Shay Gibbons

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Shay Gibbons
Personal information
Full name Seamus Gibbons
Date of birth (1929-05-19)May 19, 1929
Place of birth Dublin
Date of death 9 June 2006(2006-06-09) (aged 77)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Dublin City
Home Farm
Bohemians U19
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1946–1947 Bohemians 2 (0)
1947–1950 Whitehall Rangers
1950–1957 St Patrick's Athletic 115 (108)
1957–1958 Holyhead Town
1958 Cork Hibernians 14 (1)
1958–1959 Dundalk 19 (11)
National team
195x–195x League of Ireland XI 9
1952–1955 Republic of Ireland 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Shay Gibbons (19 May 1929 – 9 June 2006 [1]) was a Republic of Ireland international footballer who played for several League of Ireland clubs in the 1950s, most notably St Patrick's Athletic. He was League of Ireland Top Scorer on three occasions in 1951–52, 1952–53 and 1955–56.

Gaelic football[edit]

Gibbons was born in Dublin. His mother was from County Wicklow and his father came from County Kildare. His father and brothers had played Gaelic football at inter–county level. As a youth Gibbons was also a prominent Gaelic footballer. He captained Parnells in a Dublin Junior Football Championship final and was in the Parnells team that lost to St Vincents in the 1950 Dublin Senior Football Championship final. At 17 he was also selected as a substitute for the Dublin GAA senior panel. [2][3]

Association football[edit]

Early years[edit]

As a schoolboy and youth Gibbons played association football for Dublin City U14s, Home Farm U16s and Bohemians U19. He also had a trial with Hull City. Gibbons initially played as a centre half, however in a youth trial game against a Liverpool FA XI he switched to centre-forward. Gibbons made his League of Ireland debut with Bohemians as a replacement for Mick O'Flanagan before joining Whitehall Rangers of the Athletic Union League and helping them win the Leinster Junior Cup. [2][3]

St Patrick's Athletic[edit]

Gibbons joined St Patrick's Athletic in 1950 when they were still playing in the Leinster Senior League. In 1950–51 he helped St Pat's win the Leinster title and they were subsequently invited to join the League of Ireland. In 1951–52 Gibbons scored 26 goals in 22 games, including four hat-tricks, and finished the season as the League of Ireland Top Scorer. His goals also helped St Pat's win their first League of Ireland title in their debut season. In 1952–53 he was again league top scorer with 22 goals in 22 games. This included five he scored in a 6–2 win against Cork Athletic. He also had a sixth goal disallowed. This remains the most goals scored by a St Pat's player in a single game. In 1954–55 Gibbons scored 28 goals as St Pat's won the league for the second time. This remains the most goals scored by a St Pat's player in a single season. In 1955–56 he topped the league scoring charts for a third time with 21 goals as St Pat's won a third League of Ireland title in their first five seasons in the league. With 108 goals he remains St Pat's all-time top league goal scorer. [4][2][3][5][6]

Later career[edit]

After short spells with Holyhead Town and Cork Hibernians, Gibbons joined Dundalk for the 1958–59 season, scoring twice in his Oriel Park debut against Cork Hibernians in a League of Ireland Shield game. He went on to score seven goals in his first five appearances for Dundalk. Gibbons finished the season with 23 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions. [3]

International career[edit]

Gibbons represented the Republic of Ireland at youth, junior, inter-league and senior levels. [3][7] Between 1952 and 1955 Gibbons made four senior international appearances. He made his senior debut in a 3–0 away defeat in a friendly against Germany on 4 May 1952. He was the only League of Ireland player in the starting eleven. He won his second cap on 28 October 1953 in a 4–0 win at Dalymount Park against Luxembourg in a 1954 World Cup qualifier. He won his third cap on 19 October 1955 in a 4–1 defeat at home to Yugoslavia. This was the match that Archbishop McQuaid tried to get banned. He won his final cap in a 2–2 draw with Spain on 27 November 1955. [8][9][10][11]


St Patrick's Athletic



  1. ^ "Former Saint Passes". 10 June 2006. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c McGarrigle, Stephen. The Complete Who's Who of Irish International Football 1945–96. Mainstream Publishing. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Shay Gibbons". Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Harry Boland Hall of Fame – Shay Gibbons". Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Ireland - List of Topscorers". Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Graham, Alex. Football in the Republic of Ireland a Statistical Record 1921–2005. Soccer Books Limited. ISBN 1-86223-135-4. 
  7. ^ "The Harry Boland Hall of Fame – Shay Gibbons". Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Shay Gibbons". Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Germany 3–0 Republic of Ireland". Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Republic of Ireland 4–0 Luxembourg". Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "Republic of Ireland 1–4 Yugoslavia". Retrieved 4 October 2016.