On the 21st May 2016 Hibernian beat Rangers 3-2 in the Scottish Cup Final to win the trophy for just the second time in the Club’s history. Their previous victory had come 114 years earlier.
What followed in a half empty Hampden Park stadium, bathed in spring sunshine, was one of the most moving renditions of a love song that you are ever likely to hear.
Twenty six years earlier, with Hibs teetering on the brink of financial ruin, the unthinkable almost happened when Wallace Mercer – owner of arch-rivals Hearts – proposed a ‘merger’ of the two Edinburgh clubs. It was around this time that Hibs supporters adopted The Proclaimers’ “Sunshine on Leith” as their rallying cry, uniting them in their ultimately successful campaign to keep the club independent.
Despite over a quarter of a century passing between those dark days in the early nineties and the club’s second ever Cup victory, the joy with which 25,000 fans gave voice to their feelings of redemption and glory was palpable on that May day in 2016.
For me what lies at the heart of this football fairytale is authenticity…
— “Sunshine on Leith” was written and performed by two local lads, twin brothers Craig & Charlie Reid, whose counter-culture take on the late 1980s was to dress like off-duty bank clerks, complete with prescription glasses.
— The lyrics describe a journey from despair, through recovery to hope, and ultimately gratitude…and of course they feature that district of Edinburgh where Hibs have their Easter Road ground.
— And the conviction and passion with which the crowd sing the song speak of every true football fan’s enduring and unquestioning commitment to their club, through good times and bad.
I believe authenticity lies at the heart of any successful business, but particularly those in service industries where people and product are so closely connected. It should manifest itself in a company’s culture and be embodied in its brand values and identity. I strive to bring this to the way I run my business.
“My heart was broken
You saw it, you claimed it
You touched it, you saved it…”
The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith
Photo: Michael715 / Shutterstock.com