McGibbons Terry Image 1 Ayr United 1934


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Irvine, Ayrshire born centre forward Terry McGibbons signed for junior club Irvine Meadow in 1929 and helped the club to win seven cups and the Western League Championship. After brief spells on loan at Galston and at Kilmarnock, St Mirren and Patrick Thistle, he signed for Ayr United in the summer of 1933, scoring 35 League goals in his debut 1933-34 campaign and went on to become a goalscoring legend with Ayr, netting a club record 6 goals in a single match at Third Lanark in his first season, a feat that “astounded the critics…” as it was reported at the time, he “revolutionised the fortunes of the club. Intelligent anticipation and quickness characterise his play, and snapshots rather than spectacular goals are his forte.” He was a travelling reserve in the Scotland squad for the match against England at Wembley in April 1934.

In 1936-37, The Honest Men scored 122 League goals and this remains a club record. McGibbons is the club’s second highest scorer of all time and he was simply rampant. McGibbons struck form with a vengeance during their invincible run spanning 24th October 1936 until 2nd January 1937. Brechin City, Stenhousemuir and Montrose bore the brunt with each conceding eight goals at Ayr. These twelve games produced 64 goals for Ayr United averaging over five per match, many scored by McGibbons, who totalled 39 goals in the campaign. Only one home point was dropped in the entire season as Ayr won promotion. In the top flight he still managed a commendable 20 goals in their 1937-38 campaign. He was top scorer at Somerset Park in each of his five seasons with a total of 125 goals for The Honest Men.

In the 1938 close season he signed for First Division club and recent FA Cup winners Preston North End where, playing at outside right, he made his Football League debut at Leeds United that August and played 21 matches in the first half of the 1938-39 season, including an appearance in their FA Charity Shield defeat to Arsenal at Highbury that September. Despite scoring in successive matches in wins over Sunderland and Aston Villa in November, he lost his place in the early new year and played only twice more in April 1939 before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 forced the abandonment of peacetime football, and he returned to Ayr United for whom he played wartime league football. He resumed playing for Ayr United after the War before his eventual retirement.

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