Scottish Cup final: And, lo, it is written: Hibs have cup Nod in 2012

Scottish Cup final: And, lo, it is written: Hibs have cup Nod in 2012
The Scotsman, by Simon Pia

Not exactly a biblical prophecy and probably pure coincidence, but an “ancient scripture” has come to light, written by a holy man, predicting that this is the year that Hibs will finally win the Cup.

Now the Easter Road fans can be forgiven for throwing away the form book after such a woeful season and grasping at every possible omen or seeking portents where none exist.

And, to be frank, it is getting pretty desperate when it is wheeled out that Dan McMichael, the last manager to win the Cup back in 1902, was also an Irishman like Pat Fenlon.

However, one long-in-the-tooth Hibbie who has endured more heartache than most, will be heading to Hampden with the “ancient manuscript” and a photo of the holy man.

Now nobody, least of all his many Hearts friends, would accuse Gerry D’Agostino, a well-known Edinburgh businessman, of being prone to flights of fancy.

But word of his fascinating tale of a letter from his “Uncle Nods” back in 1955 predicting that, 57 years hence, in the year of 2012, Hibernian would win the Cup is beginning to spread spreading through the Hibs community. Some see it as a sign as, after all, it was Isaiah who said “it is written” – not Osborne, the one in midfield, but the Old Testament prophet. Mr D’Agostino laughs it all off and says his letter has added a lot of fun to the final for family and friends. Mind you, if it spooks any of his nervous Hearts friends, so be it.

He said says: “My mother Marietta’s brother was a Jesuit priest, Fr Albert Demarco. His family nickname was Nods, therefore my uncle Nods.

“I never found out why he was called this, but I remember him as a man with a fantastic sense of humour and full of fun.

“On the 5 May 1955, he wrote several letters to friends and family just because of the unusual date, including a birthday card to me for my tenth birthday.

“This was not the actual day but he chose to send it on this date as he thought it would be more fun.

“The card was home-made, with ten pages all filled with jokes and funny drawings. It was so special that my mother put it away amongst her souvenirs and I rediscovered it several years ago after her death.

“Uncle Nods was a fanatical Hibs supporter and he ended the card with these words: ‘I will end now by wishing you all joy and happiness – and the chance to see Hibs win the Cup some year. Your father and uncles have got too old to live till that day – which is, I believe, due to happen in 2012. Love, Uncle Nods,’”

Gerry points out this was time of the Famous Five when even Hibs greatest team couldn’t win the Cup.

Uncle Nods, like his brother Tony Demarco, Gerry’s father Bertie D’Agostino and a gang of other Edinburgh Italians like Achille Crolla and Gerry Pia and his brother Tommy were indeed all fanatical Hibs supporters who would never live to see it happen. Gerry’s not even sure he will either. “Now I am not reading too much into this, but it is an amazing coincidence.

“So I am taking his photo to the match, just in case it happens, as I know he would hate to miss it. And if he’s wrong, I’ll leave him behind.

“Mind you, it’s pity he didn’t also give me this week’s lottery numbers.”

But come quarter-to-five on Saturday afternoon, if James McPake is holding aloft the Old Tin Can at Hampden, you can be guaranteed someone somewhere will be calling for canonisation.

Come to think of it, St Nods has rather a nice ring to it.