A lifelong Hibs supporting school janitor has been treated to a special surprise by his colleagues after going through a tough time of things recently.
Now in his 20th year as the janny at St John’s RC Primary in Portobello, Allan Mackie is a much-loved figure in the school community and is well-known for having a great relationship with the kids and going above and beyond to help them.
Unfortunately though, Allan has endured some heartache the past six months, with a close family member passing away in August and sadly his mother Betty passing away in January.
His granddaughter Cody has also been in and out of hospital, facing any challenge head on with a smile on her face, while Allan has managed to show incredible strength throughout and often quotes his love of the Hibees for helping him through hard times.
With that in mind, Allan’s friend and PE teacher Stephen Devine decided to do his bit to give his fellow Hibs-daft colleague a lift – and arranged for a signed shirt to be delivered to Allan on Tuesday by one of his heroes, Hibs legend and Club Ambassador Pat Stanton.
Lifelong Hibee Allan Mackie was surprised at school by Pat Stanton.
“Anyone who knows Allan will know he’s the biggest Hibee you will meet,” Stephen told us.
“He has been a season ticket holder for well over 30 years and religiously goes home and away with his brothers Robert and Derek.
“He has also been on nearly every away trip during our Euro adventures and you’ll often see him in school getting caught on the Hibs website when he’s meant to be working.”
Allan also runs Hibs supporters buses for the trips to Hampden, and Stephen – himself a season ticket holder for more than 20 years – was delighted to be on the bus back to Easter Road alongside family and friends from the national stadium after that glorious day in 2016 when Hibs lifted the Scottish Cup.
Stephen continued: “I’ve known Allan for over 10 years and I know how much this gesture will mean to him.
“Hibs are a huge part of both of our lives.
“He is a very strong man with a great sense of humour who would help anyone in need.
“Allan Mackie is simply Hibs class.”
Allan has a daughter Cheryl who has two kids – Cayden and Cody - currently at St John’s Primary with him, and all the family are massive Hibees.
Cody even met David Gray during a surprise hospital visit which made her day, and now Allan has met one of his heroes in person.
St John’s head teacher Jacqueline Kelly Allan described Allan as an “integral” member of the St John’s team, and said he is much loved by staff and pupils.
“He is known for his kindness, generosity and sense of fun,” Jacqueline explained.
“He goes above and beyond when supporting our pupils, he is the first person they see in the morning if they arrive late and he puts them at ease by sharing a joke or putting an arm around them if needed.
“He is fully involved in school life and has coached the football team for many years, giving up his free time in evenings and weekends.
“His love for Hibs is known by all and he delights in sharing their good fortune with some of our children who may support ‘other’ teams!”