Thursday, 26 July 2012

R.I.P. Grandad (Archie Gibson)

Leading out the Iron
Death doesn't usually give you any relief from hurt in any circumstances, but for my Grandad who suffered from the horrible disease 'Alzheimers', there was some kind of consolation for the loss of the man I have idolised since a young age, knowing he had his personality back at last. This horrible disease ate away at my Grandad and deprived us of his jolly, kind and funny man personality in the final years of his life. He was finally back to himself, and although not on earth our family take consolation in the fact that he is now up there watching down on us. He can finally remember the people who loved him dearly, he can remember playing in front of 40 odd thousand fans for Leeds week in week out, he can remember leading out the Iron as captain.

As a youngster I dreamed of being a footballer, and luckily I had my Grandad to look up to, to give me advice. I remember me asking him for a kick around expecting it to be with a full size football, no, he made sure we played with a tennis ball, because in his words 'That's all I had to train with when I was a youngster'. He in a sense was my idol, his job was what millions dream of doing. In that sense he was a lucky man, but he worked very hard to get the opportunity. He deserved it!

He joined Leeds United on the 31 May 1951 and stayed there for 9 years. He made 174 appearances for Leeds scoring 5 goals. Here is a brief paragraph taken from Leeds website '':

"Gibson attended Girvan High School before joining Coylton Juveniles, an Ayrshire club. Leeds spotted him playing in a Scottish Juvenile Cup semi-final at Falkirk and signed him in May 1951. During his National Service with the RAC, Gibson was stationed at Catterick and played for Northern Command. He switched from Inside Forward to Right Half and broke into United’s first team. A former apprentice joiner, Gibson built a fine career at Elland Road in the 1950s based on sheer hard work. He held a regular place until July 1960. United had been relegated from Division One and Gibson was one of the victims of the clear out. He had one unwanted Leeds United record. On 27th December 1958 he and Derek Hogg of West Bromwich Albion were sent off for fighting and he became the first-ever Leeds United player to be sent off in a Football League match, the untainted run had lasted for thirty-eight years and four months, possibly a Football League record. After six years service he was transferred to Scunthorpe United in July 1960 and proved an excellent signing being able to bring out the best from those around him. He was immediately installed as Captain and played one hundred and thirty-eight League games for the Iron and scored five times. Archie missed only ten games until making his final appearance on 28th December 1963 in the 4-2 home defeat against Manchester City. He went to Barnsley in September 1964, but he did not make a League appearance for the Oakwell club. He later played for and captained North Lincolnshire side Brigg Town."

It is at Scunthorpe that I am most proud, obviously, being a HUGE Iron fan myself. He made 138 appearances for Scunny and scored 5 goals.

I have found a few links which include him in:

Clubs official Statement (Scunthorpe United)

Clubs official Statement (Leeds United)

Article I wrote published on Iron-Bru

Obituary on the Independent website

Obituary on The Herald Scotland

Article on the Yorkshire Evening Post website

This link will take you to where it talks about his inclusion into the Civil Defence.

Link to the post on the forum anouncing his passing. Some very kind words spoke by Scunthorpe Fans.

Leeds announce the news

Leeds United Facebook group announce the news

Leeds United Forum '' create a thread

Leeds United forum '' create a thread

I am currently trying to get Leeds and Scunthorpe to do some form of tribute for him, I will post on the blogs twitter and facebook pages if I am successful in any way. I go to the Yorkshire Evening Post HQ at lunch today to see if there are any archives with pictures, videos or articles that include him.

I guess all that is left to say is R.I.P. Grandad, keep on Marching x


  1. That's lovely Ross. He was a special man & Godfather & I loved him dearly. He can play dominos with my dad again now! x

    1. Thanks Georgette. As you say he was a very special man. Hope they are playing with a nice glass of whiskey in hand too! x

  2. Sad news and a touching blog. An obituary for your grandfather is being published in tomorrow's Yorkshire Evening Post.

    Phil Hay

    1. Hi Phil, That's fantastic news I will pick up the paper on my way into work. Thanks again!

      Ross Gibson @AnyOldIron

  3. Great blog, before my time but sounds like a fantastic player.

    Did The Iron proud.

  4. Ross,
    Sorry to hear about your grandad.
    I now live in Dubai and only heard the news this week, please accept my condolences.
    Archie was my boyhood hero, we lived in the same Road, Hamilton Road when i was a young teenager and i spoke to him regularly, i was and still am a United supporter and watched him play with great admiration.i remember one year when he first footed our house at new year.
    I signed schoolboy forms for utd whilest he was still skipper and a few years later played with him at Brigg Town.
    All of my memories of him are good, a gentleman,classy player and a pleasure to be around.His passing has come as quite a shock as i was not aware of his health problems.
    David Roach.

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for your comment! It is Hamilton road where he remained for the rest of his life and that is where my Grandma still lives.
      I am glad your memories of Grandad are good, I completely agree with you, he was a gentlemen.
      It's a shame he isn't around to slip his boots and sort the mess United are in at the moment!

      All the best David,

      Ross Gibson

  5. I remember Arcie,he used to kick a ball around the village of Dailly with my brother Robert,Sadly Robert now has Alzheimers,but next time I see him,I'll let him know about Archie,he often mentioned him.
    R.I.P. Archie

    Ralph Smith

    1. Hi Ralph,

      I appreciate the comment my good friend :) I am sorry to hear about your brother and hope you have plenty of good memories to keep you going through the hard times.
      I plan on heading up to Dailly in the not so distant future to see the scenery where Grandad grew up, I hear it's very beautiful.

      All the best,

      Ross Gibson

  6. im trying to find relatives of archie,a woman in the states who is his neice,diane potcher the family moved to the states in 1946.she has a last known address for a james bradley 127 warwick calderwood,if u could please get in touch i will pass her on to you thanks,

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      You've come to the right place if you are looking for Archie's relatives! This is my personal email - - So send over an email and I will assist you in any way I possibly can.


      Ross Gibson