A Manly junior John Gibbs was a will of the wisp half back, Gibbsy thrilled the crowds that flocked to Brookvale in the late 1970s with his superlative attacking play, curly blonde hair and his trade mark socks around the ankles dress code.
John possessed magic footwork which enabled him to completely fool many opponents with a side step off both feet, this combined with blinding pace from a standing start made him a key attacking weapon in the successful Manly sides of the era which were a permanent feature at the top of NSWRL competition table.
He play 81 games for the Sea Eagles during his 6 seasons at the club, scoring 44 tries, while he kicked 3 field goals. Unfortunately untimely leg injuries prevented him from fulfilling his true potential and he tragically missed out on the 1978 grand final due to a badly torn hamstring suffered early in the arduous semi final campaign. His place taken by another promising half back named Steve Martin.
However his form was so good at the time he was picked to go on the 1978 Kangaroo tour to Britain despite being under a serious injury cloud. The injury prevented him from playing a major part on that tour however he did play a number of minor games against the local sides.
His final years at the Eagles were marred by ongoing injury and he retired at the end of 1981, never again really finding the magical form he displayed in 1978.
He was a terrific all round sportsman and he actually won a made for Television Rugby League Olympics where players from all clubs competed in a number of track and field events.
He continued to be a highly visible member of the Manly Warringah community, being a school teacher at a peninsula school whilst playing golf, touch football and cricket in local competitions. He has now made his way into the media and he can be heard commentating about Rugby League on Radio and TV. John Gibbs he was so close to being a great.