Date:Tuesday June 27 2006
Watford legend Nigel Gibbs has joined the coaching staff at fellow Premiership newboys Reading.
Gibbs, who was born and raised in St Albans, made 491 first-team appearances for Watford, twelve short of Luther Blissett`s all-time record, in a career that spanned nearly 20 years. It is widely believed that Gibbs would have broke Blissett`s record had injuries not robbed him of his footballing prime and kept him out of action for over two and a half years between 1992-95.
"Nigel had an excellent playing career over many years, and he has since developed into a highly respected coach who has just completed his UEFA Pro Licence," Reading Director of Football Nick Hammond told the club`s official site. "He is a fantastic acquisition and will be a great addition to our coaching team. We are delighted to welcome him onboard."
The right back made his debut for his boyhood club, as a 17-year-old in the UEFA Cup clash against Levski Spartak at Vicarage Road in 1983. Gibbs won the Watford Player of the Season Award in 1992 and was part of the team that won Division 2 championship in 1998, and achieved promotion to the Premier League in 1999. He was also a member of the 1982 FA youth Cup-winning side and made five appearances for England Under-21s.
Upon hanging up his boots in 2002, Ray Lewington made Gibbs Reserve Team Manager and Chief Scout. When Assistant Manager Terry Burton traded Vicarage Road for Ninnian Park in September 2004, Lewington promoted Gibbs to the role of Assistant Manager.
However, when the Adrian Boothroyd Revolution started at Vicarage Road there was no room for sentiment; in the summer of 2005 Aidy released one of the most popular persons ever associated with Watford Football Club.
Looking forward to his new role with the Royals, Gibbs, who spent the 2005/06 season working on a part-time basis for Spurs and Swansea while completing his UEFA Pro Licence, said: "On a day to day basis I will be particularly working with the younger players in the squad, trying to ensure that they develop and progress from youth team to first team football."
"I am really looking forward to joining Reading. From a distance they have always seemed to be a well-run club, and having now met the people involved it's easy to see why they have been so successful. Working with Steve Coppell will be very exciting and I can't wait to get started," added the man who was known as Mr Dependable during his Watford playing days.
It`s a shame that Nigel does not have a future at Vicarage Road; Watford`s loss is Reading`s gain.
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