John Durnin

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John Durnin
John Durnin.JPG
Pictured at a Masters game in 2008 by Jarle Vines.
Personal information
Full name John Paul Durnin
Date of birth (1965-08-18) 18 August 1965 (age 49)[1]
Place of birth Bootle, England[1]
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Playing position Midfielder / Striker
Youth career
1985–1986 Waterloo Dock
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1989 Liverpool 0 (0)
1988 West Bromwich Albion (loan) 5 (2)
1989–1993 Oxford United 161 (44)
1993–1999 Portsmouth 179 (31)
1999 Blackpool (loan) 5 (1)
1999–2000 Carlisle United 22 (3)
2000–2001 Kidderminster Harriers 31 (9)
2001 Rhyl 10 (4)
2001–2003 Port Vale 47 (2)
2003–2004 Accrington Stanley 15 (4)
Total 475 (100)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

John Paul Durnin (born 18 August 1965) is an English former footballer who scored 100 goals in 475 league appearances over a career spanning close to two decades.

He began his career at Liverpool in 1986, but made just three minor cup appearances for the first team before he was allowed to join Oxford United for a £225,000 fee in February 1989, having previously gained experience on loan at West Bromwich Albion. He spent four years with Oxford, playing close to 200 games, before he was sold on to Portsmouth for £200,000 in 1993. In six years with "Pompey" he made around 200 appearances, before he was loaned out to Blackpool, and then allowed to leave permanently for Carlisle United in 1999. In 2000 he signed with Kidderminster Harriers, before he briefly entered the Welsh football circuit with Rhyl in 2001. Later that year he returned to the Football League with Port Vale, before he joined Conference side Accrington Stanley for a twelve month spell in May 2003.

Playing career[edit]

Durnin's career began with Liverpool in 1986, when he was signed from local non-league side Waterloo Dock for £500.[3] Able to play in midfield or up front, he was a regular in the Liverpool Reserves but failed to break into the first team, making only two appearances, both in the League Cup.[4] In October 1988 he was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion, as one of Brian Talbot's first signings at The Hawthorns. He scored twice in five Second Division appearances before returning to Anfield. He moved to Oxford United in February 1989, after manager Brian Horton paid a fee of £225,000. The "Yellows" finished 17th in the Second Division in 1988–89 and 1989–90, with Durnin finishing as the club's top scorer in the latter campaign with 15 goals. They rose to 10th in 1990–91, only to plummet to one place and two points above the relegation zone in 1991–92. They rose to 14th in 1992–93. Durnin spent four and a half years at the Manor Ground, amassing 47 goals in 180 league and cup appearances, becoming a cult hero amongst the fans, who affectionately gave him the nickname "Johnny Lager".[5]

Durnin was snapped up by Portsmouth for £200,000 in July 1993, with manager Jim Smith looking to play up him front alongside Paul Walsh. The club finished 17th in the First Division in 1993–94 and 18th in 1994–95. He hit three goals in 1995–96, as "Pompey" avoided the drop after finishing one place ahead of relegated Millwall on goal difference. He scored three times in 35 games in 1996–97, as Terry Fenwick led the club to 7th place, one place and three points behind Crystal Palace in the final play-off place. The Fratton Park faithful witnessed another relegation scrap in 1997–98, as "Pompey" finished two places and one point ahead of relegated Manchester City; Durnin scored ten goals in 35 appearances during the campaign. He scored seven goals in 30 appearances in 1998–99, as Alan Ball led the club to 19th, ahead of relegated Bury on goals scored. Durnin lost his first team place at the start of the 1999–2000 campaign. He was loaned out to Second Division Blackpool in November 1999, and scored twice in six games for Nigel Worthington's "Tangerines" with strikes against Wigan Athletic in the league and Hendon in the FA Cup.[6][7] He joined Carlisle United on loan the following month, and signed a permanent deal at Brunton Park in February 2000. He played 23 times for the "Cumbrians" in 1999–2000 as the club finished second-from-bottom in the Third Division under Martin Wilkinson, avoiding relegation into the Conference only due to their superior goal difference to Chester City.

Durnin was without a club until he signed with Football League newcomers Kidderminster Harriers in October 2000, after being signed by former Liverpool teammate Jan Mølby.[8][9] He hit nine goals in 32 games in 2000–01, before leaving Aggborough in the summer. He joined League of Wales side Rhyl as player-coach in July 2001. He returned to the Second Division in December 2001, linking up with his former manager Brian Horton at Port Vale.[10] He stayed at Vale Park for eighteen months, also helping out in a coaching capacity,[11] before he left in May 2003.[12] Despite being the wrong side of 36, he still managed to play 19 games in 2001–02 and 31 games in 2002–03, scoring once in each campaign. Now aged 38, he signed a deal with Conference side Accrington Stanley,[13] and scored four goals in 15 games before he retired in 2004.

Coaching career[edit]

In July 2006, he joined the coaching staff of Southport, but left in October of that year.[14]

Personal life[edit]

After retiring he became a regular for the Liverpool Masters team.[15]


  1. ^ a b "John Durnin". Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  2. ^ John Durnin career stats at Soccerbase
  3. ^ "England's longest serving football manager". BBC Sport. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "John Durnin". Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  5. ^ Anglesey, Steve (30 September 2010). "When golf and football collide: Bellamy, Gazza, Johnny Lager and more". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Oxford win to steer clear of relegation zone". Guardian. 8 November 1999. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Fixtures & Results Saturday, 20 November 1999". Sky Sports. 20 November 1999. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Molby to sign Durnin". BBC Sport. 12 October 2000. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "John Durnin gif". Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  10. ^ "Vale offer Durnin a chance". BBC Sport. 18 December 2001. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  11. ^ "Durnin lands Vale role". BBC Sport. 22 May 2002. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "Carragher exits Vale". BBC Sport. 9 May 2003. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  13. ^ "Durnin joins Stanley". BBC Sport. 4 August 2003. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  14. ^ "Durnin makes exit from Southport". BBC Sport. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 
  15. ^ "Celtic legends draw charity game". BBC Sport. 4 October 2006. Retrieved 16 May 2009. 

External links[edit]