02wgibsonMany clubs would bite your hand off for a player of Willie Gibson's quality.

Deadly from a dead ball, with more tricks than a Paul Daniels' magic show, Gibson oozes class. Equal parts captivating and controversial, he's been known to walk a fine line between the two.

Gibson debuted for hometown club Queen of the South as a 61st minute substitute on 5 May 2001 against Queen's Park. Aged just 16, he made an explosive start to his Queens career, showing off the ball skills and close control that would become his trademark en route to a man of the match award.

The winger would have to wait a full 2 years for his first start, again in the final game of the season, at St Johnstone on 10 May 2003. Now 18, he impressed the Queens support again, producing a fine cross for Derek Lyle to score the only goal of the game.

Gibson would feature frequently as a substitute in the 2003/04 season, and his first brush with Stranraer came in a League Cup clash at Stair Park on 2 August 2003.

Replacing Alex Burke with the visitors trailing, he made an immediate impression to win a free kick and almost created an equaliser with a fine cross for Eric Paton. However, the Blues hung on for a memorable win.06wgibson

Gibson failed to score a league goal in his first spell at Palmerston. However, he did net a 50th-minute winner in a 2–1 Scottish Cup win over Montrose in January 2005, and provided plenty of assists along the way.

In March 2007, Queens boss Ian McCall agreed a deal with Premiership side Kilmarnock for the Dumfries man to head to Rugby Park, with Stevie Murray and Jamie Adams going the other way. Willie's first full season at Killie started perfectly, scoring in a 2-1 win over Dundee United.

His 2-season spell at Kilmarnock ended in controversy, with reports of a bust-up with boss Jim Jefferies.

However, Dunfermline Athletic manager Jim McIntyre was happy to pay a nominal fee for the winger's services on 23 June 2009, and he returned the favour with 10 goals in his first year.

Despite interest from elsewhere, Gibson stayed at East End Park for a second term.

With the Pars flying high in the Championship, English non-league side Crawley Town came in with a big money WillieGibsonManchesterUnitedvCrawleyxlJV4kl9Xr8loffer (thought to be £150,000) in January 2011 which the Fife side couldn't refuse.

Gibson's 4th game for the Sussex club was a rather daunting encounter with Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in the FA Cup 5th Round.

Both sides are nicknamed 'The Red Devils', but it was those of Manchester who were victorious.

However, despite the home side boasting superstars like Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Chicharito, little Crawley didn't disgrace themselves one bit.

Quite the opposite in fact - the non-leaguers restricted United to very few chances in front of 76,000 fans at Old Trafford, and it took a scrappy Wes Brown goal to send them through.

For Willie - brought up as a United supporter - it was a dream come true.
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Gibson grew homesick, and was granted a loan move to St Johnstone in the summer of 2011 to be closer to his kids.

However when boss Derek McInnes moved on, so did Gibson's prospects at McDiarmid Park.

Willie said at the time: “I was doing what I had to during the week knowing I wasn’t playing on the Saturday - and that kills you as a footballer".

His performances on Saints' training ground in Stirling persuaded Falkirk manager Steven Pressley to swoop in February 2012, signing him as a central midfield replacement for the departing Kallum Higginbotham.

Controversy reared its ugly head again in April 2012, as Gibson upset Pressley by leaving the ground after being  69430639 queenssubstituted against Raith Rovers.

The Bairns boss insisted he would never play for them again, and his contract was not renewed at the end of the season.

A new start was required - and a return to Queen of the South looked like a match made in heaven.

In a heated Boxing Day derby with Stranraer, he received abuse from the travelling fans after being subbed off with an injury - only to get instant revenge when Queens took the lead moments later.

Gibson would only make 12 appearances for his hometown club this time around, and ill-fated spells south of the border at Celtic Nation and Workington followed.

Stranraer manager Stevie Aitken was quick to swoop when Workington released Willie in August 2014.

gibsonA marquee signing for the club, he made an immediate impression, scoring a free kick on his debut against former club Dunfermline.

His quality on the wing was the final piece in the puzzle for Aitken's Stranraer, who had been lacking in options out wide.

The Blues had languished in 9th place after the opening month of the season, but rose to the summit by Christmas, thanks in part to the form of Gibson.

Supporters took to him immediately - so much so that at the Challenge Cup semi final against Livingston, they sang: "Willie Gibson is a Blue, he hates Dumfries"!

As Stranraer edged closer to promotion, Gibson hit a purple patch, scoring 7 goals in the last 11 games of the season.

One of these was a widely-acclaimed worldie against Airdrie, in which he beat 2 men, cut inside and fired off a curler into the top corner.

Losses to Dunfermline and Morton derailed the Blues' title dream, and promotion hopes were then dashed over two legs against Forfar.

SportPix SLeaOne Str v Dun CB16042016006 2702With Stevie Aitken departing for Dumbarton in the summer of 2015, Gibson followed.

Back in the Championship, he opened his account by scoring a trademark free kick on his home league debut to give the Sons a shock 2-1 win over Hibs, and scored another the following week in a win over St Mirren.

When Willie parted ways with Dumbarton, Brian Reid jumped at the chance to bring him back to Stair Park in the January transfer window.

Much like the season before, Gibson made all the difference to the Blues' form, as they overcame a poor first half of the season to make another charge towards the playoffs.

Once again however, it wasn't to be - despite oor Wullie scoring a brace in the 5-2 semi final 1st leg win against Livi, and the Blues' dramatic extra time heroics in the 2nd leg.

This season, he's already chipping in with assists, and scored against Spartans - but is surely due a goal from one of his spectacular set pieces.

Now 32, Gibson remains a potent force in Ladbrokes League 1 - and a massive asset for Stranraer FC.

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 7 17
2 Raith Rovers 7 13
3 Airdrieonians 7 10
4 East Fife 7 10
5 Brechin City 7 9
6 Dumbarton 7 8
7 Stranraer 7 8
8 Forfar Athletic 7
8
9 Montrose 7 7
10 Stenhousemuir 7 6


Fixtures

2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andrew McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Isaac Layne (STR)

10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)