By: Hibernian Media on 13 Sep, 2018 09:00
Pat Stanton is among the most revered players to have ever pulled on the green and white jersey and his legacy still stands true to this day.
A lion-hearted captain who was comfortable on the ball, Pat was a true leader and helped to evoke the best out of his Hibernian team-mates.
It was perhaps his destiny to be idolised by the club. He is the great-great nephew of Michael Whelahan, a founder of the club and our first captain, and the great-nephew of Hibernian centre forward James Hendren.
On his birthday, we take a look back on five moments from his 617-game career for Hibernian.
1. Debut Against Motherwell
Pat’s debut was against Motherwell away from home on 5 October 1963, sadly ending in a 4-3 defeat at Fir Park.
Fresh from a season on loan at Bonnyrigg Rose to toughen up, Pat became part of the first team squad and was included in the starting line-up for the trip to Lanarkshire.
Even at the age of 19, he showed plenty of fearlessness and guts up against an experienced Motherwell, side, and a heap of ability too. Pat scored in the defeat, as did Gerry Baker and Neil Martin.
Whilst it may not have been a positive start to life in the team for Pat, his endeavour and technical qualities were evident from the very beginning of his Hibernian career.
2. Visiting New York City
Every legend has its humble beginnings and Pat was no different. As a kid, he would go to his local cinema house on Wauchope Avenue to watch gangster movies and shows such as The Bowery Boys on the big screen.
Never in his wildest dreams did he ever imagine he would visit the city he had only seen on the silver screen, but he did just that courtesy of Hibernian. In 1967 Hibernian played as Toronto City during the summer in the North American League, with the first game against CA Cerro at the famous Yankee Stadium - something he lists in his top five career memories.
Whilst the game was the focal point of the trip, being in the city allowed Pat the opportunity to stand in the streets he had only seen projected from film reels onto giant screens whilst shrouded in darkness. He was sure to take in all the sights and sounds, even walking down the Bowery!
The game ended in a 1-1 and the captain tripped over the pitcher’s mound on the makeshift playing surface.
“If it was good enough for Babe Ruth, then it is good enough for me” quipped Pat as he recalled the stumble.
3. First European Goal
As a player, Pat was the man for the big occasion, often turning in man of the match performances in Edinburgh Derbies and games against the Old Firm. Let’s not forget Europe too.
His battles against Jack Charlton and Billy Bremner of Leeds and Ian Callaghan and Emlyn Hughes of Liverpool to name a few showcased his ability to mix it up with some of the most celebrated midfielders of the time.
Those qualities were needed as Hibernian looked to overturn a 4-1 deficit against Napoli at Easter Road in 1967. The Italian internationals Ottavio Bianchi and Antonio Juliano played in the centre of the park that day, but were not given a moment’s piece by any Hibernian players as they dominated from start to finish, with Pat leading by example once again.
Goals from Bobby Duncan, Pat Quinn and Peter Cormack had put Hibs in the driving seat, before Stanton’s thumping header past the legendary Dino Zoff. Colin Stein scored the fifth on the night in a famous win.
4. Hat-trick v Clyde
On 3 November 1973, Pat Stanton would score his only hat-trick in the green and white of Hibernian in a 5-0 whitewash of Clyde at Easter Road.
A crowd of 9880 showed up for the game, which in truth was massively one-sided, and Hibs’ number 4 was the main beneficiary.
His first goal was a cracker, bringing the ball under his control on the edge of the D before rifling it home. His second was not bad either, thumping a diving header into the net.
The captain was afforded a chance to seal his hat-trick from the spot, his first penalty in three seasons for the club, and he duly slotted it away. John Blackley and Alex Cropley scored the other goals that day.
Pat became the second member of his family to score a treble for the club, James Hendren scored two; one against St Mirren and the other against Queen’s Park.
5. 1972 League Cup Final
Every cup final tends to have a stand-out player in a great team and 1972 was undoubtedly Pat’s show as he pulled the strings against an incredibly strong Celtic team.
After emerging from a tough group which contained Aberdeen, Hibernian made light work of both Dundee United and Airdrie. Rangers were a tougher prospect at Hampden, but Turnbull’s Tornadoes were able to tear through the Ibrox team and take a 1-0 win.
The very thought of going head-to-head with Celtic for a major trophy so soon after the jarring 6-1 defeat in the Scottish Cup Final of that year would have seen lesser players fail the mental test, but the team rose to the occasion.
Not only did Pat continuously win his battles on the park, he pitched in with a fine opening goal as he drilled in a low effort on the hour mark, before sending in the cross for Jimmy O’Rourke to head home six minutes later. Kenny Dalglish’s solo goal in the 77th minute was rendered nothing more than a statistic as Hibernian weren’t for letting go of the lead and the Stanton-inspired team lifted the League Cup for the first time.
It was also the first domestic cup competition that the club had won in 70 years, with Pat the man of the moment at Hampden that day.