A Medal Possibility With A Difference
Kenny Hibbitt has expressed his delight at the revelation that a League Championship winners’ medal is likely to be posthumously struck for his late brother, Terry.
Wolves Heroes readers will be aware from our involvement in the happy story about Ron Stockin that many players are now being honoured several decades on from being considered to have played too few games to qualify.
The older of the two Hibbitt brothers was part of the Leeds squad crowned as champions in 1968-69, although his nine League appearances that season were not enough for him to receive a medal at the time.
But the same rethink by the football authorities that saw 1953-54 Wolves inside-forward Stockin as the beneficiary of a presentation in the summer now looks set to stretch to Elland Road after four Manchester City players – Paul Hince, Stan Horne, Bobby Kennedy and the late Harry Dowd – similarly recognised before Saturday’s home win over Burnley.
“Obviously I would love this to have happened while Terry was with us but his family will still be elated if this comes about,” Kenny said.
“It’s so nice to think his contribution might be recognised after all this time. I know I am biased but I also think it is deserved.
“It is a squad game and I think those just outside the first 11 should be remembered and rewarded as well. They help keep the standards high and maybe the decision to give all England’s World Cup winning squad medals a long time after 1966 is behind the thinking to award these title medals now.”
Terry was born three and a bit years before his brother and also scored three goals during a 1968-69 season in which Leeds finished six points ahead of their nearest challengers, Liverpool, and took three points out of four off a pre-Kenny Wolves.
He missed out when the medals were awarded, although his value to manager Don Revie had been underlined by his appearance in the victorious second leg of the Inter Cities Fairs Cup final the previous season against Ferencvaros.
So did his kid brother follow his Elland Road fortunes close up? “Sadly not,” Kenny added. “I remember going to see him in a couple of youth games when he was growing up with players like Rod Belfitt and Mick Bates, and I was sitting in the back of a draughty van belonging to a mate’s dad.
“But our dad, who died at 40, didn’t have a car and there wasn’t the means or the money to think about going to Leeds to watch Terry when he made the first team.
“I still had an affinity with all the clubs he played for, though, Leeds especially with them being so local to us in Bradford. It was great when he came down to Birmingham and we could play a lot of golf together and Bill McGarry then wanted us at Newcastle in the late 1970s, when he had Terry on the left and saw me as a possibility on the right.
“But I never wanted to leave Wolves and had a lovely day out at Molineux when they beat Newcastle a couple of weeks ago. One of the away fans recognised me and started talking about Terry in a very complimentary way, which was great to hear.”