Anglesey/Ynys Môn football greats past and present – No19 Jay Gibbs

Jay Gibbs signs for Caernarfon Town in 2015. He is pictured with then manager Iwan Williams. Picture: Paul Evans, CTFC media officer

Mention the name Jay Gibbs and instantly images of a marauding midfielder scoring spectacular goals, firing bullet free kicks, playing killer passes and leaving nothing on the pitch come to mind.

At the age of just 26, Holyhead lad Jay has enjoyed a trophy-laden career which includes Huws Gray Alliance (2) and Welsh Alliance League championship-winning medals.

Born on October 19, 1992, Jay has to rank as one of the finest players to emerge from the Holy Island in recent years.

He began his career with Holyhead, progressing through their youth system. His performances for the junior sides soon drew the attention of league scouts and Tranmere Rovers won the race for his signature.

The emerging talent soon found himself signing a two-year scholarship and he became a regular in Shaun Garrett’s reserve side.

By 2009/10 he was regularly involved in the first team set up, playing in numerous pre-season friendlies and was a member of the Reserve side that lost in the Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final versus Liverpool Reserves.

This caught the eye of the Welsh selectors and he was capped at under-19 level when playing against Scotland and Ireland in 2010.

In December 2010 he decided to return to Holy Island and joined hometown club Holyhead Hotspur.

He then signed for Caernarfon Town, playing three games and scoring four goals for Colin Saynor’s side, including a brace against his former team, before returning to Hotspur where he was an instant success.

Jay netted 26 goals in 27 games during the 2011/12 season as Holyhead won the Welsh Alliance, Cookson Cup and Barritt Cup treble and were FAW Trophy runners-up.

On a personal level he scooped both Top Scorer and Managers Player of the Year awards and capped off a fine year with a hat-trick versus England for the Welsh Colleges side.

Gibbs decided to join Glantraeth ahead of the 2012/13 campaign, however after three goals in five games he opted to return to Holyhead, making 15 full and three substitute appearances, scoring six times.

His good form for the club continued during the 2013/14 season when he scored 17 goals from 30 outings, helping Hotspur finish ninth in the Cymru Alliance and lift the Meditel Gwynedd Cup.

Jay was a key member of Holyhead Hotspur’s 2011-12 Welsh Alliance title winning side

His qualities had not gone unnoticed when Caernarfon Town manager Lee Dixon signed Jay for the 2014/15 Cymru Alliance campaign, however after scoring four goals in 12 games and one sub appearance he rejoined Holyhead in January 2015 grabbing a further five in 10 starts.

With a new manager in place at The Oval in Iwan Williams, Jay was back in the yellow and green in May 2015 and became an integral member of the side that won the Huws Gray Alliance title and League Cup.

However, due to the club failing in their bid for a domestic license the team were refused promotion. Jay had made 35 starts and 3 subs appearances, bagging 10 goals in that memorable season.

Jay began the following campaign at The Oval before deciding once again on a move back to Hotspur.

He then expressed a desire to re-sign for Caernarfon and was given another opportunity by manager Williams when returning to the club in December 2016.

Upon his Cofis comeback, the talented midfielder seemed a more focused and mature in his displays and became an influential part of the side’s bid for promotion.

Although Prestatyn ran away with the title, Jay did add another League Cup winner’s medal to his collection.

Last season saw him finish up a Huws Gray Alliance League title winner for a second occasion with the Canaries.

This term has seen Gibbs play mainly for Huws Gray Alliance high-flyers Porthmadog, although he has also had a spell with Llandudno in the Welsh Premier.

Main honours

Caernarfon Town: 2015/16 Cymru Alliance League Cup winners, Cymru Alliance League championship winners; 2016/17 League Cup Winners; 2017/18 Cymru Alliance League title winners.
Holyhead Hotspur: 2011/12 Welsh Alliance Division One title medal, Cookson Cup and Barritt Cup winner; 2013/14, Meditel Gwynedd Cup winner.
Representative: Wales Under-19; Welsh Colleges.

The depth of this article would not have been possible without the help of Caernarfon Town FC author Alex Philp. Massive thanks to Alex and to media officer Paul Evans for the CTFC photograph.

Copyright Dave Jones © All rights reserved. CoverNews by AF themes.
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