Kit Gordon on 'incredible' Hibs journey - and ready for next giant leap

Kit Gordon insists ceding control of Hibs was never an option.Kit Gordon insists ceding control of Hibs was never an option.
Kit Gordon insists ceding control of Hibs was never an option. | SNS Group
First dates, a Scottish adventure and family ties all part of the ongoing story

Just because someone is gone, that doesn’t mean they can’t exert an influence over your life; how we remember our loved ones is always a factor in how we view the world. When Kit Gordon was fending off the vulture capitalists who came calling in the wake of husband Ron’s passing just over a year ago, then, she kept coming back to one point.

Anyone who called looking to take control of Hibs, meaning the family’s ownership would end with the death of the former chairman, had to be given short shrift. Having been with Ron since he was just a 20-something entrepreneur dreaming of one day owning a football club, she wasn’t about to sell his vision short.

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Smiling as she recalled first realising that her new boyfriend was more than just another young ‘soccer’ fan trying to make his way in the world, Kit said: “One of my first dates with Ron was when he had started a football newspaper called Soccer Plus. We had the Diplomats back in Washington DC and on our second date he took me to the press box at one of the games. 

“For our third date he took me, during the day, to deliver his newspapers to various sports stores. So, early on in our relationship before we were married, he exposed me to football and told me that his dream – at the age of 28 or 29 – was to one day own a football club. 

“With our boys, I was living in a household of men, and I was told by my friends that I would have to be interested or get left out. And I don’t like getting left out.

“So this has been an incredible journey, and I am only sorry that Ron is not here to see this. But I know that, as a family, we are committed towards keeping on going. We have fallen in love with Hibs, we have fallen in love with Edinburgh. And our plan is to ensure that the club moves onward and upward.”

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Kit, who appeared alongside current Hibs chairman Malcolm McPherson, chief executive Ben Kensell and, most importantly, son Ian at last week’s AGM, is clear that Ron would have approved of the family’s decision to allow billionaire Bournemouth owner Bill Foley to buy a minority stake in the club in exchange for an initial investment of £6 million. The family feel comfortable in joining a Black Knight stable that also includes a stake in FC Lorient and the licence for a new A-League franchise in Auckland.

Staying in charge of the big decisions at Easter Road and East Mains matter to those who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Ron when he bought out club saviour Sir Tom Farmer back in 2019. A deal that changed everyone’s lives.

Ian, recalling the first interest shown in Hibs by his dad, said: “He had been looking for a while. When Hibs came up, we were conscious of our Scottish roots and it all just aligned. 

“We had done a family trip 10 years prior where we had enjoyed an amazing whisky and golf experience and fell in love with Scotland. So, when Hibs came up in the capital city of Edinburgh with a fanbase like this, it made a lot of sense. It clicked.”

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At that point, Kit interrupted to declare: ‘This was meant to be. I believe that – it was meant to be.’’ 

McPherson, who told shareholders at the AGM that he believed the Gordons were the best thing to happen to Hibs in his lifetime, makes no apology for placing them above even Farmer, who stepped into save the club from a fate worse than going bust – being taken over by Hearts – in 1990. Arguably the most famous non-football fan ever to buy a Scottish club, Sir Tom built a training ground, rebuilt the stadium and kept the organisation afloat purely as a gift to the community.

McPherson said: “I became involved 20 years ago and the difference in the club in terms of ambition, drive and commitment is striking. Tom Farmer saved the club, built the stadium and made a significant difference – but his passion wasn’t football. The Gordon family, Ron, Ian – maybe even Kit now too – are committed to taking the football club forward. It’s a different atmosphere and it’s very exciting.”

Chief executive Kensell confirmed that Foley, who he described as “fully committed” to helping Hibs achieve success, will be visiting before the end of the season. The American is also entitled to take two places on the Hibs board, one of which he may fill personally.

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Kensell said: “We know that Bill will be very involved. Because he wants to be very involved.

“He has a real love of football. You don’t buy Bournemouth in the Premier League, you don’t buy part of Lorient, you don’t by Auckland, if you’re not a football fan. So he’ll be involved.”

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