Centre forward Bobby Gibson joined the Tigers in October 1949 as manager Raich Carter continued to develop his squad in order to thrive in a higher division after the recent promotion from Division Three North. Gibson spent eight weeks scoring goals for the Reserves and was handed his debut in December 1949, replacing Norman Moore in the City front line. Gibson scored his first goal for the Tigers in his fourth start against Bradford Park Avenue on New Years Eve 1949, though there was little cause for celebration as the Tigers went down 1-5. When Gibson came back into the first team in early March 1950 he was able to start eight of the next 9 games and scored goals in two defeats and two draws. Despite these four goals Gibson did not do enough to impress manager Carter and he was placed on the transfer list at the end of the 1949/50 season.
Robert Henry “Bobby” Gibson was born in the South East Northumberland mining town of Ashington and while his football development may have been hampered by World War Two he joined his local North Eastern League side Ashington in 1946. By the early part of the 1947/48 season Bobby was a part of the Colliers’ first team forward line and in December 1948 and January 1949 he scored an impressive 12 goals in four matches, culminating in a four goal haul against Workington that prompted the watching scouts from Aberdeen to propose his immediate transfer. In mid-January 1949 a £1,000 was paid by Aberdeen for Gibson’s signature and within a couple of weeks he had made his first team debut against St Mirren. Alas that proved to be Gibson’s only first team start for the Dons, despite a good haul of goals in the Aberdeen reserves, and he was released to join Hull City nine months later.
In August 1950 Gibson was appointed player-manager at his first club Ashington and after a good season in front of goal Bobby was drawn back into the Football League, this time with Division Three North side Lincoln City. The Imps used Gibson sparingly for the first six months of the season but he was given his first team chance at centre forward at the end of January 1952 – his eight goals in 14 starts played a role in lifting Lincoln to the League title that season. Promoted to the Second Division, Lincoln looked elsewhere for their striker options and Gibson made just five and six starts respectively in the 1952/53 and 1953/54 seasons. Bobby played more regularly in the 1954/55 season, netting nine times in 19 starts and when he left Lincoln in July 1955 he had scored 20 goals in 47 starts.
In July 1955 Gibson signed for progressive Midland League side Peterborough United, who won the Midland League title for the first of five consecutive years at the end of the 1955/56 season. After an impressive haul of 21 goals in the 1956/57 season Gibson returned to the Football League in March 1957 for a third time, joining Division Three North strugglers Gateshead. Bobby scored eight goals in 10 starts at the end of the season as Gateshead eased away from the re-election positions and in the 1957/58 season Gibson netted 12 times in 32 starts including a goal against Hull City on Boxing Day 1957. In November 1958 Gibson returned to play for Ashington, now playing in the Midland League having made 50 starts and scored 24 goals for the Colliers. This was Bobby’s third career spell at his hometown club, he saw out the season before dropping down the Leagues to end his playing days at Morpeth Town.
Bobby lived in Ashington for the rest of his days, dying in March 1989.
Date/Place of Birth: 5 August 1927, Ashington
Hull City First Game: 10 December 1949, Sheffield United H (Division Two), 22 years, 127 days old
Hull City Final Game: 15 April 1950, Coventry City A (Division Two), 22 years, 253 days old
Ashington (1946-1949), Aberdeen (1949), Hull City (1949-1950), Ashington (1950-1951), Lincoln City (1951-1955), Peterborough United (1955-1957), Gateshead (1957-1958), Ashington (1958-1959), Morpeth Town
Hull City Record
Career: 12 apps, 5 goalsBobby Gibson