Hibs and Hearts: 16 photos showing how Hands Off Hibs campaign saved Hibernian and stopped merger with Hearts

We look back at what was a worrying time – for both sets of fans

June 4, 1990. It’s a date that still sends shivers down the spines of Hibs fans everywhere. For that’s the day Hibbies woke up to the disturbing news that their club was the subject of a controversial takeover bid by Hearts chairman Wallace Mercer.

With the end of the club a real possibility, the reaction from the Hibs faithful was something like nuclear. Shortly after the news broke, hundreds of angry fans gathered outside the stadium – demanding answers.

Soon, a movement that would be branded ‘Hands Off Hibs’ was born, and over the next few weeks, numerous rallies were held – ultimately leading to Mercer withdrawing his bid and the club being saved from oblivion.

We’ve trawled through the photo archives to retell the story of that merger attempt – and how it threatened to call time on a bona fide Edinburgh institution.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.