Saturday, February 20, 2010

Alan Gordon, 1944-2010

Alan Gordon, Hibs, The Scottish Football BlogSad news last night with the death of Alan Gordon.

A graceful and elegant Scottish striker in an era when Scottish strikers were often not graceful and elegant, Gordon was most closely associated with Hibs. It was at Easter Road that he spearheaded the brief, but still fondly remembered, era of Turnbull's Tornadoes.

Gordon actually played more games and scored more goals for Hearts - his 23 goals driving the Tynecastle bid for the 1964/5 title that they lost only on goal average - but it was once he crossed the Edinburgh divide that he seemed to find his spiritual home.

He also played for both Dundee clubs, his time at Tannadice coinciding with the start of Jim McLean's reign and allowing him to speak with some authority on both Turnbull and McLean, two of the more indomitable characters to manage in Scotland.

A successful accountant, Gordon's will to win was countered by the knoweldge that there was more to life than football. This could frustrate his managers and once led Eddie Turnbull to deliver the immortal line:
The trouble with you, Gordon, is that aw yer brains are in yer heid
Even in his eighties Turnbull still protests that it was only Gordon and himself in that Hibs dressing room who had the wit to appreciate the point he was trying to make.

Gordon remained loyal to Hibs after his retirement from the game, although he never lost the conviction that a panicked Turnbull broke up that side before they fulfilled their potential.

You can read more from Stuart Bathgate and David Hardie at the Scotsman website.

For most Hibs fans, however, only one tribute need be paid to a man, and a team, who so forcefully expressed everything that they believe to be true about their club one cold January afternoon: