JOHN GIBSON – BUILDER
Born in Scotland but relocated to Hamilton at a young age, John spent his whole life in and around the game and has been a fixture on the local soccer scene for more than 50 years.
Always an aggressive player on the pitch, John was one of the founding players for Mount Hamilton Soccer Club and a longtime member of Dundas United and Hamilton Star. John represented Hamilton proudly at the highest levels including being a seven-time Spector Cup Champion and playing and coaching in the Ontario Senior Men’s finals, six times.
John’s vision and leadership on the field translated extremely well to the sidelines where he quickly became one of the region’s most beloved and respected coaches. Since 1980, John has worked with many different soccer teams from all different levels including being named Assistant Coach for the Canadian Soccer League’s Hamilton Steelers in 1990.
John was Head Coach for the Mohawk College Mountaineers Men’s team from 1991 to 2000. The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association recognized John for his coaching excellence with back-to-back Divisional Coach of the Year Awards in 1998 and 1999. He was inducted into Mohawk College’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
An unashamed champion and supporter of soccer in the region, John was the visionary and original founder of the Hamilton Soccer Hall of Fame. John wanted a proper forum to recognize Hamilton’s rich history in soccer and to celebrate the legendary players and builders who made the region such a Canadian soccer stronghold.
In 2014, John co-founded the Arcelor Mittal Grassroots Soccer Program. The program for inner city children now allows 500 children to play soccer every week at Tim Hortons Field. Through the generosity of Arcelor Mittal and The Athletic Trust Fund of Hamilton, this program is free for all registrants.
While doing everything possible to build soccer in Hamilton, John helped garner international recognition for the region and showcasing Tim Hortons Field as a world-class soccer venue during the highly successful 2015 Pan Am Games. As Venue Soccer supervisor, John was responsible in making sure all aspect of the competition adhered to the highest global standards.
John is now taking his passion for soccer to new national level, as one of the visionaries behind the highly-anticipated Canadian Premier League (CPL). With Canada’s domestic men’s league set to debut in 2019, John is overseeing interprovincial affairs and ensuring the development of Canadian players as long-term benefit of the league. The CPL is set to debut in spring 2019 with Hamilton’s club slated to play at Tim Hortons Field.
For all his effort on and off the pitch, the City of Hamilton recognized John with one of it highest honour, with Volunteer Service Award in 2017.