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Victor Gibson & FC Sete; A request for more information.
Topic Started: Apr 2 2018, 03:11 PM (3,518 Views)
Michael McKeown

We have been contacted by an Irishman in France who is looking for more information on Victor Gibson. He seems to be a Scotsman who went to France and coached there. Much in the same manner of Johnny Madden did in what was Czechoslovakia.
Victor seems to be a key member in the foundation of FC Sete (http://fcsete34.com/) who to this day wear the hoops along with black shorts and socks. He went onto coach Olympique de Marseille then FC Sochaux in France.

Here is the message.

My name's B**** M**** and I'm a Celtic currently working and living in France.
A couple of years ago, I stumbled across the name of Victor Gibson while doing a university dissertation on the development of professional football in France.
Gibson was a former amateur player born in Scotland in 1882, who would go on to play a huge role in helping to professionalise football in France. He brought the Celtic-inspired green and white hoops to FC Sète, a club in the south of France who to this day wear green and white hoops, white shorts and black socks.
He went on to manage Olympique de Marseille, leading France's most successful and historic club to their first Coupe de France title, before going on to help professionalise FC Sochaux.
I have struggled to find any information about Gibson's whereabouts and career after he left France. i would like to think that there is somewhat of a Celtic link given Sète's decision to wear the hoops.
I would be grateful if you could share any information about him with me, particularly concerning whether he is buried in Scotland or not.
Best regards,


I have searched the records here online. I cannot see anything. Possibly a "Robert Victor Gibson", but he was born in 1887. Is it possible?

See the link below for further information.

http://www.scottishsporthistory.com/sports-history-news-and-blog/scots-in-opposition-peter-farmer-and-victor-gibson-at-the-french-cup-final-of-1924


PETER FARMER, Celtic Coach 1929.


In the link it mentions Peter Farmer, "In the summer of 1929 Farmer returned home and spent a season as trainer of Celtic, also taking charge of the Scotland team for their game against Northern Ireland. After a year, it was back to France for a second brief spell at Marseille, then a couple of years with Racing Club de Paris and a short time with Stella Club of Cherbourg."

He coached the French national team at the 1928 Olympics, then was at Celtic in 1929. Have we any information on Peter Farmer?
Edited by Michael McKeown, Apr 2 2018, 03:25 PM.
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steve

Had a good look the other night, and it's a very good puzzle.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to add anything to what's known here. In fact, there's an argument that I've made things worse :lol:

Wikipedia has his year of birth as 1882, but I read something in a contemporary French newspaper (lost the link) that suggested he was closer to 22 when he went to Spain - putting his year of birth closer to 1888. And as he was still playing in the late 1920s, I'd be tempted to side towards the later date.

The French language Wikipedia entry has him playing for Morton and Falkirk pre 1911 ( https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Gibson ). This does fit with someone from the Scottish Football Player Record book, a "Robert" Gibson.

Code:
 
Robert Gibson
06/07 Alloa
06/07 East Stirling (loan)
07/09 Falkirk [32 appearances]
09/10 Morton [24 apps]
10/11 Falkirk


This does fit with the "Robert Victor Gibson" you found (born in 1887). However, the Falkirk FC Historian completes Robert's career, and if he's correct, it suggests that this isn't the guy we're looking for.

Robert Gibson

Code:
 
b c1884, Alva, Clackmannanshire
d Unknown

Positions – Left-Back
Known Career – Alva Albion Rangers, Alloa Athletic [1905/06-1906/07], East Stirlingshire [1907/08], Falkirk [1907/08-1910/11], Morton [1909/10], Reading [1911/12], Dunfermline Athletic [1911/12], King's Park [1912/13]


We have a picture of Robert, he's top-right in this image...
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ooraao6FeIw/UlOnAQasdmI/AAAAAAAAA7c/46cAX6vwi3s/s1600/FFC+1908.jpg

So, if we discount the Morton/Falkirk info, and anything to do with Scotland for now, from what I can see, there is only one definite fact about Victor's life before he went to the continent - that he played for Plumstead FC on a tour of Barcelona in 1911.

Plumstead is very close to Dartmouth, so this would be my first candidate to check. His name, place of birth, and year of birth are all close to the best-fit story.

Code:
 
NAME: Albert Victor Gibson
BIRTH: Apr 1887 - Dartford, Kent


Unfortunately that's as far as I've got so far!
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steve

Posted Image
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steve

Posted Image

Le Miroir des sports, 11 June 1929
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steve

On Victor's age (Intransigeant, Nov 04 1929)

Quote:
 
But how old is Gibson? Sports de Provence grants him 51 years. That seems like a lot to us and we are looking for 46 or 47 years. Who will inform us accurately? Bayrou declares that Gibson has, for the number of his years of existence, the modesty of a woman who approaches the canonical age


Brings 1882 back into play. Could be anywhere from 1878 - 1883 if this is correct.
Edited by steve, Apr 6 2018, 07:52 PM.
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steve

I found an online census for 1921 in Sete. It's not been digitised, I had to search manually.

"Victor" Gibson isn't on there. There's obviously some good reasons why he may not be on there (not actually living in the area, playing an away match when the census was on...)

Mildly interestingly though, there was a Gibson on there.
Posted Image

I'm not discounting that this English chap.
- Is 'Victor'
- Is related to Victor
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Michael McKeown

Some work Steve. Interestingly I had a birth in Scotland, Kinning Park at 1887 IIRC. I so that date may be possible.
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AndyMitchell

I wrote about Victor Gibson (and Peter Farmer) a while back, which you can read about here: Scottish Sport History

I've got a lot more background information about him from uk and French archives. However, he remains something of a mystery before and after his time in France. Despite an inordinate amount of time searching newspapers and other sources, I can find no record of him playing football before 1908, or for any team other than Plumstead, or of Scottish roots. And after he left France, the only brief mention is that 'Gibson is now a gardener at a college in England'.

Even his name varies in early reports, sometimes a double-barrelled Rayne-Gibson, sometimes with different initials. He's quite a challenge, and I hope someone manages to find out his story - and also to pin down whether the suggestion that Sete wear green and white hoops because of his affection for Celtic is really true.
Edited by AndyMitchell, Apr 13 2018, 05:40 PM.
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steve

V.R.Gibson played for Plumstead against Sheppey Utd in October 1910
(Woolwich Gazette, 11 Oct 1910)
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steve

West Sussex County Times (March 19, 1910), also lists him as V Raine Gibson. The match report calls him Paine Gibson.

Good to know that the "Raine" part of his name pre-dated his venture to Spain.
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