As a schoolboy prodigy at the Douglas Ewart High School in the 1950s, his dazzling talent was quickly recognised and Newton Stewart-born Gibson headed off to the English League, having played at Wembley for Scotland Schoolboys against England in 1958 when on Stranraer’s books.
He signed up with Accrington Stanley in the old third division and scored his first goal aged 15. By 1960 he was playing for Bradford Park Avenue before moving for a club record fee of £20,000 to Middlesbrough. Playing against Coventy City, Ian impressed so much he was signed up by manager Jimmy Hill. The pair had an uneasy relationship but Gibson was the architect of a 25-game unbeaten run that took the Sky Blues to the second division title.
His next club was Cardiff City where his fabulous ball skills saw them beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the European Cup Winners Cup quarter-finals. But injuries took their toll and he retired at 30 when playing for Bournmouth.