Tom was devoted to his club and a gentleman

Hibernian FC have been leading the tributes to Tom O’Malley, who has sadly passed away.

Tom O'Malley
Tom O'Malley

Mr O’Malley served as chairman at the Easter Road club but was perhaps better known locally for his role as head teacher at St David’s High School in Dalkeith during the 1980s.

Hibs described Mr O’Malley as a “much-respected” teacher, the amiable figure awarded the OBE for services to education.

He joined the Hibs board in 1991 and was a staunch supporter of the Hands Off Hibs campaign which eventually thwarted Hearts chairman Wallace Mercer’s attempts to merge the Capital clubs and, when Tom Farmer completed his takeover of the Easter Road side, O’Malley was appointed as one of the directors.

The club won the Skol Cup final during his early time with the club, lifting silverware for the first time in almost 20 years.

He served throughout the 1990s as a non-executive director and when the club was relegated to the First Division for season 1998-99 he reluctantly agreed to ‘act as a bridge’ and become chairman to help guide the club back to the top flight, which was achieved under Alex McLeish.

True to his word, he then resigned and returned to his place in the stands.

Hibs chairman Ronald J Gordon said: “Everyone at the club is saddened by the news.

“I didn’t ever have the pleasure of meeting Tom O’Malley, but those who knew him tell me he was devoted to the club and a real gentleman.

“Our thoughts are with his family and his friends.”

Due to ill health he was unable to attend Hibs’ 2016 Scottish Cup win, but he was able to lift the trophy when the Persevered Tour made a special stop at his home.