Hibees bounce: Fans in Australia buy 33 kangaroo cardboard cut-outs to back team
33 marsupials will join Andy Murray at Easter Road
The Australia branch of the Hibernian Supporters Association has boosted Hibs ahead of the 2020/21 season – by purchasing 33 kangaroo cut-outs as part of the club’s ‘Be The Face In The Crowd’ project.
Former tennis world number one Andy Murray has also purchased a cut-out for when Jack Ross' side return to competitive action on 1 August against Kilmarnock, and he will be joined by the cardboard marsupials in the Easter Road stands.
Fred Legget, one of the founder-members of the Australian arm of the fans’ collective in 1987, spoke to the club’s website about the branch and its recent purchase.
“Hibs were a very important part of my life growing up and have remained so. As the old adage goes, ‘you can take the boy out of Leith…’.
“When we founded the branch there was no internet. You had to tune in to one specific radio station at 9am on the Sunday to hear the result.
"If you missed it, you had to wait until the Monday morning newspaper. The branch kicked off to give Australian-based Hibees the chance to get in touch with each other and friendships were formed 30 years ago that continue today.
“They come from all over Australia – whether it’s Sydney, Melbourne or Perth to the bush and places like Bundoora, Joondalup, Waterfall Gully, Wagga Wagga and Pinjarra to name a few. You name it and the likelihood is you’ll find a Hibee somewhere.”
With the cost of the kangaroo collective amounting to nearly £700 and providing a welcome boost to the club’s finances, Fred added: “We try to contribute to the club’s coffers whenever we can. We sponsor a couple of Hibernian Women players, we bought a few season tickets that we donated to an Edinburgh charity, several members make donations through Hibernian Supporters and, of course, there are the innumerable purchases from the clubstore.
“The Face In The Crowd promotion really captured our imagination. We saw it as a way we could assist the club financially, show our support in an Aussie kind of way and hopefully add a bit of fun to proceedings.
“We originally aimed for six kangaroos, but we were overwhelmed by the response. We also hope it might result in those Hibs supporters who live in Australia but maybe didn’t know about the group getting in touch. In short, we thought it was a brilliant promotion that would benefit everybody.”
Australia international Martin Boyle was effusive in his praise for the fans’ contribution, saying: “It’s unbelievable the lengths these guys go to watch us every weekend and it’s appreciated.
"I get some great messages from supporters based in Australia and hopefully they’re looking forward to the start of the season as much as we are.
“I’ve seen some strange things in my time at Easter Road but those kangaroos are right up there.”
Cut-outs are priced at £25 each, with £1 from every sale going to the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation. Fans can buy a cut-out to be placed in the East Stand here», and they will be visible on Hibs TV coverage when the season is up and running.
The club is also finalising seat banners to be placed in the lower tiers of the Famous Five and South Stands. Any interested companies should email the club for more information on [email protected].