In a curious sideline to some research I was doing about internationalists, the same story came up several times over three decades. I decided to bring the players together for the first time.
There does seem to have been an arrangement at the circus for customers to show their bravery by going into the cage and touching one of the lions, even pulling its tail. Quite how brave you had to be is open to question, and it is likely the lions were doped or restrained, but it was good publicity when someone famous did the trick.
It was not until 1908 that another footballer took up the challenge, and this time it was Billy Fulton, who had played for Sunderland, Derby County and Bristol City. He was now running a pub in his native Alloa, and just like Hannah he was awarded a gold medal. What is more, he repeated the feat in 1910 the next time the circus came to town, this time with five lions in the cage, to collect a second medal!
And if anyone does have any photos of footballers with lions, or a medal, or can tell me about more examples (surely it was not only Scottish players?), please get in touch through my contacts page.