'Such a lovely, lovely guy': Tributes pour in for Hibs legend Jimmy O'Rourke including emotional message from Hearts hero

Tributes poured in for Hibs legend Jimmy O’Rourke after his death at the age of 76 was confirmed by the Easter Road club.
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The forward was a popular member of the iconic Turnbull’s Tornadoes team of the 1970s and scored 122 goals in the green and white during a 12-year stint with his boyhood heroes. One of those strikes came three days after his debut in 1962 in a match against Dunfermline, making him the club’s youngest ever scorer to this day.

He also scored what would prove to be the winning goal in the 1972 League Cup final and later earned a spot in the club’s hall of fame.

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Supporters paid their respects to a great man as news of his passing reached social media.

Jimmy O'Rourke tries to dribble around Celtic's Billy McNeill in Hibs' defeat in the 1972 Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNSJimmy O'Rourke tries to dribble around Celtic's Billy McNeill in Hibs' defeat in the 1972 Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS
Jimmy O'Rourke tries to dribble around Celtic's Billy McNeill in Hibs' defeat in the 1972 Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS

The club described him as “a true Hibs man and an icon of Easter Road” in their statement. They also finished with a tribute which references the song supporters chanted on the terraces: “In his passing, Hibernian has lost one of its best-loved sons. Jimmy, Jimmy O'Rourke, everyone knows his name. To the angels high above.”

Noted Hibs supporter, radio DJ and actor Grant Stott, said on Twitter: “Och Jimmy. Such a lovely, lovely guy. Great company and a genuine one off.”

Brazilian-based journalist Andrew Downie wrote: “A true Hibs legend. A natural goalscorer. One of Turnbull's Tornadoes. Along with Arthur Duncan and Alan Gordon, part of a devastating Hibernian forward line. RIP Jimmy O'Rourke.”

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Popular podcast Longbangers added: “A player before our time but known to us from the high regard he was held amongst the Hibs community. RIP Jimmy.”

Hibernian Supporters, the club’s second largest shareholder, said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hibernian legend, Jimmy O’Rourke. Our thoughts are with Jimmy’s family, friends and former teammates at this difficult time. Thank you for all you did for our great club, Jimmy. His memory marches on.”

It wasn’t just Hibs supporters who paid tribute, though. Celtic fan Willie Collow wrote: “Sad to hear of the passing of Jimmy O’Rourke. Hibs legend, would loved to have seen him play for Celtic.” While Hearts supporter Andy Jackson said: “Sorry to hear the news today about Jimmy O’Rourke. Proper player and a really nice man.”

There were also emotional words from a man who learned under O’Rourke during his coaching days and would, ironically enough, later go on to be dubbed ‘The Hammer of Hibs’.

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Hearts legend John Robertson wrote on his Instagram: “Absolutely gutted to hear the passing of Jimmy O'Rourke – an absolute gentleman with an incredible sense of humour.

“He was an unbelievable goalscorer for Hibs and for two years he coached David Bowman, Gary Mackay and myself at Easter Road on a Tuesday and Thursday alongside Stan Vincent.

“Always cheery and loved talking about football. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Heartfelt condolences to the entire O'Rourke family at this sad time.

“RIP Jimmy and thank you for helping me on my way. Robbo.”

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