The Famous Five (football)

The Famous Five is the collective term for Hibernian's forward line of Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and Willie Ormond. The north stand at Easter Road was named in their honour when it was rebuilt in 1995.[1] All five players have been inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.[2]

Picture depicting the Famous Five at Easter Road stadium

The first time that the Famous Five all started together in a competitive match was on 15 October 1949 versus Queen of the South at Easter Road. The Edinburgh club won the match 2–0.[3] The last match all five players started together was against Clyde at Easter Road on January 29, 1955. Despite Ormond and Reilly getting both on the scoresheet, the visitors won the match 3–2.[4]

Most or all of the players featured significantly as Hibs won league championships in 1948, 1951 and 1952 – a remarkable achievement given that the club has only won one other championship, in 1903. Hibs also finished second to Rangers in 1953 on goal average and second to Rangers by a point in 1950. The team was less successful in cup competitions, however. Their only Scottish Cup Final appearance in this period was in 1947, where they lost 21 to Dave Halliday's Aberdeen.[5] Hibs reached the final of the Coronation Cup in 1953 by winning against Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, but lost 2–0 to Celtic in the final despite dominating play.[6]

It was due to this successful period that Hibs played in the inaugural European Cup in the 1955–56 season,[7] even though the club had only finished in 5th place in 1955, 15 points behind champions Aberdeen.[8] The club reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, losing to Stade Reims.[9]

The forward line was never picked as a whole unit for a Scottish international side. Four of the players appeared in a Scottish League XI game in October 1952, with Turnbull replaced by Dundee player Billy Steel. Reilly scored four of the five Scotland goals.[10]


  1. Seating plan of the Famous Five stand Archived 2008-05-30 at the Wayback Machine, Hibernian official site.
  2. Strachan, Colleen (15 November 2010). "Caldo hails Hibs spirit after fightback". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  3. "QosFC: Club History".
  4. "60th anniversary of the Famous Five's final match". The Scotsman. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
    "ON THIS DAY IN 1965". Who Ate All The Pies. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  5. FEELING LUCKY?, Sunday Herald, 27 February 2005.
  6. Coronation Cup in Glasgow 1953, RSSSF.
  7. Season 1955–56,
  8. Dons denied Euro spot.. Archived 2007-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, Aberdeen F.C. official site.
  9. "BBC - A Sporting Nation - Hibernian reach the first European Cup semi-finals 1956".
  10. "Wed 08 Oct 1952 SFL 5 League Of Ireland 1". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 29 November 2011.