TRIBUTES were paid to former Hibs player Lawrie Reilly at his funeral today – with mourners told “Easter Road will never be the same.”
Reilly was the final member of Hibs legends the Famous Five to pass away.
Players from past and present Hibs teams were in attendance at the church.
The first to arrive were Hibs current first team, led by manager Pat Fenlon and captain James McPake.
Grant Stott, Pat Nevin and biographer Ted Brack gave tributes to one of Scotland’s best-loved football players.
Riley was well know by his nickname “last minute Reilly” for his record of scoring goals just before the final whistle.
In his career Reilly scored 238 goals for his boyhood club.
Tommy Preston, who made over 300 appearances for Hibs, said: “To me he was great, and one of the very best.
“He was a great player, full of fire, his belly was full of fire all the time. He always wanted to win.
“I remember being at hibs when the famous five were playing, and I would only get a game if one of them was out.
“Reilly was very helpful to young players, but he was very competitive too. If you did something wrong you’d know about it.”
Asked if Reilly would still rank among the greats of Scottish football, Mr Preston said: “very much so.”
The reverend Ian Gilmour, who conducted the service, wore a green and white outfit.
While the church filled with laughter as memories of his competitiveness, tears were shed by several mourners.
Ted Brack who wrote Reilly’s autobiography Last Minute Reilly quoted one him as saying: “I was born a Hibby and I’ll die a Hibby.”
He said: “I first saw him when I was a little boy going to watch Hibs at Easter road. The. I got to know him as a person too.
“He got the nickname of last minute Reilly because he never gave up. You notice most players ease off at the end, but he just kept going.”
Radio personality and lifetime Hibs supporters Grant Stott said that “Easter road will never be the same without” Reilly.
Football pundit Pat Nevin said that Reilly had “effortlessly” became a hero of his childhood club, and joked that one if his favourite things about Reilly was his height as he was just “half an inch” taller than Nevin.
Nevin also said that as a pundit he is often asked how former players would have got on in this era of football. He said that Reilly would have “been huge in any era” and could have scored “anytime, anyplace, anywhere.”
Others at the funeral included Hibs owner Sir Tom Farmer.
Reilly scored 238 goals during his 12-year career at Easter Road, helping the club win three Scottish league titles.
Reilly also scored 22 goals in 38 appearances for Scotland, among them five in five games against England at Wembley.
Reilly was the last survivor of the Famous Five, one of the most feared front lines of its generation, which also included Willie Ormond, Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone and Eddie Turnbull.