POPULAR former Town player Brian Gibson has died aged 82.
The Huddersfield-born full-back, a product of District League side Paddock, spent the early part of his career as understudy to England right-back Ron Staniforth.
But he forced his way into the side in the mid-Fifties and made 171 appearances before hanging up his boots in 1962, when he joined forces with another former player, Eddie Brennan, to make a success of Town’s pools scheme.
After leaving the club in 1970, he ran Taylor Hill dripping refiners AW Chambers until retiring when the business closed in 2006.
That reflected his early trade as a tripe dresser, and Gibson, one of 14 children (nine brothers and five sisters) would often work on Saturday mornings before heading off to play football in the afternoon.
His performances for Paddock brought a place in the District League representative team and the attention of then-Town manager George Stephenson.
After playing for the reserves as an amateur, Gibson signed professional forms at the age of 23 in May 1951, and made his debut in a 2-1 top-flight defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge the following September, when the regular right-back was Charlie Gallogly.
Staniforth was signed from Stockport that summer as new manager Andy Beattie reshaped the squad following relegation to Division II, and his consistency meant Gibson had to be satisfied with only the occasional appearance.
An injury to Staniforth opened the door for Gibson, who played the final 12 games of the 1954-55 campaign and became first choice after his rival’s summer departure to Sheffield Wednesday.
While Town suffered another relegation to Division II in 1956, Gibson formed a strong full-back partnership with the emerging Ray Wilson, and featured in the run to the FA Cup fifth round in 1956-57, by which time Bill Shankly had become manager.
The FA Cup proved memorable for Gibson, because he also played in the famous 5-1 third-round replay win at West Ham in 1959-60 and made his final appearance for the club in the 4-3 third-round victory over Rotherham at Leeds Road in 1961-62.
His only Town goal came in the 3-0 home Division II win over Lincoln in 1959-60, when he made his most appearances in a season, 39 out of a possible 45 games.
Gibson, whose brother Steve played league football for Bradford Park Avenue, was also a keen golfer, at Outlane, and a freemason.
Predeceased by daughter Julie, he leaves wife Alice, daughters Joan and Susan and son Christopher, grandchildren Jamie, Natalie and Jodie and great-grandson Ethan.
His funeral will take place at St John’s Church, Newsome on Monday (1.00), followed by committal at Huddersfield Crematorium (2.00).