Michael Weir: It's nearly 40 years since my Hibs debut - it wasn't what I expected

I made my debut for Hibs 37 years ago this week, and the circumstances surrounding it were a bit strange.
Michael Weir in action for Hibs as a youngsterMichael Weir in action for Hibs as a youngster
Michael Weir in action for Hibs as a youngster

Myself and the likes of Paul Kane and a few other youngsters were just doing our normal duties and the manager came up and asked me if I could play left-back, for the first team, in a League Cup match against Airdrie at Broomfield.

I said, “Yes, I'll play at left-back - I'll play anywhere”. I would have played anywhere, even in goal although I don't think I would have lasted too long there.

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So Pat Stanton, who had signed me for the club, asked me if I’d be able to play there because we had a multitude of midfielders, wide players, and strikers, but not so many defenders.

He just asked me straight out of the blue and that’s how quick it was. I was straight into the squad to go to Broomfield where I made my debut – as a left-back.

I’ve always said to younger players that it doesn't matter where you start, along as you get a starting point somewhere. I was just delighted to put the Hibs jersey on for the first team. Even playing for the first team just once would have done me.

It was a bit of a shock but I wasn’t going to turn down a chance like that, even playing at left-back when I thought of myself as a midfielder.

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I can remember getting the bus home and being told the team coach would pick me up at the Maybury. It was a late shout; I was just finishing my jobs at the stadium when the manager asked me to play and then it was a case of getting home, getting ready, and getting to the meeting point in time to be picked up.

It was that quick I didn't really have a chance to be properly nervous about it. I got the bus home to Clermiston to get my shirt and tie on, and just about had enough time to tell my dad I was playing that night.

My family and a few of my friends came along to watch. It was surreal, I suppose, because it had all happened so quickly. I was still only 17.

A number of us younger players had been doing okay in the reserves and I think the manager decided he wanted to blood us a wee bit and put us in to see how we handled it.

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I must have done okay because from then on I was on the periphery of the first team – didn’t play every game but that was definitely the starting point.

It was unbelievable. You always hope you’ll get a wee chance but it was still unexpected. A very proud moment.

My home debut wasn’t so good as we lost 3-2 to Dumbarton and after the game Pat resigned. It was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had in football, even as a young boy. He gave me my debut, always had belief in me, and gave me a chance.

I was surrounded by good Hibs people when I broke through; Jimmy O’Rourke, Pat, George Stewart, guys who really sowed the seeds for me playing for the club I loved. You never forget that.

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