Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Life of Reilly

A belated happy 80th birthday to Lawrie Reilly.

The spearhead of the Famous Five that achieved such dominance in the Scottish game for Hibs in the early 1950's Reilly also performed spectacularly for Scotland and scored five times in five visits to Wembley.

He remains Hibs most capped player and it seems inconceivable now that someone playing for a side outside of Glasgow's big two could become such a mainstay of the international side.

Reilly's 22 goals from 38 caps gives him the second best goals average for any player who has pulled on the dark blue more than 10 times.

That it is Hughie Gallacher who leads him in the record table provides a fitting contrast: the tragic Gallacher's destructive retirement could not be further removed from the dignified life Reilly has led away from the game.

Still a regular at Easter Road, Reilly - and his surviving Famous Five comrade Eddie Turnbull - provides a welcome reminder of a different time in Scottish football.

And, yes, Lawrie remains as perplexed as anyone as to how the Easter Road Scottish Cup jinx survived the dominance of the Famous Five.