Another packed night at Sunnyside on Sunday 23rd March as supporters from across our branches came together to celebrate our annual Player of the Year Awards.
It’s fair to say that we’ve endured another difficult year on the pitch but the Player of the Year night remains an opportunity for fans to meet the players and, this year, welcome Terry Butcher to The Hibs Club for the very first time.
Speaking at the beginning of the night Terry left fans in no doubt that he’s aware of the size of the task ahead of him – beginning at Tynecastle in Sunday’s derby.
He also paid tribute to the supporters and mentioned how visiting The Hibs Club was a reminder to him just how big a football club Hibs are – and how much the football club means to so many people.
With Rod Petrie joining him on the top table the manager also joked that his big ambition was simply to be back at Sunnyside as Hibs manager again next season.
This year three players were recognised: Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and a Special Recognition Award.
The awards are voted for by branch members and reflect performances from the past 12 months.
Player of the Year – Paul Hanlon
Just 24 and already playing his seventh season of first team football at Easter Road, Paul Hanlon’s was our member’s choice as Player of the Year – reflecting the manager’s prediction that this “outstanding” player has the ability and skill to “get to the very top” of the game. Thanking the fans for his award Paul noted that the best way to say thank you would be by getting a result at Tynecastle.
Young Player of the Year – Alex Harris
A hotly contested category, our Young Player of the Year Award went to Alex Harris in the year that saw him put in that memorable display in the Scottish Cup semi final against Falkirk. Receiving his award Alex reflected on a big 12 months for his career and stated his determination to get back to his best.
Special Recognition Award – Lewis Stevenson
The final award of the evening saw Mike Riley, Chairman of The Hibs Club, present Lewis Stevenson with a Special Recognition Award in the year that saw him pass 200 first team appearances, make a rare appearance of the goalscoring lists and, memorably, win the penalty that saw us win the New Year derby on that fantastic night at Easter Road.
Praising Lewis for the dedication, hard work and modesty that has marked his career in what has at times been a turbulent era for the football club, Mike remarked that it was an honour for The Club to be marking the career of a player who has truly become “one of our own.”
There was also a time for reflection as Grant Stott, MC for the night, paid warm tributes to The Hibs Club’s own Bill Alcorn and the legendary Lawrie Reilly, the last of our Famous Five.