Hibernian boss explains magic of Easter Road
John Hughes has been explaining just how important Easter Road's East Stand has been to him down the years. Hibernian's League match against St Johnstone on Saturday is their last game before the terrace is demolished, kicking off the final stage of the stadium's redevelopment.
"I'd better watch what I'm saying here - the chairman will be taking all my wages back off me!" the Hibs boss joked when recalling vaulting over the wall as a youngster.
"We all used to meet down the bottom of the enclosure in that stand - that was the Leith corner.
"If you lost your friends, you just made your way down there."
He added: "I used to come in here as a 15-year-old trialist. "Every now and then, you'd get a bit of terracing work, a wee bit of character testing to see who could get up and down it."
But Hughes' greatest memory comes from 20 years ago, when fans staged a protest at the stadium against the proposed merger with arch-rivals Hearts.
"Some of the great players and legends were on the pitch," Hughes recalled.
"Joe Baker was kissing the surface and it was, 'Hands off us; we're standing together to save our club'.
"I was standing on that terracing with all my mates, standing on that terracing watching it and saying, 'Come on then, let's try to get behind the club'.
"I was playing at Falkirk at the time but it doesn't stop you supporting your local club.
"There'll be guys in there who stood in the same spot, now sitting in the same spot for a number of years," Hughes said.
"Great atmosphere with the Hibees bounce and 'Sunshine on Leith'.
"I'm quite sure that a number of fans will come along, they'll be very nostalgic.
"Hopefully they'll get their seat and wee bits of memorabilia."