Position : Centre half (also played up front)
Played : 1986-7
Appearances : 5
Goals : 0
I remember bantering with some Preston fans in the summer of 86 and one said to me “When you’ve got a player like Simon Gibson then you can talk”. A week later we had signed the man himself but to this day I don’t know whether my friend was being ironic. Simon cost us £5,000 and like all Vic Halom’s money signings, his was a disaster. Selling him to us was John McGrath’s second bad turn to us in a matter of weeks after poaching Hildersley. Simon began his career at Chelsea but made his League debut with Swindon in 1983. He moved to Preston in 1984. For both clubs his record is quite good so it’s not obvious what went wrong.
I think part of the problem was Halom persisting with five at the back. Simon was a tall stopper like John Bramhall and seemed unsure what his role was in the formation. In any case, he got injured early on. By the time he recovered we were rock bottom and a desperate Halom decided to throw him upfront for a Freight Rover game away at Darlington. Although Halom was sacked after that game. Simon stayed upfront for the next one at home to Wrexham in the FA Cup and was hopeless. Eddie Gray gave him one first team outing away at Cambridge where he played so badly (though back in defence) he had to be subbed. Rumours arose that he was too fond of the sauce.
Although contracted for the next season he was paid off in the summer of 1987 and signed for Danish club Herfolge.