Chris Shevlane, former Hearts and Hibs defender, dies at 80
Former Hearts and Hibs defender Chris Shevlane has died at the age of 80, it has been announced.
The Hibs Historical Trust confirmed the sad news on Wednesday morning, writing on social media: “Everyone at the Trust is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Hibs player Chris Shevlane. Chris joined Hibernian in 1968; nicknamed 'The Shev', he was Player of the Year in 1970. His memory marches on.”
Shevlane also played for Celtic and Morton and was involved with Scotland Under-23s during a 12-year professional career.
Born in Edinburgh in May 1942, right-back Shevlane began his career with Edina Hearts and Loanhead Mayflower, eventually joining Hearts and making his debut in a benefit match against Duns in April 1962, with Hearts winning 6-0, although his first competitive start came in a 7-3 victory over St Mirren at Love Street in April 1963.
During his time in Gorgie he was capped four times by Scotland at under-23 level playing against Wales twice, France, and England and sharing a dressing room with the likes of Billy Bremner, Peter Cormack, Jim Cruickshank, John Greig, Jimmy Johnstone, Neil Martin, and Bobby Murdoch.
Shevlane also turned out for the Scottish League XI, in a match against a League of Ireland XI, and also in a mid-season trial match between the Scottish League XI and the Scottish FA team.
He played 146 times in maroon, his last match a 2-0 defeat away to Dundee United, but was released after suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of most of the 1966/67 season. Although Shevlane was advised to hang up his boots, he took up swimming to improve his fitness and earned a surprise move to Celtic.
The Hoops had just won the European Cup and Shevlane was mostly used as cover for Jim Craig but, unable to dislodge the Lisbon Lion from the right-back berth he made just four appearances before leaving for Hibs. The flame-haired full-back featured against Partick Thistle in a Glasgow Cup tie, in a 2-0 League Cup win against Ayr United, and in league matches against Clyde and Dundee United, which ended in a 3-0 victory for Celtic and a 1-1 draw respectively.
where he would make 91 appearances in all competitions including featuring against Vitoria Guimaraes, Malmo, Hamburg, Lokomotiv Leipzig, and Olimpija Ljubljana in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup competition.
Shevlane also played in every round of the 1968/69 League Cup, including the final against Celtic which ended in a 6-2 defeat for Hibs. He scored one goal against Raith Rovers in September 1969, sharing the scoresheet with Peter Marinello and Joe McBride in a 3-1 league victory, and won the club’s Player of the Year award in 1970.
Shevlane joined Morton in 1971 and spent two years at Cappielow before returning. After football he spent time working for James Thin booksellers and in the second-hand book trade, and also ran Shevlane’s Bar in the Springburn area of Glasgow, which is still run by the family.
A statement from Celtic read: “Everyone at Celtic is saddened to hear of the death of former player, Chris Shevlane, who has passed away at the age of 80. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic are with Chris’ family and friends at this extremely sad time.”