Known as Johnny, Glasgow born outside right John Gould began his football career with Neilston Victoria from where he was signed by Arbroath in 1937, where he developed a reputation as a skilful winger before his career was severely interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. Apparently, Newcastle United and West Ham United had watched him with interest, with a figure of £4,000 offered. At Arbroath, he “would persist in trying to beat the man twice” and had been encouraged to play the raiding winger and go for goals but was “timid when it came to shooting”, but with the outbreak of War he remained in Scotland and joined Glasgow Celtic on loan in November 1939, when he was legendary Celtic manager Willie Maley’s last ever signing.
Gould made his Bhoys’ debut at Morton on 11th November 1939 in a 1-1 Regional League draw and was given a positive review by The Herald newspaper (who actually didn’t give a full match report):
“Gould of Arbroath at outside-right added much-needed colour to the Celtic attack“.
He scored 5 goals in 17 appearances for Celtic during 1939-40, and had a series of loan moves during the War, including spells at Albion Rovers, Morton, Raith Rovers, Dumbarton, where he scored 30 goals in 37 appearances between 1941 and 1943, and Third Lanark. He played for Albion Rovers in 1946 after the War’s end and was freed from Arbroath in 1947, from where he moved onto Ayr United before wrapping up his playing career with Stenhousemuir.