Aird wrote:Like many on here I would rate both Kyle and Gibson above BOD. I am probably one of the few on here that have played on teams against both of these greats, in Kyle's case it was in his twilight playing careers at full back for North Thirds and in Gibson's case it was in a School cup quarter final.
I have heard Kyle speak at a couple of events and have been impressed but Gibson's versatiliy and ability to play multiple positions at the top level of the sport probably puts him ahead as a player. Whist many were impressed by Gibson's attacking ability his defence was very effective too.
Aird, that places you in a vintage where respect is due, I appear to be a mere whippersnapper rather than the ould lad I often feel.
I really think you should be renamed "The Laird" and you are far too modest, you are the only one to have played against both, I'd put Ron'n's life on it.
I kind of hinted too about the versatility thing too, what some of the youngsters here - the under 60s - may not know is that Gibby was by a distance the best 10 in the country, but the FIRFU had a liking for Fat Barry McGann's kicking game and thought Mike would easily transfer to centre, and they were right. I saw him playing for Ireland in the 10, 12, 13 & 14 shirts, he was at 14 in Paris in 1978 if memory serves, the day after the La Mon bomb I think.
I also saw him score 2 tries at Twickenham in a 21-26 win for Ireland in 1974, but amongst my favourite memories was Twickenham 1972 when a late Kevin Flynn try (memorialised pictorially on the wall at Wanderers for many years) and as Flynn scored the late winner Gibson was caught in the picture in mid-air hurdling the failed tackler and celebrating.
Last but not least, his international career spanned 1964 to 1979, testimony to his fitness, barely missing a match. Nowadays that would give him about 150 caps or more, then 69 starts was his lot plus 10 or 12 for the Lions I suppose.