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Mike Gibson (rugby player): Wikis


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Cameron Michael Henderson ("Mike") Gibson MBE (born 3 December 1942 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a former Irish rugby union footballer.

He first played for Ireland in 1964, and earned his 69th and final cap in the second and final test win against Australia in Sydney in 1979 at age 36. A versatile player, he represented his country at four different positions. Gibson had a distinguished international career, The Irish Solicitor's all-round talent marked him out as arguably the greatest centre of any era.Gibson's brilliance lay in the perception and timing of his attacking play, the focus and anticipation of his defence, and the rare dedication and commitment with which he applied himself across a 15-year international career in which he appeared in a world record 81 Tests. He continued playing club rugby until 42.

After attending Cabin Hill and Campbell College in Belfast, he went on to study law at the University of Cambridge where he played for Cambridge University R.U.F.C.. Famed as much for his great hands and line-breaking ability as his tactical skills and rapier boot, Gibson scored 112 Test points (9 tries, 16 penalties, 7 conversions and 6 drop goals) for Ireland in a career that also saw him tour five times with the Lions.

Gibson's record Ireland caps haul of 69 was finally overtaken by lock Malcolm O'Kelly against Scotland in February 2005. The mark had lasted for 26 years.

Gibson toured with the British Lions (now known as the British and Irish Lions) five times, his best performances probably being on the 1971 tour to New Zealand where he played a key role in the Lions' only series win in that country. Gibson also became the first ever replacement in international rugby, coming on for the injured Barry John during the Lions v South Africa Test in 1968 in Pretoria.

In February 1966 he played for London Irish against St Mary's Hospital. He also played in the 1973 Scottish Rugby Union Centenary for a combined England/Ireland team against a combined Scotland/Wales XV.

He was awarded an MBE for services to the game. Gibson continues to practise as a solicitor in Belfast. Fellow Irish international David Humphreys trained as a solicitor in Gibson's firm.

When the International Rugby Hall of Fame was instituted in 1997 Gibson was one of the initial fifteen inductees.

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