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The Edinburgh Reporter was sad to learn of the death of former Hibs’ midfielder Johnny Hamilton.

Bob Shankly signed the youngster from Cumbernauld United and he made his debut as an 18 year old at Easter Road in a 4-1 win over Clyde in the Scottish League Cup on 9th August 1969.

He scored the first of his seventeen goals for the club one month later in a 2-1 win over Celtic at Parkhead and older supporters will remember his goal against city rivals Hearts at Tynecastle in 1971.

He made 25 appearances that season, and the following campaign saw him play against Malmo, Vitoria Guimaraes and Liverpool in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup.

Johnny was a skilful left sided midfielder with distinctive long hair who was well liked by the supporters.

The quality of the Hibs team in the early seventies meant that his first team opportunities were limited but it was a surprise when Eddie Turnbull gave him a free transfer in 1973.  His last game for the club was on 10th March 1973, a 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Rangers quickly  recognised his potential and he moved to his boyhood idols for whom he played 99 times.

A statement on the Rangers website reads: “Rangers is deeply saddened to announce former player Johnny Hamilton has passed away after a short illness at the age of 66.

“Johnny signed for Rangers from Hibernian in 1973 and made his debut against Partick Thistle on 1st January 1974.

“He went on to play 99 games for the Club scoring 15 goals. He won League Championship and Scottish Cup medals in season 1975/76 and a League Cup medal in season 1977/78.

“Everyone at the Club sends their sincere condolences to Johnny’s family at this very sad time.”

A statement from Hibernian is expected shortly.

The Edinburgh Reporter sends our condolences to Johnny’s friends and family.