Patillo Johnny Image 1 Aberdeen 1938

Patillo Johnny Image 1 Aberdeen 1938


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Aberdeen born centre forward Johnny Patillo began his football career with Hall Russells, from where he signed for Scottish First Division hometown club Aberdeen in October 1938, making his Scottish League debut at Ayr United the same month, scoring in a remarkable 8-5 defeat. He scored 15 goals in 15 matches for The Dons before the outbreak of the Second World War forced the abandonment of peacetime football in September 1939, and during six seasons of wartime football he scored 141 goals in 169 matches. Before he left Pittodrie however he did finish as The Dons’ top scorer and won the 1945=46 Southern League Cup against Rangers.

The following summer he moved down the east coast to Dundee to join George Anderson’s new look Dark Blues for £1,000, immediately helping them to win the Division Two title to return to the top flight. In Dundee’s first season back in the big time Pattillo scored fifteen times on the way to a very respectable fourth-placed finish. He improved that rate by two the following year as Dundee also improved their league placing by two, finishing as runners-up in the ‘A’ Division.

Patillo played in the League Cup Final of 1951 and Dundee’s 3-2 win over Rangers is one of the best finals Hampden Park has ever seen. Pattillo scored in the 5-1 semi-final win over Motherwell at Ibrox but the real glory came for him in the final when he scored the second on sixty-nine minutes. Pattillo ran on to a Flavell through ball and shot high past Brown in the Rangers goal to put the Dark Blues 2-1 ahead.

Dundee returned to Hampden just five months later when they appeared in their second final of the season but there was no joy this time in the Scottish Cup as Motherwell took the trophy back to Lanarkshire with a 4-0 win. Pattillo played in the final and all five matches en route, scoring four times, which included a brace against Wigtown in a 7-1 second round away win and the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Berwick at Dens in the next round. The final against Motherwell proved to be Pattillo’s penultimate match for The Dee as the following week at Dens against Third Lanark in the final match of the season in the ‘A’ Division, Pattillo made his last appearance in dark blue, unusually at right back! In his six seasons with Dundee Patillo scored 67 goals in 172 matches,

That summer he moved back to his hometown club Aberdeen to take up a coaching role and played in one further League Cup match for The Dons, but in February 1953 he was appointed manager of St Johnstone and pulled on their light blue shirt eight times, scoring twice to become one of the first player/managers in Scottish Football history. Pattillo left St Johnstone in 1958 and retired from the game.

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