By: Hibernian Media on 14 Jul, 2020 12:45
Everyone at Hibernian FC was saddened to hear of the recent passing of former player Pat Quinn.
Club Historian Tom Wright paid this tribute.
Born in Glasgow on May 26, 1936, Pat Quinn’s big break came as a 19-year-old with Motherwell after impressing with Junior outfit Bridgeton Waverley.
It didn’t take the cultured midfielder long to establish himself as a first-team regular at Fir Park – with 12 league appearances and four goals in his debut campaign, which included one strike in a 1-1 draw with Hibernian.
Quinn’s emergence coincided with the appointment of Bobby Ancell and the signing of player of the calibre of Willie Hunter, Andy Weir, Bert McCann and Ian St John. Quinn’s tremendous vision and refined left foot made him an integral part of a side that would soon become known throughout the country as ‘The Ancell Babes’.
Quinn was more than capable of controlling a game from midfield and possessed a keen eye for goal. He played a huge part in Motherwell becoming such an entertaining and well-respected side that failed to win the major honours that their combined talents probably merited.
At the start of the 1959-60 season, Quinn was in the Steelmen side that travelled to face Hibs in the League Cup at Easter Road. With 18 minutes remaining of a hard-fought tie, The Hibees led 1-0 when St John carved his own little piece of football history in scoring a hat-trick within two-and-a-half minutes. It inspired a 3-2 victory and his treble remains the fastest scored in a competitive Scottish game.
After eight seasons with Motherwell, Quinn made the switch to Blackpool at the start of the 1962-63 season but admitted he didn’t settle as he would have liked, despite an impressive nine-goal return from 34 league games.
A little over a year after switching south of the border, Quinn returned north – agreeing a move to a Hibs side under the guidance of manager Walter Galbraith for a fee said to be in the region of £30,000. That was a record fee for a Scottish club at the time.
Jock Stein soon replaced Galbraith in the Easter Road dugout and the team was transformed from one battling for survival to challenging for major honours.
It took Quinn some time to settle into his stride in the green and white, but he would go on to give Hibs several years of sterling service. He was selected to play in the team that took on the legendary Real Madrid in a friendly at Easter Road and his performance as a deep-lying midfielder in the 2-0 win perhaps worked even better than Stein had anticipated.
Quinn was a regular from that point onwards in a tremendous period for the club.
Some years ago, a former player was asked just how Stein was able to make such a transformative impact on a team that had been toiling and the answer was simple. He played good players in positions that suited them and the introduction of Quinn was one such example of that.
On November 12, 1966, Quinn made history when – with 13 minutes remaining of a match against Clyde – he became Hibs’ first ever substitute in a competitive game after replacing the injured Joe Davis.
Although not quite as prolific as he was with Motherwell, the goals he did score for Hibs were often memorable – including a hat-trick against Hearts at Tynecastle in September 1967.
With Alan McGraw handed the task of marking the recently-transferred Willie Hamilton out of the game, Quinn would take full advantage of the free space to score the first treble by a Hibs payer at Tynecastle since Joe Baker’s four against Hearts in the 4-3 Scottish Cup victory of 1958.
A goal in the 5-1 victory over Partick Thistle a few weeks later would be followed by another in the now-famous 5-0 demolition of Napoli at Easter Road in the Fairs Cup, with Hibs having been written off after a 4-1 defeat in Italy.
Handed a free transfer at the end of the 1968-69 season, Quinn would soon join East Fife and went on to manage the club.
After a short spell coaching in Iceland, he would join Bertie Auld as assistant manager at Partick Thistle before following him back to Easter Road following the premature retirement of Willie Ormond on medical grounds.
When the pair moved on after a couple of years, Quinn retired completely from the game. He left a legacy as a cultured and tremendously skilful player who provided many hours of entertainment to those who were fortunate to have seen him at his very best. He is still remembered fondly by supporters at both Fir Park and Easter Road.
All in all, in his time at Easter Road, he made 184 competitive appearances and scored 23 goals.
Our thoughts are with Pat’s friends and family. His memory marches on.