Macleod FNC is mourning the passing of former senior coach and committeeman Neil Gibbons.
Neil was senior coach from 1995 to 1997, taking over after the club endured several tough and unstable years on and off-field. The former Lalor premiership defender (1980) and highly regarded army football coach was the driving force of a concerted recruitment campaign as he understood that it would take time for the Macleod FC junior players to come through and mature.
‘Gibbo’ grew up in central Victoria near Newstead and had a long career in the army which is where he came into contact with Macleod officials who connected him with the vacant senior coaching position.
Under Neil, the team started a steady improvement particularly in 1996 where after six rounds the side was sitting in the top three mainly due to Gibbo’s tireless summer recruiting efforts which attracted the likes of Rocky Iacopino, Matthew Evans and Mick Hall to name a few. Promising juniors such as Chris Downes and Peter Hansen were bought on as well.
After his coaching stint ended, he joined the committee and served as treasurer in 1999.
In recent years, Gibbo relocated to Brisbane where he maintained a close interest in the club’s fortunes and would always make the effort to attend a game to catch up with his many mates including fellow life members Ray Lundberg, Henrik Van Der Dium and Ron Manning.
Our thoughts are with his wife Barbara, son and former MFC player Craig and daughter Nadine.