Hibs legend Gray on 'emotional' send-off for departing heroes

Hanlon and Stevenson honoured after 3-0 home win

Hibs interim boss David Gray hailed his team for delivering the perfect home send-off for departing heroes Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson. But he said that tonight’s 3-0 battering of Motherwell shouldn’t paper over the cracks of a dismal season.

Gray, standing in after Nick Montgomery’s dismissal in the wake of the 4-0 weekend loss to Aberdeen at Easter Road, said: “The message tonight was about the reaction from the weekend – and the motivation was to give the lads the send-off they deserved. They are two fantastic servants to the club, ultimate professionals. If there is a way to sign off, it’s with a 3-0 win at home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s always difficult to respond after a poor result and in circumstances where people have lost their jobs. It’s a tough time for everyone involved.

“But tonight was a reaction, it was about Lewis and Paul. And we got the result as worthy winners. I think the fans were fantastic tonight.

“But nobody is shying away from the situation.  That doesn’t fix anything tonight, that performance. Not at all. Everybody is responsible, everybody is involved in where we find ourselves this season. It’s not been good enough.”

Paying tribute to the departing veterans, Gray said: “I’ve had the privilege of playing with both of them, working with both of them, for ten years and more. I go back even further with Lewis, to under-15s Scotland schoolboys, and Paul in the Scotland Under-17s and Under-19s.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’ve known them both a very long time. Everyone says the same things about them. No-one will ever say a bad word about them, because they’re ultimate professionals, how they conduct themselves every day.

“They’re outstanding role models, showing young players what professionalism looks like. They full deserve tonight, they’ve had fantastic Hibs careers, and I’m just delighted they were able to go out like that.

“It was an emotional occasion. To spend that moment with their families as well who have lived through many highs and many lows with them at this club. I'm delighted for the two of them and everybody involved with them because they truly deserve it.”