After a 16-year long career, Ashley Gibson has officially retired from rugby league following a type one diabetes diagnosis.
The Leeds Rhinos academy product made over 200 career appearances many of which came in Super League. He made a stunning debut for the Rhinos – his home town club – scoring a hat trick and kicking 5 goals against Leigh.
He then played his part in one of the most dominant Super League teams of all time. Gibson featured in the Leeds squad as they won three Grand Finals in a row however he sadly never played in the decider. He did however win the League Leaders’ Shield in 2009 even producing a stunning assist away at Hull FC as the Rhinos stormed to top spot.
At the end of 2009 he left the Rhinos for regular game time at Salford. He made 87 appearances for the Reds and scored an impressive 43 tries from centre. A move to Castleford followed as the Tigers became a force in the league. He made nearly 30 appearances for the Tigers over 2 season before joining Wakefield.
That’s where his final Super League appearance came. He then moved to Bradford in the Championship. In November 2019 he joined Newcastle Thunder but the pandemic stopped him from making any real impression there. And now sadly diabetes has seen the 34 year old call time on career.
He insists he has no regrets and hopes his experiences with diabetes can help raise awareness. Two of his former clubs will meet in round 1 of Super League next week as Wakefield butt heads with Leeds at Headingley.