Colin Gibson (footballer, born 1960)

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For the 1950s forward, see Colin Gibson (footballer born 1923).
Colin Gibson
Personal information
Full name Colin John Gibson
Date of birth (1960-04-06) 6 April 1960 (age 55)
Place of birth Bridport, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Left-back
Youth career
1976–1978 Aston Villa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1985 Aston Villa 185 (10)
1985–1990 Manchester United 79 (9)
1990 Port Vale (loan) 6 (2)
1990–1994 Leicester City 59 (4)
1994 Blackpool 2 (0)
1994–1995 Walsall 33 (0)
Total 362[1] (25)
National team
1981 England U21 1 (0)
1984 England B 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Colin John Gibson (born 6 April 1960) is an English former footballer. He was an attacking left back who could also play in midfield. In a 17-year career, he scored 25 goals in 362 appearances in the Football League, and also won caps for the England under-21 and England B teams.

Gibson started his career at Aston Villa in 1978 and made around 200 appearances for the club in seven years, as well as winning the First Division title, the European Cup and the European Super Cup. He moved on to Manchester United in 1985, and during his five years at United he played 79 league games. He signed with Leicester City in 1990, after a short loan at Port Vale. After a four-year spell with the "Foxes" in which he helped the club to win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs in 1994, he transferred to Blackpool, before finishing his career by winning promotion out of the Third Division with Walsall in 1995.

Club career[edit]

Born in Bridport, Dorset, Gibson started his career with Aston Villa, and played in the 1978 FA Youth Cup defeat to Crystal Palace. After making his debut against Bristol City on 18 November 1978, he broke into the first team in a Ron Saunders side narrowly missing out on European qualification in 1978–79 and 1979–80. He faced competition from Gary Williams, Mike Pejic, and Eamon Deacy for the left-back spot. He went on to make 21 appearances in the 1980–81 season, as the "Villans" were crowned First Division champions. He then played at Wembley in the 1981 FA Charity Shield, as Villa shared the trophy after a 2–2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. In the 1981–82 campaign, he featured in both legs of the European Cup wins over Icelanders Valur and German side Berliner FC Dynamo, but remained on the bench for the 1982 European Cup Final victory over Bayern Munich at De Kuip. He took the trophy out on a night of drinking with Gordon Cowans and lost it, before it was returned to him the following day by police officers.[2] He featured in both legs of Villa's 1982 European Super Cup victory over Barcelona, as Villa overturned a 1–0 defeat at the Camp Nou to claim an extra-time victory at Villa Park. Tony Barton's side went on to reach the quarter-finals of the European Cup in 1982–83, where they were knocked out by a Juventus side fronted by Michel Platini. This was the end of the club's glory years, as they could only manage tenth place league finishes in 1983–84 and 1984–85.

Villa manager Graham Turner allowed Gibson to be transferred to Manchester United in November 1985 for a £275,000 fee.[3] He scored five goals in 22 games in the 1985–86 campaign, scoring his first United goal in a 1–0 New Year's Day victory over Birmingham City at Old Trafford.[4] He also scored goals against Manchester City at home and Liverpool at Anfield, earning United a draw on both occasions. He played 26 games in the 1986–87 season, as an under-performing Untied side cost manager Ron Atkinson his job.[4] Gibson made 33 starts in the 1987–88 season, as the "Red Devils" finished second in the league behind Liverpool.[4] After the season ended he was rarely involved in first team games due to manager Alex Ferguson's decision to field Lee Martin as left-back, and was also beset with injury problems which kept him out of action for protracted periods of time. He played just three first team games in the entire 1988–89 season.[4] By the end of the 1989–90 season he was fit and had appeared in the first FA Cup semi-final against Oldham Athletic.[4]

In September 1990, he joined Second Division club Port Vale on loan, scoring on his debut at left back in a 3–2 defeat by Hull City at Boothferry Park on 29 September.[5] He left Vale Park and returned to Manchester the next month after a further five games for John Rudge's "Valiants".[5] He left United for David Pleat's Leicester City in December 1990 for £100,000. He did well at Filbert Street, helping the "Foxes" to avoid relegation from the Second Division in 1990–91 under caretaker-manager Gordon Lee. He then played his part in the revival under new manager Brian Little. City finished fourth in 1991–92, before losing 1–0 to Blackburn Rovers in the play-off Final. They again suffered heartbreak in 1992–93, reaching the play-off final again, only to lose 4–3 to Swindon Town (Gibson was an unused substitute).[6] A third consecutive play-off final appearance came at the end of the 1993–94 campaign, and this time Leicester won promotion with a 2–1 victory over Derby County as Gibson played the game as a central midfielder.[7]

Gibson never featured for Leicester in the Premier League however, and instead signed for Blackpool. He played just two Second Division games for Sam Allardyce's "Seasiders" at the start of the 1994–95 season, before departing Bloomfield Road for Third Division outfit Walsall. He played 33 league games to help Chris Nicholl's "Saddlers" to win promotion as the division's runners-up in 1994–95. He then departed the Bescot Stadium and retired from the Football League.

International career[edit]

Gibson won one cap for the England under-21's on 8 September 1981, in a 0–0 draw with Norway.[8] He also won one cap for the England B team on 13 November 1994, in a 2–0 win over New Zealand at the City Ground.[9]


Gibson worked as a commentator on BBC Radio Leicester and BBC Radio Derby.[10] He also gained a degree in electrical engineering.[11]


Aston Villa
Manchester United
Leicester City


  1. ^ Stats from Neil Brown's site
  2. ^ Vahl, Shari (28 May 2010). "The secret of the stolen European Cup". BBC News. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "profile". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Profile". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 111. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  6. ^ Haylett, Trevor (1 June 1993). "Football / Play-off: Swindon lifted by Hoddle's husbandry: An unsettling sense of deja vu as Wembley proves an unhappy hunting ground for Leicester". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Shaw, Phil (31 May 1994). "Football / Play-offs: Leicester ride their luck into Premiership: Walsh proves a Wembley winner as Derby squander their chances in First Division play-offs final". The Independent. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "England – U-21 International Results 1976–1985 – Details". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "England – International Results B-Team – Details". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Player's name: Colin GIBSON". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "It is full-time for Colin Gibson as 'Voice of the Rams' plans to hang up his microphone". Derby Telegraph. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 

External links[edit]