Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Oldest Hibs supporter Sam Martinez dies at 106

Sam Martinez Image copyright Edinburgh Evening News

Hibernian Football Club's oldest supporter has died at the age of 106, just months after watching his team lift the Scottish Cup.

Sam Martinez had followed the team's every twist and turn since he first arrived in Edinburgh in 1945.

Mr Martinez finally saw Hibs win the cup in May after an injury-time winner from David Gray secured a 3-2 win over Rangers at Hampden.

It was the first time the club had won the trophy for 114 years.

Mr Martinez died on Wednesday at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

A Hibernian Football Club spokesman said: "The club are deeply saddened to learn of Sam's passing.

"Sam was a lovely person and touched us all with his character and commitment to the club.

"He persevered longer than anyone else to see Hibernian lift the Scottish Cup and we were delighted that he was able to attend the game in May.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. His memory marches on."

Mr Martinez came to Scotland in 1942 to work as a lumberjack.

He was one of a group of 800 volunteers who took on forestry work in the Highlands.

After the war he moved to a hostel in Edinburgh.

He told BBC Scotland in 2012: "My very first month in Edinburgh I was walking down York Place and a crowd of people were coming down the road."

When he asked he was told there was a football match at Easter Road.

He joined the queue and someone gave him a free ticket

Mr Martinez said: "I thought he was taking the mickey out of me, being the only black man in the queue."

However, he took the ticket and enjoyed the game so much he has remained a supporter ever since.

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