teams at one time and in a 15-mile radius there was Airdrie, Clydebank, Dumbarton, Hamilton and Motherwell.
“You’re throwing away all those memories, even for Edinburgh folk.”
In 2016, Hibs ended their 114-year wait to lift the Scottish Cup trophy with a 3-2 win over Rangers. The post-match rendition of Sunshine on Leith is something that will stick with Ferguson.
“It’s only an hour to travel to Glasgow to see their clubs. A couple of years ago, when Hibs won the Scottish Cup final and that celebration, Sunshine on Leith? I don’t think there’s a better football celebration ever in the game.”
Insisting that history “tells us where we’re going and reminds us of our roots,” Ferguson added: “The minute you leave Hampden, that stops. In future, kids won’t have a memory of Hampden.
“Every grandfather loves to tell a story to his grandchildren. That’s what you’d be throwing away.”
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