Jimmy Johnstone

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Jimmy Johnstone
Jimmy Johnstone.jpg
Johnstone in Amsterdam in 1971
Personal information
Full name James Connolly Johnstone
Date of birth (1944-09-30)30 September 1944
Place of birth Viewpark, Scotland
Date of death 13 March 2006(2006-03-13) (aged 61)
Place of death Uddingston, Scotland
Height 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)
Playing position Outside right
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1961–1975 Celtic 308 (82)
1975 San Jose Earthquakes 10 (0)
1975–1977 Sheffield United 11 (2)
1977 Dundee 3 (0)
1977–1978 Shelbourne 9 (0)
1978–1979 Elgin City 18 (2)
National team
1964–1974 Scotland 23 (4)
1964–1970 Scottish League XI 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

James Connolly "Jimmy" Johnstone (30 September 1944 – 13 March 2006), nicknamed "Jinky", was a Scottish football player. Johnstone was best known for his time with Celtic, and was voted their best ever player by the club's fans in 2002.[1] He scored 129 goals for Celtic in 515 appearances.[1]

Born in Viewpark, South Lanarkshire, the youngest of five children, Johnstone grew up at the family home on Old Edinburgh Road, directly across from Robertson Park, the home of local Junior side Thorniewood United FC. After being spotted by Celtic and Manchester United scouts at age 13, he chose to sign with Celtic.

Club career[edit]


Johnstone was one of the "Lisbon Lions", the team that won the then European Cup for Celtic in 1967.

Jimmy Johnstone statue at Viewpark Memorial garden by John McKenna

In the immediate aftermath of the Lisbon victory Celtic formed the opposition in the testimonial game for the Real Madrid player Alfredo Di Stéfano. Johnstone's performance was such that the Real supporters began to cry "Olé!" every time he dribbled past one of their own team's players.[2]

In all he made 308 League appearances for Celtic, scoring 82 goals. He also played another 207 times for them in the Scottish Cup, League Cup and in Europe, for an overall total of 515 matches.[3]

Later career[edit]

He later played for the San Jose Earthquakes, Sheffield United, Dundee, Shelbourne and Elgin City.[4]

International career[edit]

Johnstone won 23 caps for the Scottish international side.[5]

Later life[edit]

Johnstone's dry wit was in evidence when the Lisbon Lions were paraded at Celtic Park on the 25th anniversary of their triumph in the European Cup. In an aside, Paul McStay, the then Celtic captain, asked Johnstone who he thought would win if the 1967 team was to play the team of 1992. Johnstone paused to consider for a moment, then replied that he thought it would be a draw. McStay suggested that perhaps the veteran was being kind to the current team. Johnstone explained - "well, you've got to remember that we're all in our fifties now!"[citation needed]

A documentary about Johnstone's life, narrated by Billy Connolly[6] titled Lord of the Wing first aired on the BBC on 25 April 2004.[7]

Motor neurone disease and death[edit]

Johnstone was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in November 2001. To raise funds for charity and to raise awareness of the disease, he launched a new version of the song "Dirty Old Town" together with Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.

In June 2005, Carl Fabergé's great-granddaughter Sarah, produced 19 jewelled eggs related to Johnstone.[8]

Johnstone died in March 2006.[4] The last person to call him was old Rangers rival, Willie Henderson, who had become a firm friend of Johnstone. Thousands of Celtic fans, and fans of many other clubs, including those of arch-rivals Rangers paid tribute to his memory outside Celtic Park on St Patrick's Day, the day of his funeral service. Tributes were paid to Johnstone before the 2006 Scottish League Cup Final, played between Celtic and Dunfermline.[9] There was a minute of applause before the game and the entire Celtic squad wore the number 7 on their shorts in his honour.[9]

In 2011 a statue of Jimmy Johnstone and a memorial garden were created on the site at his former school, close to his home, on the Old Edinburgh Road, Viewpark, Uddingston. The garden was opened by Jimmy Johnstone's wife, family and some of the surviving members of the 'Lisbon Lions' team. The bronze life size statue was made by sculptor John McKenna.[10]




  1. ^ a b Brian Glanville (14 March 2006). "Brilliant Celtic and Scotland winger who took the European Cup with the Lisbon Lions". Obituary. The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Celtic's Greatest Ever Player". Jimmy Johnstone. Retrieved 2010-06-09. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Johnstone, Jimmy 'Jinky'". The Celtic Wiki. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Celtic great dies at 61". BBC Sport. 13 March 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2008. 
  5. ^ Jonathan Paisley (7 July 2008). "Celtic statue memorial to legend Jinky". Evening Times. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439648/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl
  7. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439648/
  8. ^ Bill Wilson (9 June 2005). "Faberge descendants keep up tradition". BBC. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "CIS Insurance Cup Final 2006". Scottish Football League. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  10. ^ John Rowbotham (18 August 2011). "Viewpark Honours Football Hero Jimmy Johnstone". Hamilton Advertiser. Scottish & Universal Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Ballon d’Or Winners". Worldsoccer.about.com. 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 

External links[edit]