Famous Five

The remarkable story of Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull and Ormond, Hibernian FC’s talented ‘Famous Five’ forward line, which dominated Scottish football in the post war period.

Broadcast on BBC ALBA in 2016.

Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull and Ormond were a footballing forward line who earned the timeless mantle ‘The Famous Five’ and entertained football fans not just at Hibernian FC, but throughout Scotland and indeed the world, their magnificence even revered in Brazil in the 1950s!

Their journey from humble working class backgrounds to becoming the most talked about footballers of a generation and beyond is compelling. This isn’t just a story about football, this is a story about the people behind the football and thus it is a narrative of historical and social significance. 

Using beautifully shot archive commissioned by the club in the late 1940s as a backdrop to the story, The Famous Five celebrates Hibernian’s post-war decade, showcasing the hugely talented forward line in the most successful period of the club’s history.

Along with the stunning archive our film tells the story of the famous five, and the infamous club Chairman Harry Swan, via the testimony of the people who knew them best; sons and daughters, former players such as Pat Stanton and Peter Cormack; broadcaster Alastair Alexander who watched in awe and commentated on Scottish football, the club’s historian and the acclaimed writer and Hibernian FC supporter, Irvine Welsh. We also examine the broader, long term impact of the legacy of the forward line.


Writer / Producer / Director: Margot McCuaig

Filmed: Neil MacConnell

Editor: Steven Meechan

Presenter: Alex O’Henley