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MUST MEDIA RELEASE: James W Gibson - the man who saved Manchester United

MUST Media  Release - Sunday 18th December 2011

Monday the 19th December 2011 represents a hugely important anniversary in Manchester United's history yet this story has received surprisingly little coverage in the media to date. The importance of the story and the strong parallels between 1931 and 2011 justifies, at the very least, an acknowledgement in Monday match reports of Sunday's game between QPR & Manchester United and indeed, given the signficance of this piece of history and the parallels with today, a dedicated article on the 80th anniversary would seem entirely appropriate.

We'd be grateful to receive links to any resulting articles covering this story so we can circulate them to our 175,000 members and via social media to Manchester United supporters worldwide.

MUST remembers the former chairman and saviour of Manchester United, the great James Gibson.
MUST remembers the former chairman and saviour of Manchester United, the great James Gibson.

James W Gibson - the man who saved Manchester United - 80 years on

Monday 19th December 2011 is 80th Anniversary, to the day, of the date when James W Gibson saved Manchester United. That is no exaggeration. The economy was in meltdown and the club was in huge debt. 80 years on you might be forgiven for thinking little has changed. However in December 1931 the club was literally on the brink of extinction and was only saved days before Christmas when club secretary Walter Crickmer went to the house of a Manchester businessman to ask for help. That man was James W Gibson. After little more than an hour, Crickmer left Gibson's house in Hale. He did not leave empty handed. The generous sum he received was not only enough to pay the backlog of player’s wages and keep the club’s debtors at bay over the festive period but there was even enough left over to buy the players a turkey each for Christmas.

This was the beginning of James Gibson's involvement in Manchester United and his lifetime contribution was immense. Not only saving the club from extinction but going on to invest in the club, become Chairman and play an instrumental role in the development of the innovative youth system and the Busby era. It is fair to say he set Manchester United on a course which created perhaps the greatest football club in the world.

Reading the history of James W Gibson one cannot help but note the stark contrast between 1931 and the owners of many Premier League clubs today. Gibson was a man who only ever gave to Manchester United Football Club and its fans - clearing the debt and expecting nothing in return. A real local hero who deserves proper recognition for his selfless acts.

So on Monday we remember his contribution. The links below provide further historical background.

CEREMONY - 11.30am, Monday 19th December, Old Trafford
On the morning of Monday 19th December 2011 at 11:30am the Embling family (James Gibson's relatives), along with the Mayor of Trafford, will lay flowers at the James Gibson Plaque on the Railway Bridge on Sir Matt Busby Way. The Embling family wish it to be known that any United supporters  and media who want to attend and celebrate this occasion & the life of James Gibson are very welcome. Alan Embling, MUFC supporters and MUST representatives will be available for media interview at the ceremony or over the telephone.


15 point bio/highlights of James Gibson's life:

A more in depth look at James Gibson which sets some context to the time.(written by Andrew Embling the son of Alan):

James W. Gibson & his wife, Lillian, inspect the newly named
James W. Gibson & his wife, Lillian, inspect the newly named "Manchester United" locomotive.

Manchester United engine nameplate fetches £40,000 at auction
Manchester United engine nameplate fetches £40,000 at auction

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