Lawrance "Lawrie" Reilly of Hibernian Football Club & Scotland Internationalist
5th August 2019
Thomson Roddick Auctioneers are delighted to announce that two Scottish League Championship medals won by Hibernian Football club forward and Scotland internationalist Lawrance "Lawrie" Reilly (1928-2013) sold for a total of £14,500 (£12,000 hammer plus charges) in auction on the 22nd August as part of our Collector's Auction held in at our Rosewell (Edinburgh) branch. It has been said that they will soon be on show at Easter Road.
The lot description:
The football medals of Hibernain Football Club forward and Scotland National team international Lawrance "Lawrie" Reilly (1928-2013), which include a 9ct gold and enamelled Scottish League Champions 1950-1951 medal of navette shape with enamel lion rampant flag to the centre and engraved verso "Lawrence Reilly 1950-51" by makers Alexander Kirkwood and Son assayed in Edinburgh 1951 (5cm x 2.7cm 22.2g) and a 9ct gold and enamelled medal of circular shape engraved verso "Scottish League Championship Season 1951-1952 L Reilly" by makers HP assayed in London 1952 (3.2cm diameter 32.5g). Estimate £1,000-£2,000.
Reilly was one of the Hibernian Football Club "Famous Five" in the late 1940's and 50's, the other four being Bobby Johnstone, Gordon Smith, Willie Ormond and Eddie Turnbull.
Reilly was with Hibs from 1946-1958 and scored 234 times in 333 appearances (185 league goals in 253 league appearances). He was inducted into the Hibernian Hall of Fame in 2010 (see http://www.hibshistoricaltrust.org.uk/2010-hall-of-fame/lawrie-reilly) and the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2005 (see https://scottishfootballmuseum.org.uk/hall-of-fame/). He was by far the most prolific goal scorer of the Famous Five with a strike rate of 70%.
Between the seasons of 1949 and 1957 Reilly was the club's top league goal scorer each season but for 1950 when Smith took the accolade. Reilly's most prolific season in front of goal was the 1952-53 season when he scored 30 times in what could at most have been 30 appearances thus averaging at least a goal a game. He was the league's joint top goal scorer in this season alongside East Fife's Charlie Fleming or "Cannonball Charlie" as he was better known who also netted 30 times.
During Reilly's eleven seasons at the club, Hibernian won the League championship three times. The first came in the 1947-48 season (although Reilly wasn't deemed to have played enough games to receive a winners medal), the second in the 1950-51 season where he finished as top goal scorer with 22 goals and the third the following season 1951-52 where he finished top goal scorer with 27 goals.
The very first European Cup was contested in the 1955-56 season and Reilly helped a Hibernian team to the semi-finals.
Reilly received 38 international caps for the Scotland national side scoring 22 times. He earned the nickname "Last Minute Reilly" after scoring late against the Auld Enemy at Wembley in 1953. In fact he made a habit of scoring against England with six goals in seven appearances against them. He remains Hibernian's most capped Scotland international whilst at the club and Scotland's forth top all time goal scorer behind Denis Law (30), Kenny Dalglish (30) and Hughie Gallacher (23). A record of his international career can be found at http://www.fitbastats.com/scotland/player_caps_domestic.php?playerid=641&club=35
Reilly also played fourteen times for a Scotland League XI scoring 14 goals.
Reilly passed away on 22nd July 2013 and his obituary can be found at https://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/jul/22/lawrie-reilly
A street in Edinburgh had been named after him; Lawrie Reilly Place EH7 5EU.
Further reading: The Golden Years: Hibernian in the days of the Famous Five by Tom Wright
On the 22nd March 2018 Thomson Roddick Auctioneers sold the 1951-52 Scottish League Championship medal of Hibernian Football Club chairman Harry Swan. It was lot 391 in the auction and realised £650, full details of this lot can be found in the link below.