He played in the first El Clásico on 13 May 1902, a 3–1 loss to Barcelona, in which he scored Real Madrid's first competitive goal. Years later, he became the first coach of Real Madrid, a position that he occupied for ten seasons. Only Miguel Muñoz has been head coach for more games. It was Johnson, who influenced Madrid to play in the classic all-white strip, mirroring the strip worn by Corinthian Casuals.
As a player, Johnson won four Copas del Rey and as a manager conquered four regional championships and one Copa del Rey in 1917 before moving to Athletic Bilbao.
He once said, "Players should have a fixed position" as he reckoned that constantly changing places in a game was “not football”.