Memorial to British Businessman Credited for Reviving Manchester United Unveiled

by San Antonio Attorney

A stone compass memorial to James W. Gibson, the business tycoon credited for rescuing Manchester United from bankruptcy, is set to be unveiled on Monday in Hale Barns near Gibson’s old home.

Donated and designed by Burlington Stone of Kirby-in-Furness and Bolton-based Hardscape, the stone memorial is the third in a series of memorials dedicated to Gibson, preceded by a plaque erected on the railway bridge on Sir Matt Busby Way and another plaque at the players’ tunnel in Old Trafford.

The memorial serves as a belated tribute to Gibson, who, despite his relative anonymity among Manchester United fans, was actually responsible for singlehandedly rescuing Manchester United from the brink of bankruptcy.

A self-made textile entrepreneur who rose to success after securing a contract to make uniforms for the British Armed Forces, Gibson began his involvement with Manchester United in 1931, when he made a generous donation in response to the club’s appeal for help.  Gibson initially gave £2,000, enough to settle the club’s outstanding debts, pay the team’s salaries, and even give a Christmas turkey for each player.  Gibson also helped establish United’s first youth team, and even aided in securing a lease at an area later known as The Cliff, the Red’s official training grounds before the club transferred to a new location at Carrington.

Gibson was also responsible for urging Midland Railway to make unscheduled stops at the train station located in Old Trafford during match days, making the trip simpler and quicker for fans eager to attend games.  Gibson also used his influence to persuade Parliament to allocate sufficient funding for the repair of the stadium at Old Trafford, along with 9 other damaged grounds, after it was bombed by Luftwaffe.

Most importantly, Gibson was the one who chose the now iconic Sir Matt Busby as club manager, marking the start of Manchester United’s glory days.

The unveiling of the memorial comes after a recent controversy regarding the removal of Sir Matt Busby’s name from their previous place on the seats of Old Trafford.  Members of his family have also complained about losing their places at the director’s box.  After an uproar by outraged fans, the club vowed to put a brand new plaque on the seat traditionally reserved for Sir Matt, akin to the plaques previously placed to commemorate Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton.

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