Written by Nairn County FC March 27th 2018

Everyone at Nairn County has been saddened to learn of the passing of the club's former player and coach, Neil Gibson. He was 63. Neil went missing with his brother, Alan while hillwalking in the Achnashellach area of Strathcarron on February 8th. Alan's body was found on February 10th and following extensive searches, the body of their Pointer dog, Archie was found a few days later. Neil's body was discovered on Saturday. Neil first came to prominence as a Nairn County player in 1976, just after the club had won its only league championship to date. He scored in the first ever floodlit match at Station Park on November 24th 1976 when Nairn defeated Ross County by three goals to nil in the first round of the Inverness Cup. It was a competition he was to enjoy that season as he scored his side's third goal in the final as County defeated Clachnacuddin 3-1 at Kingsmills in Inverness to lift the trophy. He also scored on the final day of the season as Nairn finished the campaign with a third-place finish in the final. Neil also featured in one of the most well attended Nairn County games in the club's history when he played in the pre-season friendly match against Rangers on August 1st 1977. A crowd of 3,587 turned out to see an Ibrox side featuring greats such as Sandy Jardine, John Greig, Derek Johnstone, Tam Forsyth, Tommy McLean and Davie Cooper triumph by three goals to two. Neil was transferred to Forres Mechanics in January 1978 along with team mate Harry McFadden. He debuted for the Can Cans against Nairn on February 25th with his new side running our 3-2 winners. Neil was also an accomplished cricketer with Nairn County Cricket Club and returned to Station Park as a youth coach, helping with the development of the under-15s and under-20s teams and therefore working with players who are now featuring for the first team until his departure in the summer of 2016. The club extends its condolences and sympathy to the Gibson family at this time. Graeme Macleod

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