Kardinia Park in the 1920s and 1930s was a fearsome venue for the VFL footballer. One wet day in the match between Geelong and Fitzroy the crowd was calling for the blood of just one man: Frank Gibson. They had poured onto the ground after the siren and the situation seemed set to turn violent. A police escort was called, but he waved them off, refusing their help as he pushed his way through the crowd to the change rooms. He was later suspended for four weeks.
It was as a footballer in the 1920s and 1930s that “Hoot”, as he was fondly known, made his name. He played 63 games in the Fitzroy firsts over five years, a period that included a stint as Captain-Coach of the reserves. He also represented Victoria in the State of Origin series.
Frank was born into a simple, loving but poor life on St Patrick’s Day, 1904. His parents had intended on naming him Francis, but due to the day of his birth, the parish priest had insisted he be named after the patron saint of Ireland. As a result, Patrick Francis Gibson lived his life going by his middle name.