Walgrave, Northamptonshire born outside right Sidney Gibson played junior football for Walgrave Amber and after captaining his regimental side while serving in the Army, he signed for Kettering Town before moving to Second Division club Nottingham Forest for £500 in October 1921, making his Football League debut at West Ham United the same month. He soon established himself as a first team regular at The City Ground and won a Second Division Championship medal in his first season, 1921-22, when he scored twice in 27 appearances, and it was said of him that he “plays with tremendous dash, and has wonderful ball control… his rise to fame has been sensational.”
Over seven years with Nottingham Forest he scored 55 goals in 276 matches although Forest were subsequently relegated from the top flight in 1925. In 1926-27 he was Forest’s top goalscorer with 17 goals, which was his career best return, as Forest finished fifth in the Second Division.
First Division Sheffield United paid £6,000 for Gibson in September 1928, a record fee for both clubs at the time, but he failed to live up to expectations and it appeared he was past his prime. His inconsistency and lack of confidence led to criticism from the club’s supporters during games, but despite this Gibson went on to make 113 appearances for The Blades, scoring 28 goals. A serious knee injury sustained in a game against Derby County in January 1932 was quickly followed by further knee problems and Gibson was forced to retire from playing at the age of 33.
Gibson received £350 from The Football League as compensation for his retirement and was granted a benefit match against Sheffield Wednesday by United. Having retired from playing Gibson returned to football in January 1935 when he was appointed assistant manager and scout for Southend United. A spell as chief scout at West Ham United followed in 1937, where Gibson was still employed when he died in 1938 aged only 39.
NB although this image was published in 1928 soon after his transfer to Sheffield United, it was taken considerably before having been used on an early 1920’s trade card (see Image 4), hence the date and the description don’t match.