Born: December 30, 1933; Died: July 23, 2012.
Archie Gibson, who has died at the age of 78, was an Ayrshire-born footballer who spent his playing career in England.
Born in Dalry in the last days of 1933, Archibald Boyle Gibson was educated at Girvan Academy before signing for local side Coylton Juveniles while working as an apprentice joiner.
He was spotted by Leeds United while playing at Brockville in a Scottish Juvenile Cup semi-final and signed for the Elland Road club in May 1951.
National service followed and a stint at Catterick army base saw him play for Northern Command.
Primarily an inside-forward, Gibson was converted into a wing-half by Leeds manager Major Frank Buckley, a leading exponent of the long ball game, his tenacious tackling and accurate distribution complementing an energetic, bustling style.
It was Buckley's successor – the experienced Raich Carter – who gave the Scot his chance as a first-team regular in Yorkshire with a debut against Birmingham City that ended in defeat in March 1955. Team-mates included the legendary Welsh internationalist John Charles and future World Cup winner Jack Charlton, with Gibson sharing digs with both near the ground.
Leeds won promotion to the top flight in season 1955-56 – achieving second position behind Sheffield Wednesday – Gibson's first full campaign.
The following year he played in no fewer than 40 league games as the club finished eighth in the top flight with "Gentle Giant" Charles contributing 38 goals.
A world-record transfer fee of £65,000 took Charles to Juventus. The versatile Welshman had spoken highly of his team-mate Gibson, suggesting he was worthy of a Scottish international cap.
The call was not forthcoming and, without Charles, Leeds struggled. Gibson achieved one unwanted distinction at Christmas 1958 when he became the first Leeds United player to be ordered off in 38 years in a bust-up with Derek Hogg of West Bromwich Albion.
A young teenage compatriot by the name of Billy Bremner had joined Gibson in the Leeds midfield early in 1960 – but at the end of that season Gibson was released by then manager Jack Taylor after nine years, 174 appearances and five goals.
He was then signed for Scunthorpe United in July 1960 and, as club captain, gave the Irons sterling service for the next four years during which time he played in 138 games, scoring five goals.
Promotion to the top division only just eluded what is to this day regarded as the club's finest-ever side by a margin of five points. There was sweet revenge on Boxing Day, 1962, when he was a member of the Scunthorpe side that won 4-1 at Elland Road.
Just a few months earlier he was one of 120 volunteers to sign up for the Civil Defence Scunthorpe Division, a voluntary organisation. The Scot returned to Yorkshire in 1964 – to Barnsley – but did not feature in the first team.
Gibson made Scunthorpe his home after his playing career was over. He worked in the steel industry although he continued in football as player-coach with Brigg Town.
Archie Gibson died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. His grandson Marc is presently a youth player with Scunthorpe United.
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