Football contribution recognised
At the Dannevirke Sports Club AGM December 11, Ray Gibson received the thanks of the club from chairman Craig Boyden on behalf of all of Dannevirke for the contribution he has made to football at all levels over 50 years as player, coach and manager.
The occasion was Ray’s resignation from the club.
Ray was made life member of the Dannevirke Sports Club several years ago, was its person of the year and served on the committee until six months ago when illness took its toll.
Ray has been involved with Dannevirke Soccer since 1969. He started off with primary school soccer in 1970 and organised for Woodville to join Dannevirke in 1972. He then organised a committee for the junior teams in 1974 and stayed with them until 1982.
Ray regularly took rep teams away to games as well as being coach and manager. While playing for Dannevirke United, which later became Dannevirke Sports Club, they won the Tasman League in 1977 and then skipped a league to the North Island Central League. This meant a lot of travelling and often with one of his children hanging on. Ray played in this team until he was 40. Then in 1983 he played and coached a Dannevirke Christian team.
In the 1980s Ray started to coach at Dannevirke High School, sometimes having two or three teams at a time to coach. He believed every child should play if they wanted to and when in 1987 Dannevirke High School couldn’t get games for a third team Ray organised games for them every week.
He then had a break coming back to coach the High School second team 2002-2003, then went to the High School girls’ team 2007-2013, leading them to a gold medal.
After having a break from playing, Ray came back to the senior men’s team in 2008. He coached its top team the Rangers 2010-2016 and led the Rangers to gold medals.
He then took on the ladies team from 2014-2017, which they had great success with gold medals and the Tingy Plate.
Ray also refereed for several years for all the teams.
Over the years since 1969 he has been chairman, secretary, and committee member, and it is only due to ill health has he stepped down from it all.
Ray thanked the club for all the enjoyment he has had over the years.
Ray Gibson shakes hands with Henry Brighouse, patron of the Dannevirke Sports Club, at its AGM December 11.