Tomorrow, Hibs will play in the Scottish Cup semi finals for the third season on the bounce, this time against Aberdeen. I will be there in the South Stand at Hampden, just as I was on Saturday 21st May 2016. I wanted to repost this from a month or so ago, all about last year’s semi final and the Polar Bear himself, Mr Conrad Logan.
I try not to write too much of the trials and tribulations of Hibernian Football Club on this blog, honest – there are enough other people who write on the various messageboards and some other blogs about our team without my input. I wanted to write a little something, though, about Conrad Logan. Conrad Logan played for Hibs at the end of last season. He now plays for Rochdale in England’s lower leagues. Now, that’s the boring summary. He came to play for Hibs after our first-choice goalkeeper got himself booked and thus suspended for losing his contact lens. After no competitive football for 16 months due to injury, Conrad Logan was between the sticks for our Scottish Cup semi final last year against Dundee United. Quite honestly, watching him warm up didn’t fill me with much confidence. He was, to put it charitably, not looking in the best shape. Then the game started. The game was not the finest Hampden has ever seen. After 90 minutes, and extra time, it was still goalless, due in no small part to the role of Conrad Logan. Then the penalty shootout came. We left the National Stadium with a spot in the Final. Logan saved again and again, not by a fluke but great motions across the goal to deny United. Unaccountably, Alan Stubbs dropped Logan for the next game in the league, which was the following Wednesday against The Rangers (score: 3-2 in the glorious Leith sunshine, just as a few weeks later down Mount Florida way), though he featured in most of the rest of the games last season, including on 21st May.
Conrad Logan retains an affection amongst many Hibs fans, myself included. There is even something called the Conrad Logan Hibs Supporters Club, which I believe is based in West Lothian. Their flag has appeared prominently at our recent away games against Dundee United and Raith Rovers. Members of that august group went down to see Rochdale play a few weeks ago but sadly Conrad was on the bench. The previous Saturday, unfortunately, Rochdale had got gubbed in the FA Cup and our hero was in goal.
There is a film out just now called Logan. I have absolutely no clue what it’s about, only I know it isn’t about Conrad Logan. The Hollywood movie hucksters have undoubtedly missed a trick. A few weeks ago, Manchester United Tweeted an advert for the film and wonderfully Hibs replied, in a vaguely trolling kind of way, with a picture of Conrad with the movie’s strapline. Every time I see the adverts on the sides of buses, I think ‘no, his time came last year at Hampden’.
As this post is published, I will be watching Hibs play, this time in beautiful downtown Paisley. We have an excellent goalie just now by the name of Ofir Marciano, who was our best player against Dunfermline the other night. Our goalkeepers tend to have random stories. Mark Oxley, the goalie who lost his contact lens, once scored in a game against Livingston, his goal kick assisted by the wind as it found its way from one end of our ground to another. Marciano is married to a supermodel and now lives in Musselburgh, a very unsupermodel type of place, as fine though it is. But undoubtedly my favourite of recent times has to be Conrad Logan, Mr Incredible himself, for his time, unlikely as it was, became one of heroes.