A tough as teak country boy, Gibbs came to Manly via Eastern Suburbs as a hard running centre in 1986. His early days at the Sea Eagles were uneventful spending time in Reserve Grade until he was called on to replace an injured 2nd rower mid game. Despite playing out of his accustomed centre position Gibbs excelled with his head in the scrum due to his hard straight running and relentless, hard hitting defence.
The fearless attitude he showed on the field led him to acquire the name Rambo Ron Gibbs after the fictional war hero
John Rambo played by Sylvester Stallone in the very forgettable 1980s non Academy Award winning action movie series.
Rambo provided the fear factor and the go forward required to unsettle opposition sides and he was the perfect foil for his block busting 2nd row partner Noel Crusher Cleal.
Under coach Bob Fulton, Manly assembled a great side in the 1987 season and Gibbs was an integral part of that team. For the fans this was an unforgettable year as the team went on an extended unbeaten run that eventually culminated in winning the Grand Final against the Canberra Raiders at the SCG on a balmy September afternoon.
Ron Gibbs was famous for wearing head gear, ala Steve Menzies, and wandering around concussed after continually putting his body on the line during matches. However for many Manly fans Rambos spectacular try against Souths at Redfern Oval will be the lasting memory of this gutsy player.
Just prior to the 1987 semi final series Manly were involved in a tight match against Souths when Gibbs made a bust in a sweeping back line movement, as the defence closed in he put up a bomb that he sprinted after and in the in goal area he dived full length to catch the ball and in the process scored a vital try that contributed to the eventual Manly victory.
The ARL made the decision to expand the competition for 1988 season and teams from Brisbane, Gold Coast and Newcastle were admitted. The Gold Coast in particular went on an aggressive recruitment campaign and their first major (and highly paid) signing was non other than Ron Gibbs mid way through 1987. It was feared that the distraction would cause Rambos form to slip but the opposite occurred as Gibbs starred week after week as he tried to prove his commitment to the club and the fans for the remainder of the season.
Leaving Manly after the magnificent Grand Final victory, 46 games for the club and on the verge of NSW selection, the popular 2nd rower made his move to the Gold Coast. Unfortunately for Rambo, his career stagnated as the Gold Coast club withered on the vine and after a few unsuccessful seasons finished his career playing country football in NSW, most notably for the 1994 or 1995 Narromine Jets Group 11 premiership winning team. It is believe he is now still involved in developing Rugby League somewhere in NSW.
Rambo Ron Gibbs he should never have left!