Hibs 21st century XI - The right-sided midfielder revealed

The Broomloan Stand at Ibrox. When Ivan Sproule closes his eyes at night it's must be all he sees.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 8:25 am
Ivan Sproule frightened defences with his pace. Picture: SNS

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Hibs 21st century XI - Vote for the right-sided midfielder

The Northern Irishman terrified the Rangers defence with his pace and tenacity. It was a Scottish Cup clash in 2006 in Govan.

Just before the hour mark, with Hibs leading 1-0, Sproule latched onto a Chris Killen flick-on with only Marvin Andrews between him and the goal. The centre-back was caught on his heels, indecision a killer in such a situation, as the forward hit the second in a 3-0 win.

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Ivan Sproule frightened defences with his pace. Picture: SNS

It was the second time Rangers had been thumped 3-0 at Ibrox that season by the Hibees, and it was the reason for the nervousness when Sproule was in possession.

He had risen from the bench back in August 2005 to replace Garry O'Connor, the striker not sold on the winger's attributes.

Sproule, who was the subject of a £1million bid from Ukrainian side Dnipro not long after joining, recalled: “I remember Garry asking Tony Mowbray when I came on ‘what the **** is he going to do?’"

What he did, with the help of a rampaging and influential Scott Brown, was run riot, hitting a 23-minute hat-trick.

That moment cemented his place as a Hibernian Football Club cult hero.

In nearly 150 appearances over two spells fans appreciated the tenacity, determination and the wee bit of edge he played with. Sproule may have not been the most refined of players and his end product wasn't always there. However, he was largely forgiven for the way he represented and stood up for the team on and off the field.

He was a speed demon and on his day could terrorise the best of full-backs in the Scottish Premiership. And it was the way he tormented Rangers which will live long in the memory.