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Together again, 50 years after Leicester City's valiant double bid

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Leicester City fans will have to be long in the tooth to be able to remember the time the club had a side good enough to challenge for the double.

It is 50 years since Matt Gillies' men went within a whisker of achieving that feat and, at the King Power Stadium last Sunday afternoon, many of that famous side, including midfielder Davie Gibson, winger Mike Stringfellow and goalkeeper Gordon Banks, were reunited to relive those golden days.

An inability to bolster the team before the closing stages eventually cost City, as four consecutive away defeats saw them miss out on the title to Everton.

A jaded City side were then beaten in the FA Cup final by Manchester United.

Gibson, widely acclaimed as one of the best midfielders to ever grace a City shirt, recalls that period in his new book, Gibbo: The Davie Gibson Story, which has just been published.

He has fond memories of his time with City and that magical season of 1962-63 when they very nearly were the kings of English football.

"It is hard to believe it was 50 years ago," Gibson told the Mercury.

"It is also 50 years since I played against Austria for my first Scotland cap, and I am going up to Edinburgh to celebrate that as well.

"I can't believe it. The two games, the cup final and my Scotland debut, came within weeks of each other.

"Looking back at my career, that year was probably the best season, not just for me personally, but the team played brilliantly.

"We had one or two injuries right at the end, and I think that caught up with us.

"I was hopeless in the final, the worst game I ever played for Leicester. There was so much expected of us on the day, maybe we froze, I don't know.

"But what a magnificent season. We somehow gelled with each other. We had the best goalkeeper in the world in Gordon Banks, and the defence was fantastic.

"I look back fondly on nearly every game, except the final. The occasion made it the best game, but the best we played was in the semi-final against Liverpool. The defence played so well and Banksy was out of this world, it was possibly the best game he ever played."

City were to lift silverware the next season in the League Cup, but they could not sustain the success as the side aged gracefully.

"The following season we again got to the League Cup final, but by then time was catching up with one or two players," said Gibson, who now lives in Dorchester.

"From then, things started to change because chaps were getting older. That was the sad thing about it, we didn't have the money to spend to replace those players.

"It is mind-boggling to see the money being spent these days, but I don't begrudge the players now who earn £200,000 a week.

"But I can say this in full confidence, they never enjoyed the 90 minutes more than I did."

Gibbo: The Davie Gibson Story, is published by Amberley and priced £15.99.

Together again, 50 years after Leicester City's valiant double bid


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