TRIBUTES ARE BEING paid to a Moray cattle breeder after a police search discovered his body near the road between Dallas and Kellas.
Michael Gibson had last been seen on Thursday cycling along the B9010 – but when he did not return home by Friday evening his family reported him missing.
Mr Gibson was a well-known figure as owner of the Edinvale Farm at Dallas – he also ran the award-winning Macbeth’s Butchers in Forres with his son, Jock.
The 63-year-old was found by police on Saturday morning after an extensive search using tracker dogs. It has been confirmed that Mr Gibson had died of natural causes.
While born in Glasgow, Michael Gibson had lived in Moray since the early 1960’s. His son Jock said that his father had farmed since the mid-70’s and was a “well-kent” face in Moray, adding: “My dad was into shooting and skiing and generally loved the outdoors – he will be very missed.”
Moray’s MSP and cabinet secretary for rural affairs, Richard Lochhead, said he was “shocked to hear the sad news” of Mr Gibson’s passing, adding: “I was chatting to Michael as recently as the Dallas Gala – he was on fine form and in his usual good humour.
“You would often come across Michael working alongside Jock running their butcher business, either at the shop in Forres or at shows and events around Scotland. Not only was Michael a constituent but we often met each other over the years in my capacity of cabinet secretary for rural affairs, food and environment as he served on various public bodies.”
A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that as part of searches made in order to trace Alexander Gibson, known as Michael Gibson, from Dallas in Moray the body of a man was found near to the B9010 Dallas to Kellas road on Saturday morning.
“The body has subsequently been formally identified as that of Mr Gibson. His death is not being treated as suspicious and as with all sudden deaths a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”
Macbeth’s was founded at Forres in 1985 using stock reared by Mr Gibson at Dallas – his son joined him in running the business that same year. The Tolbooth Street business flourished, winning a series of industry awards between 2009 and 2013 – including being shortlisted for best online retailer of the year alongside retail giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s in 2012.
The Forres shop was also the only Scottish retailer listed by the Times Newspaper in the UK Top 10 Butchers of the year in 2010.