By: Hibernian Media on 09 Oct, 2018 15:10
Former Hibernian player Tony Higgins hailed his former team-mates for helping to craft him into the player that he developed into as he hailed them as “great to learn from.”
Speaking at Eden Mill’s Blendworks in St Andrews, where he created his own gin and helped to develop the upcoming collaboration gin between Hibernian and our official gin partner. Tony lavished praise on Turnbull’s Tornadoes and the teams that followed during his time at Easter Road.
He said: “When I look back on my career I realise that I was really lucky to play with that group of players.
“You look at the level they played at in the 7-0 win against Hearts and in the League Cup Final they played against Celtic. I always look at the quality of that Hibs squad and it is phenomenal.
“You have people like Joe Harper, Ally McLeod, Des Bremner, Bobby Smith, Willie Murray… they weren’t getting into the team on a weekly basis. We had a real core of 17 or 18 quality players at Easter Road at the time.
“All the guys were really helpful to a young player like me trying to break through into the team. Pat Stanton wasn’t a guy who shouted and bawled – he was a role model.
“Not only in the way that he played, but he always had a quiet word with you, which was great. Jimmy O’Rourke was fantastic, as was John Brownlie. You look through that team and it was star-studded. It was great to play in and learn from at that time.”
Tony, who played 164 times for Hibernian scoring 42 goals, was also full of praise for the legendary forward and manager Eddie Turnbull.
He believed that he was a coach who wanted to work his players hard, but gained the utmost respect for his innovative approach to the game in the 1970s and ensuring all the players knew what was expected of them as part of the squad.
The former player said: “Eddie was a coach beyond his time. He wasn’t the most timid of men as most people would know, but he had a great knowledge of the game.
“He was very hard but he made sure that everybody worked hard on the training ground and they understood their role within the team.
“He played with Brownlie and Schaedler almost as wing-backs which was innovative at the time. He was a coach well ahead of his time.”
Subscribe to Hibs TV to watch Tony’s interview in full, with his interview also available to watch on the Hibs TV YouTube channel.
Tony chats about his experience at Eden Mill Blendworks, his time at Hibernian, the work that he does with FIFPro and being part of the Scottish Cup trophy ceremony on 21 May 2016.