Johnson George Image 1 Reading 1935

Johnson George Image 1 Reading 1935


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Ashington, Northumberland born right half George Johnson began his football career with Ashington Welfare in 1922 and played for Bedlington United in 1923 before signing for hometown Third Division (North) club Ashington in October 1924 initially as a centre forward, making his Football League debut at Crewe Alexandra the same month. In his debut season he was Ashington’s second top goalscorer with 15 goals in 22 matches, and missed only one match the following season, spending the second half of the campaign at right half. In 1927-28 he reverted mainly to the forward line and was The Colliers’ top goalscorer with 24 goals in the campaign, including hat-tricks in wins over Wigan Borough and Nelson.

He scored a further treble in a win at Hartlepools United in March 1929, but this was a bright moment in a season that ended with Ashington losing their League status after finishing bottom of the division, being replaced by York City. Johnson stayed with the club in the North Eastern League for a season, before being signed by League Champions Sheffield Wednesday in July 1929 after 68 goals in 174 appearances during Johnson’s League seasons at Ashington. He only played once for The Owls, scoring in a 4-0 win at Blackpool in April 1931 as Wednesday finished third in the League in their attempt to win a hat-trick of titles. Johnson spent another season in the reserves at Hillsborough before joining Third Division (South) club Reading in June 1932.

Despite scoring a hat-trick on his debut in a 4-0 win over Northampton Town in December 1932 and scoring on his next appearance ten days later, he reverted to right half from the New Year and spent the next four and a half seasons, being an ever present in 1933-34 as Reading finished third in the Third Division (South) and missing only 3 matches and 4 matches respectively over the next two seasons as Reading again narrowly missed out on promotion, finishing runners up and in third place respectively.

After 8 goals in 179 appearances for The Royals, Johnson joined Watford in May 1937, breaking into their first team in December 1937 at inside left, but he played only once for Watford in 1938-39, against Port Vale at Vicarage Road in September 1938, before retiring after 9 goals in 25 matches for The Hornets.

NB in photograph Johnson stands on the right of Reading team mate Fred Briggs.

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