Henry Hibbs

Henry Hibbs

Henry Hibbs was born in Wilnecote on 27th May 1906. After leaving school he worked as a plumber. A goalkeeper, he played for Tamworth Castle in the Birmingham and District Football League.

Hibbs came to the attention of Birmingham City, who at that time were in the First Division of the Football League, when he was 17 years of age and impressed so much in trials that he was offered professional forms in May 1924. Hibbs made his debut the following season.

Over the next few seasons Hibbs became one of the best goalkeepers in England and was selected for the Football League team that played in South Africa in 1928.

Hibbs won his first international cap for England against Wales on 20th November, 1929. England won the game 6-0. Later that season he played in the games against Scotland (3-2), Germany (3-3) and Austria (0-0). The England team that season included George Camsell, Sam Cowan, Sammy Crooks, David Jack, Jimmy Ruffell and Vic Watson.

Birmingham City had little success in the Football League but had a good FA Cup run in 1931 beating Port Vale (2-0), Watford (3-0), Chelsea (3-0) and Sunderland (2-0) to reach the final against local rivals West Bromwich Albion. Unfortunately for Hibbs, Birmingham lost the game 2-1.

Hibbs won the last of his 25 international caps against Wales on 5th February 1936. Also in the team that day was Cliff Bastin, Ray Bowden, Jackie Bray, Eric Brook, Jack Crayston, Sammy Crooks, Ted Drake, Eddie Hapgood and George Male. England lost the game 2-1.

Hibbs played the last of his 389 cup and league games for Birmingham City in 1939. His football career was brought to and end by the Second World War. His testimonial game was against Aston Villa on 13th April, 1940. After the war Hibbs managed Walsall (1944–1951), Ware Town (1961-62) and Welwyn Garden City (1962-63).

Henry Hibbs died on 23rd October, 1984.