Davy Johnston Player Profile

Player Details

  • Full Name: David Ross Johnston
  • Born: November 28th, 1942 (Nairn)
  • Position: Striker
  • Career Totals: 16 appearances, 8 goals
  • Also Played For: Aberdeen, Heart of Midlothian, Inverness Caledonian


Playing History

Season Win % Draw % Loss %
1975-76 11 (2) 2 0 0 46.2% 15.4% 38.5%
1966-67 - - - - - - -
1965-66 - - - - - - -
1964-65 - - - - - - -
1963-64 - - - - - - -
1962-63 - - - - - - -
1961-62 1 0 0 0 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
1960-61 1 5 0 0 100.0% 0.0% 0.0%
1959-60 - - - - - - -
1958-59 1 1 0 0 100.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Totals: 14 (2) 8


 Apps = First Team Appearances (Sub Appearances) | Gls = Goals
 GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals

 Recent First Team Starts
 06/03/76 HFL vs. Keith (A) 1 - 2
 28/02/76 HFL vs. Peterhead (H) 3 - 1
 24/01/76 HFL vs. Inverness Thistle (H) 1 - 2
 17/01/76 HFL vs. Lossiemouth (A) 2 - 2
 10/01/76 HFL vs. Caledonian (H) 6 - 1

 Recent First Team Goals
 28/02/76 HFL vs. Peterhead (H) 3 - 1
 10/01/76 HFL vs. Caledonian (H) 6 - 1
 24/09/60 1st Round Replay vs. Wick Academy (H) 6 - 3
 15/04/59 HFL vs. Clachnacuddin (A) 2 - 0

 List of Goals Scored (click to expand)
 28/02/76 HFL vs. Peterhead (H)  3 - 1
 10/01/76 HFL vs. Caledonian (H)  6 - 1
 24/09/60 1st Round Replay vs. Wick Academy (H)  6 - 3
 24/09/60 1st Round Replay vs. Wick Academy (H)  6 - 3
 24/09/60 1st Round Replay vs. Wick Academy (H)  6 - 3
 24/09/60 1st Round Replay vs. Wick Academy (H)  6 - 3
 24/09/60 1st Round Replay vs. Wick Academy (H)  6 - 3
 15/04/59 HFL vs. Clachnacuddin (A)  2 - 0

 List of Games Played (click to expand)
 06/03/76 HFL vs. Keith (A)  1 - 2
 28/02/76 HFL vs. Peterhead (H)  3 - 1
 21/02/76 1st Round Replay vs. Lossiemouth (H)  0 - 1
 24/01/76 HFL vs. Inverness Thistle (H)  1 - 2
 17/01/76 HFL vs. Lossiemouth (A)  2 - 2
 10/01/76 HFL vs. Caledonian (H)  6 - 1
 27/12/75 HFL vs. Forres Mechanics (H)  3 - 0
 06/12/75 HFL vs. Huntly (H)  4 - 1
 29/11/75 HFL vs. Deveronvale (A)  1 - 1
 08/11/75 HFL vs. Buckie Thistle (H)  2 - 0
 25/10/75 HFL vs. Elgin City (H)  1 - 2
 18/10/75 HFL vs. Caledonian (A)  5 - 3
 11/10/75 HFL vs. Lossiemouth (H)  1 - 2
 14/10/61 HFL vs. Lossiemouth (A)  1 - 2
 24/09/60 1st Round Replay vs. Wick Academy (H)  6 - 3
 15/04/59 HFL vs. Clachnacuddin (A)  2 - 0


Biography

Davy Johnston will be forever regarded by fans of many clubs as the greatest ever Highland League footballer. He was a trail blazer in a sense that he was one of the first players from the Highlands to be picked up by a senior Scottish club. And it wasn't just any Scottish Club. Heart of Midlothian were Scottish champions when Tommy Walker signed the raw 17 year-old in October 1960 from Nairn County. The son of a semi professional football Samuel Johnston who played for Dumbarton, Davy grew up in a council house and the front bedroom window overlooked Station Park.

In the biography of this true Highland great, Davy Johnston, Pittodrie's Silent Assassin, journalist and friend Donald Wilson questioned why he never achieved greatness at the highest level. Looking back on his story the recurring theme is homesickness, which forced him to quit Hearts and Aberdeen. The only conclusion the author could come to was because Davy's father Samuel, who know doubt would have mentored him during his career, was killed in Burma during the war when Davy was just two years old. He was therefore brought up by his war widowed mother and probably the closest thing Davy had to a father figure in his life was Eric Geddes the Nairn County coach of that era.

Davy made his debut for Hearts at the age of 17 in November 1960 and scored his first Scottish League goal at Starks park in April the following year in a 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers. He was allowed to return home only on condition he never signed for another Scottish League club. His scoring exploits on his return became legendary - 73 goals in season 1963-64.

He had his second chance at the top level in the Scottish game with Aberdeen when Eddie Turnbull persuaded Walker to release Johnston from that clause when he departed Tynecastle. During his spell at Pittodrie he scored 37 goals in 99 games but it is no secret his relationship with Turnbull was not a healthy one and he quit the club to return North.

That he would have loved to return to Nairn there is no doubt. But the Wee County could not afford the money Aberdeen were seeking as compensation. He returned North and joined Caley but it was fitting in his final year in the Highland League he played for the only winning Nairn county championship winning team of 1976.

How good was he? Eddie Turnbull made no secret of the fact he was frustrated he never got the best out of Davy. But he did say had he got Johnston at the age of sixteen and had he stayed the course in professional football he would have been as good as Bobby Charlton - some tribute indeed from a coach of such stature as Turnbull.

Davy played in the 1967 Scottish Cup final against soon to be crowned "Lisbon Lions", Celtic. Manager Turnbull was ill and never made it to the final. The Dons lost 2-0. Probably his finest hour was when in the last game of the 1967-68 season he scored two of Aberdeen's goals in a three two victory over Rangers to end the Glasgow club's title aspirations and secure a spot in European football for Aberdeen for the first time. A member of the Rangers team that night was Alex Ferguson, who despite going on to have a glittering managerial career never won a championship medal.

Davy quit Aberdeen in April 1969 and joined Caley in August of the same year. But his days of giving Rangers a bloody nose were not over. In a testimonial match in May 1972 he scored two goals against the Ibrox club. His performance that day is still a story of legend. Willie Waddell, who a week later was to lead his team to European Cup-winners Cup was so taken by Johnston's performance he went up to congratulate him personally. In 571 competitive games Johnston's record of 480 goals was a story of legend.

Debut

April 15th, 1959
Clachnacuddin 0 - 2 Nairn County

League (HFL)


Timeline