Hibernian Football Club is saddened to learn of the death of former player Joe McBride last night. He was 74.
A prolific striker, McBride's association with Hibernian was brief - totalling 91 appearances in just over two years - but he made a huge impact and scored a phenomenal 58 goals.
Our sincere thoughts are with his family at this difficult time - he left a lasting impression on our club and he will always be remembered with great affection.
The following feature originally appeared in The Hibernian 12 months ago and chronicles the feats of a unique and special talent:
Sure-footed, sharp-eyed and a natural goalscorer, Joe McBride regularly found the net for Hibernian with the panache that the Easter Road crowd demands of its heroes.
A £20,000 replacement for Colin Stein, whose £100,000 transfer to Rangers in November 1968 had left a huge void in Hibernian's attacking arsenal, McBride didn't just survive in the shadow cast by his prolific predecessor, he positively thrived.
A remarkable 58 goals in 88 starts - including 16 goals in 11 games - paints a portrait of a valuable forward, who was arguably one of the finest goalscorers the Scottish game has ever seen.
The prolific Glaswegian also scored regularly in the colours of Kilmarnock, Patrick Thistle, Motherwell, Celtic, Dunfermline and Clyde - 221 league goals overall to be precise.
To evaluate his knack for finding the net, only Willie Wallace and Ally McCoist have bettered that haul in Scotland since the end of the Second World War.
A relentless competitor, McBride had overcome some serious set-backs on his journey through to Leith which also encompassed spells in England with Wolves and Luton Town.
After finishing three successive seasons at the top of Motherwell's goal charts, Govan-born McBride, who started off with St Gerards, signed for boyhood heroes Celtic in a £22,000 transfer in 1965.
Over the next couple of years, McBride underlined his genuine quality as a top-class marksman and he was the Scottish League's top goal scorer, alongside Dunfermline's Alex Ferguson, with 31 goals in 1965/66.
The following season would be the greatest in Celtic's remarkable and rich history but would prove significant for McBride both on and off the park.
Capped by Scotland twice in November 1966 in the matches against Northern Ireland and Wales, McBride was at the summit of his powers.
He scored an astonishing 35 goals from 26 appearances before breaking down in a match against Aberdeen on Boxing Day.
Sidelined with a knee injury, McBride was sent all over the country, visiting a number of specialists, before having what appeared to be routine surgery. The doctors found some flaking of the bone behind the kneecap and further analysis discovered the flakes to be cancerous. Injury deprived him of being part of the famous Lisbon Lions team - Celtic's 1967 European Cup-winning side - but fortunately the early diagnosis saved McBride's life. Understandably after such a serious set-back it was a long road to recovery for McBride and when he eventually did return he struggled to re-establish himself in Celtic's starting line-up. When Stein joined Rangers, Hibernian manager Bob Shankly was saddled with the unenviable task of finding Easter Road's next goalscorer-in-chief and he signed McBride.
A goal on his debut - a consolation effort as Stein inspired Rangers to a thumping 6-1 win - was followed by an incredible hat-trick against Lokomotiv Leipzig in a Fairs Cup tie at Easter Road.But that feat was bettered in his next match when he put four past Greenock Morton - to make it eight goals in his opening three games as a Hibernian player.
Maintaining that early purple patch proved improbable, but McBride still managed to score two goals apiece against Arbroath, Raith Rovers and Hamburg to finish the campaign with a remarkable 24 goals in just 28 outings.Shankly was replaced in the manager's office by Willie MacFarlane in September 1969, but McBride, with characteristic grit, continued to score goals on a regular basis.
Blessed with a sure touch with both feet, excellent awareness and, even at 5ft 8in, a potent threat in the air, McBride was instrumental in some stirring triumphs for Hibernian.Arguably his finest hour was against his former club Celtic in September 1970 when he delivered two sweetly-struck goals that were lionised for many years afterwards.
With admirable athleticism, McBride struck a gloriously executed overhead kick into the net before sealing a 2-0 win with another eye-catching goal.In the following game, McBride struck a Fairs Cup hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Malmo before the controversial build-up to the tie against Liverpool which culminated in MacFarlane being relieved of his duties.Chairman Tom Hart installed Dave Ewing as manager and McBride soon followed MacFarlane out of the exit door - lasting only an additional three weeks at the club.There was much consternation amongst the Hibernian support following the striker's departure with many feeling he had been allowed to leave too soon.Short spells with Dunfermline and Clyde followed his exit from Leith before McBride retired from football in 1972.
Becoming a publican, he ran 'The Wee Mill' near Shawfield Stadium and co-owned 'Sidelines' on London Road with former team-mate Bertie Auld. His son, also Joe, carved out a career in football and following in his father's footsteps pulled on the green and white shirt of Hibernian over a decade later.McBride's stay with Hibernian may have been relatively brief, but there is no disputing that the association was bountiful and his goals-to-games ratio, 58 goals from 91 appearances, was highly commendable. Wherever he went, goals duly followed.
Everyone connected with Hibernian would like to express our sincere condolences to the McBride family at this difficult time.