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Craig Gibson
Age: 37
Occupation: Reinsurance Broker
Worked for: Marsh & McLennan
Originally from: South Africa
Resided in: New York
School: Brakpan High School, South Africa
College: Rhodes University, South Africa
Submitted by: Douglas Dalby ()

Other links: Treats for Daisy: NY Times
 Photos


Son you'll be a Barnestoneworth boy and that's the way you'll stay...

Craig (front, second right) before one of the home matches in Sydney. What a player, what a top bloke

Gibbo strikes a typical all-action pose!

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 More Tributes

Craig became my friend in 1990 and my husband in 1993. I have been fortunate enough to have had him in my life for 11 wonderful years. Some of you may not know how we met and if you had asked Craig his version, you would have heard a tale full of poetic license. Please indulge me whilst I briefly fill you in. Plus these are the facts - honest!!

We met at a London backpackers hotel in Bayswater but, really hit it off after a drinking session at the "Church" (Neasden location) on a Sunday arvo. We walked all the way back to Bayswater and I recall we talked about a whole range of things. He was so interesting to talk to and I found him to be ever so charming. When he listened to you, he had this innate ability to make you feel like you were the only person in the room. On the way back to Bayswater, he even climbed over a wrought iron fence to fetch me a rose from someone's garden. No mean feat, especially when your'e half cut.

We spent 3 amazing years travelling around Europe and South Africa before moving to Sydney to marry and settle down. Craig loved Sydney and regarded it as his home, especially once he joined the soccer and cricket teams and started to meet some really great lads. Craig genuinely loved being around people and getting to know them. Because of this, he had friends in every corner of the world. I am literally stunned by the sheer number of people who knew him through work, sport or just socially. I guess that just highlights the type of guy he was.

Those who knew Craig, knew the depths of his generosity and that he had a big heart. One of his cricket buddies would come up to me at every single cricket function and say, "Danni, Craig has a heart this big" and spread his hands wide to make his point. But this was something I already knew. Craig hated to see people suffer or in turmoil and he was just so honest. He always gave his all, whether it be on the sports field, at work, in the pub or even at home. He was the most amazing guy I have ever met and I was truly blessed to have shared, part of his life with me. We laughed together, cried together and sometimes we even fought but, we were always together.

The last time I saw Craig was on Tuesday morning September 11th at 7.45am. Daisy our dog and I, took Craig in a cup of coffee to wake him up. We spoke about what plans we had for the day and played with Daisy on the bed before I took her out for a walk. As I gave him a kiss on the forehead, my last words to him were, "Give me a call later, love you babe". I remember he was still warm from being under the covers and as I turned to walk out with Daisy, he had this huge grin on his face. That's the way I shall remember him.

I was always so proud knowing my guy worked in the World Trade Centre. You could see his building from anywhere in Manhattan and it was like he had made it to the top of the world. After the events of September 11th a dear friend of ours here in New York said to me, "You know Danni, Craig worked on the 94th floor and you can't get much closer to heaven than that".

Craig is the love of my life and I shall miss him dearly, each and every day. We shared so many fabulous times together and now, they have become very precious memories that I will carry in my heart.

Love you madly babe. Danni xx
-- Danni Gibson (Wife)
13 Oct 2001

Friends should love one another just like brothers should.What one should do is obvious..To LOVE Craig is easy.
The way i miss him is hard..
Play on Gibby..
Love from everyone in Coogee and beyond...
-- Jim Bevk (Brother)
17 Oct 2001

I have fond memories of Craig, not only playing football alongside him with Barstoneworth in Sydney, but also in his role as Christmas Past in the Panto we put on for the Childrens hospital. How he managed to make his character take on the personna of Bob Marley, with the blackened face and long dreadlocks, would have Dickens turning in his grave!

You will be sadly missed big man, Douglas Dalby says you must have Irish in you but I know you had some Scottish blood running there as well after seeing some of the tackles you put in.
Our thoughts are with Danni and all the family.
God bless you.
-- Alan and Liz McNair. Sydney Australia (Friend)
04 Oct 2001

I have been a friend of Gibbo's for the last five years playing Football, Cricket and Golf with him. I remember him scoring a blinding golden goal in a play off game, straight in the top corner and he said afterwards to me "Casper, you'll never score a goal like that in your life man"... and he was right. The man was class on the football pitch and a great bloke off it. He will be sorely missed by everyone that knew him.
-- Casper (Friend)
10 Oct 2001

Gibbo, what a top bloke, full of emotion and passion yet as honest, generous and loyal a person as you could wish to meet. As with the previous tributes I also played football with Craig and remember passing him when going forward and also when defending but he always seemed to be in the thick of things, he covered alot of ground...well his shadow did. Similar to his shadow on field, his personality would have touched many people in everyday life. I was lucky enough to visit Craig and Dannielle in New York last year, I have fond memories of that time which now seem to be very poignant. It is sad that many of us only express our feelings reactively, Craig would let you know how he felt.....As I said at the beginning "What a top bloke".
-- Dave Linfield (Friend)
11 Oct 2001

I too knew Craig through our footy connections and enjoying the odd ale or two with him.We were both drawn to Australia through someone we'd met travelling and come over here from the UK,whilst having a beer in Paddo before he left for the States I asked him why he was going, his answer was typical Gibbo "because unlike most,I have the opportunity to",I only wish he'd have had the opportunity to have stayed home in bed that morning.Never forgotten big fella !
-- Dave Southers (Friend)
11 Oct 2001

I guess this message is mainly for Dan because she is my best friend. We knew Craig but not as well as some of you here obviously did. The one thing we know but is that Dan loved Craig with all her heart and Craig loved dan just as much. Anyone who loves that much is a great guy. We shared some wine with Craig & Dan before they left for NY and we were the greatful recipients of some mighty nice grey label on their depature (thanks Gibbo. After that horrible day Paul & I raised our glasses in a toast to you both for you were always ready to take on a challenge hence NY. The only thing I can do for you now Craig is to promise you that we will care for Dan when she comes home and that we will love her as much as you did. Rest in Peace Craig
-- Nette, paul & Molly (Friend)
19 Oct 2001

Many, many people would know Craig a lot better than I did and will be feeling his loss far more acutely. But to say I was shocked by the news wouldn't even begin to describe my own emotions when I recall the craic we had together in Australia. I didn't even know he was in New York. I played football alongside Craig in Sydney with Barnestoneworth United, an exiles pub team. Craig was from South Africa but he was playing with a team full of English, Scots and Irish lads. We had great times together. Sport is a strange phenomenon in ways. It gives you insights into the character of team-mates that would not be otherwise exposed. It is raw. Your true character off a field is mirrored on it. Craig was one of the biggest-hearted men I have ever had the privilege to meet. The big man used to anchor midfield and opponents used to bounce off him. He was hard but honest. He was one of those people who appeared indestructible. I suppose that's what makes his going even more unbelievable. The world is a small place. I am back in Dublin now but stay in touch with some of the lads that I played with over there. Craig's death will only strengthen those bonds. Three weeks have passed now but I don't think I will ever forget that terrible day. A little part of me and everyone he met went along with him. Condolences to his wife, Danni and to all his friends and family.
-- Dougie Dalby (Friend)
19 Oct 2001

Gibby, well where do I start.
I met this man in 1993-94 through soccer (Charring Cross),if memory seves me right, we made the final that year. Then there was the 2 years he played for rivals Barnstoneworth, we met them in a sudden death playoff in 97, It went down too penalty's, and you wouldnt beleive who took the last penalty for Barnstoneworth! Yes thats right our dear friend Gibbi, and guess who was in goals for Charro! Yes my brother Mario (great friends with Gibbi, he was like his 3rd brother to Mario)and you wouldnt beleive it, yes Mario saved his penalty, so what do you think Gibbi copped back at the pub! (He actually came back to play for us the following year)... Gibbo was one hell of a friend, I remember those calls from a cab at 11pm on a Friday or Saturday night, "what are you doing?" "Leave me alone man, its 11pm" was normally my reply. "ohh come on, meet us here meet us there" "Ill talk to you tomorrow .unty"
When ever the phone rang and it was past 10pm, I could bet my bottom dollar it was Gibbi, steamed up and ready to party, with his friends in the background.
I had some fun times playing cricket with the big man, I'll never forget dropping catches off his bowling! This topic would be the talking point back at the pub till the early hours, and just quietly this happened on numerous occasions...
Gibbi and I were looking at opening a cafe in Randwick last year before he went back to New York, we actually went to the council for books to read on about small business, the cost for this book was something like $60, he pulled out 30 bucks and looked at me and said"you got 30", with the man waiting at the counter patiently, I looked at him and said".unty, I told you I havent got a cent!" So while he reached in his pocket huffing and puffing, he said something like, "man if this is gonna work out, you need to get some money" Mind you this is after we had a meeting and he told me, I know you havent got money, but Id like to open up a cafe and I would like you to manage it for me!!
What Im trying to say is that Gibbi and myself had, well I cant remember exactly, but we had a few arguements in our time, but the unreal thing is, we would call eachother the next day and this would be the opening line,.uck that was stupid last night... For those who know me well, once I argue with someone it normally is like months before i can forgive, maybe never sometimes, so we had a special bond Gibbi and I.They say if you dont argue you dont care, well I can tell you we did our fair share of arguements. About 3 weeks after we were looking at a few shops in Randwick to lease out, we met up at the Palace for our Wednesday night ritual (drink)I remember this like it was yesterday, a friend of ours Robby and I were sitting downstairs talking shit (usual thing) when Gibbi comes storming into our conversation (Gibbi was upstairs with the other guys)I looked at him and said, "whats wrong mate, someone upset you upstairs" there was no reply, mainly cause he was too drunk to speak, anyway we ended up having an arguement( nothing strange about that)and that was the end of the cafe! I must say though, he left me with all his idea's on what he wanted in this cafe, so Gibbi mate, you never know, I might one day fullfill your fantasy.
I could go on and on about this mate of ours, cause he was one heck of a guy, and one of my real friends......
Gibbi, you can rest in peace my friend and I know you will be looking down and helping us out every day, our prayers go out to you and I hope you can HEAR us....
-- Tony Pengue (Friend)
24 Oct 2001

Have just read all the other tributes and there really is nothing new I can add. Sadly missed, thanks for the memories. Our condolences to Danni and family.
-- Martin and Amanda ()
04 Nov 2001

Craig Gibson Memorial Day

On 11th September 2001, a tragedy occurred that rocked the whole world. Many lives were lost that day and everyone was affected one way or another. We all lost Craig. On the 9th December 2001 we would like to remember him for what he was - a very good dear friend.

LetBs get together to remember Craig at Jelicoe Park on Sunday 9th December starting at midday. There will be loads of activities for all the family including:

A bouncy castle
Kids soccer game
Mini olympics that everyone can participate in:
3-legged race
egg & spoon
sack race, etc.
Box soccer (you have to see it to believe it!)
BBQ
Raffles

The big finale of the day will be two of CraigBs former teams, Barnstoneworth United and the Coogee Prisoners, battling it out for the Craig Gibson Memorial Trophy.

LetBs make it a day to remember and bring along all your family and friends.

Jelicoe Park is on Park Parade, Pagewood
-- Dave Southers ()
22 Nov 2001

Just wanted to let you know that the memorial day that we had for Craig
went very well yesterday. There was initially some concern over the
weather, however, the big fella must have been looking after us. We had a
R&B band playing, bouncy castle - which the kids were still jumping on as
the guy was trying to dismantle it, mini olympics where Australia's future
stars were shining, box football which was absolutely hilarious and finally
the Barnstoneworth v Prisoners match. The Prisoners eventually won the
match after two very dodgy penalty decisions (none of them were in the box)
and a goal by the ref ensured it went to a penalty shoot-out (for some
reason I don't like them). Barnstoneworth certainly never lost any of their
skill in this department with Aide Croucher, Gay Mark and Butler all
stuffing up!

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it was great to catch up with a
few people we had not saw for a while - mind you, Sneddon, who said at
midday he would be there, still managed to let us down - now why on earth
was I surprised. We also raised $1000 for Danielle's nominated charity -
UNICEF.

-- Jaz McGhee (Friend {})
10 Dec 2001

Message sent to Douglas Dalby in Ireland from John Camp (Casper) in Australia

Went to Craig's memorial service in Sydney last week, you would have loved
it. The speeches said it how it was and some of the memories were classic,
a real good send off!!!
-- Casper (Friend {})
17 Dec 2001

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