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Adam Johnson (footballer)

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Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson of Sunderland.jpg
Johnson with Sunderland in 2015
Personal information
Full name Adam Johnson[1]
Date of birth (1987-07-14) 14 July 1987 (age 28)[1]
Place of birth Sunderland, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[2]
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Number 11
Youth career
1995–1997 Newcastle United
1999–2004 Middlesbrough
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2010 Middlesbrough 96 (13)
2006 Leeds United (loan) 5 (0)
2007 Watford (loan) 12 (5)
2010–2012 Manchester City 73 (11)
2012– Sunderland 109 (18)
National team
2005–2006 England U19 8[3] (0)
2007–2009 England U21 19 (3)
2010– England 12 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:53, 25 October 2015 (UTC).

† Appearances (goals)

Adam Johnson (born 14 July 1987) is an English professional footballer who plays for Sunderland as a winger.

A product of the Middlesbrough youth academy, he came to prominence after making his debut aged 17 in a UEFA Cup game. He played 119 games for Middlesbrough, also spending time on loan at Leeds United and Watford. In February 2010 he moved to Manchester City, where he won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League the following season. He was signed by his hometown club Sunderland for £10 million in 2012.

Johnson has played at various levels for England, earning 12 caps at senior level.

Early life

Johnson was born in Sunderland and brought up in Easington, County Durham, in North East England.[4] Johnson played for Cleveland Juniors Football Club and attended Easington Community Science College.[5] Upon seeing Johnson score two goals at a Wembley seven-a-side school match, Johnny Haynes remarked, "You’re a great little player. You’ve got a lovely left foot." [6]

Club career


Early career

Johnson in action for Middlesbrough in May 2006

At the age of 12,[7] Johnson was taken in by Middlesbrough's youth academy, having previously attended Newcastle United's Centre of Excellence between 1995 and 1997.[8] He and his Boro teammates David Wheater, Tony McMahon and Andrew Taylor were part of the squad that won the 2003–04 FA Youth Cup.

He made his senior debut aged 17 on 17 March 2005 in the UEFA Cup in the 1–0 defeat away to Sporting CP which saw the club eliminated 4–2 on aggregate in the last 16, replacing Doriva for the last 11 minutes.[9] Almost six months later, on 10 September, he made his Premier League debut, and first senior start, deputising for an injured Stewart Downing in a 2–1 home win against Arsenal.[10] For much of the first half of the 2005–06 season, he was on the bench as an unused substitute, mainly in the UEFA Cup matches. He made his second start in the competition against Litex Lovech on 15 December and set up Massimo Maccarone's first goal in a 2–0 win.[11] For the rest of the season, he managed to make appearances, albeit as Downing's deputy or an unused substitute.[8]

Johnson's first goal for Middlesbrough came in a midweek Premier League game away to Bolton Wanderers on 3 May 2006, opening the scoring in a 1–1 draw with "a mazy run from the left flank before curling in a deflected shot".[12] He was playing due to Middlesbrough's involvement in the UEFA Cup final, which was to be played a week later as Steve McClaren rested most of the first team squad. On 30 June, he signed a new four-year contract extension.[13]

Loans to Leeds United and Watford

On 16 October 2006, he joined Leeds United on a month-long loan after being signed by Leeds' caretaker manager John Carver, but with Leeds struggling in the Championship, it was hard for Johnson to impress despite getting the man-of-the-match award on his debut. After playing four games during his month-long loan spell, Johnson returned to Middlesbrough as Leeds chose not to extend his loan.[14] Later on in the season, he came on as a substitute in the FA Cup replay with Bristol City and played a vital role in seeing Middlesbrough through to the next round by setting up one goal and scoring the winning penalty in the shootout.

In September 2007, Johnson joined Championship side Watford on a three-month loan.[15] He played 12 games for the club, scoring five times, before being recalled to Middlesbrough earlier than stipulated in the deal following some brilliant performances. Coincidentally, Watford's form dipped after his departure.[16]

Return to Middlesbrough

Johnson playing for Middlesbrough in 2008

In the final game of the season, he scored an 18-yard strike from a loose ball just minutes after coming on as a substitute in Boro's 8–1 victory over Manchester City.[17] In the 2008–09 season, he managed to make 32 appearances, half of those as substitutes as Downing was first choice.[16][18] He managed to start most of the fixtures near the end of the season when Downing was ruled out with a long-term injury.

Johnson became an important part of Boro's Championship side for the 2009–10 season following Downing's transfer to Aston Villa, scoring three of Boro's five goals in the first three games.[19][20] He led the Boro scoring charts, with eight goals, for the entire first half of the season despite being a winger, which led to new manager Gordon Strachan expressing his concern about overrelying on Johnson for goals. In the 18 August match at Scunthorpe United, he missed a penalty awarded for a foul on Rhys Williams and scored another after being tripped by the Scunthorpe goalkeeper in the penalty box when both went for the rebound.[21]

After a bright start to the season, the highly rated youngster became a subject of transfer rumours with several Premier League clubs reported to be interested[22] and was linked to his hometown club Sunderland for much of the summer. The Boro management insisted that he would not be sold.[23][24] He chose not to extend his contract, however, which was to end after the 2009–10 season. On 13 December, he was substituted for Marvin Emnes after picking up a hamstring injury in the 1–0 home loss to Cardiff City[25] but returned to score a penalty against Scunthorpe in a 3–0 win, thus taking his goal tally into double figures. He scored a brace for the third time in the season when he turned in a man of the match performance against Doncaster Rovers on 26 January to end Boro's winless away streak stretching back to October.[26]

In recognition of his consistent performances, Johnson was voted for the North East Football Writers' Young Player of the Year award,[27] joining a string of Boro players to do so.

Manchester City

Adam Johnson playing for Manchester City against Lech Poznań in November 2010

When the winter transfer window opened, Johnson was again the subject of transfer speculation and Middlesbrough reportedly received a bid from Manchester City.[28] Interest from Manchester City was heightened after Adam Johnson played City weeks earlier in an FA Cup third round. Although Johnson had to go off injured in the first half, he was arguably the best player on the pitch during his 30-minute spell.[29] On 1 February 2010, City signed him for an undisclosed fee on a four-and-a-half-year contract.[30][31]

Johnson made his first appearance for the club on 6 February, coming on as substitute for Stephen Ireland against Hull City. Three days later, he made his first start against Bolton Wanderers on the right side of a three-man attack alongside Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor, finishing as the man of the match.[32] Johnson scored his first goal against Sunderland; he curled a left footed effort into the top corner one and a half minutes into injury time to secure a last-gasp 1–1 draw.[33] His performance led England manager Fabio Capello to publicly praise him and consider him for selection.[34]

On 3 October 2010, Johnson came on as a substitute for Gareth Barry in a league match against Newcastle United and scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute. Later, on 1 December 2010, Johnson scored the third and final goal for Manchester City in a UEFA Europa match against Red Bull Salzburg. Johnson's next goal came 10 days later, scoring the third goal in a 3–1 win away at West Ham United. He assisted in Manchester City's second goal which was headed in by Joleon Lescott in their 4–0 defeat of Aston Villa at home. On New Year's Day, he scored the winner in the 1–0 win against Blackpool, dedicating his goal to Dale Roberts, his friend and Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper who committed suicide on 14 December 2010. He ended the season with his first senior trophy of his career, the 2011 FA Cup, coming on as a substitute in the final.[35]

After scoring in two 3–0 wins against Inter Milan and League of Ireland XI in the pre-season Dublin Super Cup, he started in Manchester City's first Premier League game of the season against Swansea City, getting an assist as his shot was saved by Michel Vorm and the rebound scored by Edin Džeko. City went on to win the game 4–0.[36] He scored his first goal of the season during a 4–0 win against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, curling a shot into the top corner to make the score 1–0 at the time.[37] He followed it up with a goal in the next game against Aston Villa, with the game finishing 4–1 to City.[38] On 26 October 2011, he scored and got an assist in a 5–2 League Cup win against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.[39] Three days later, he again scored against Wolves, this time in a 3–1 home league win.[40] In the next round, he assisted the only goal of the game, playing a through-ball for Sergio Agüero to score, in a 1–0 win away at Arsenal. He came on as a late sub in a 5–1 home win over Norwich City and scored his fifth goal of the season.[41] His sixth goal of the season came in a 3–0 win against Stoke City on 21 December.[42] On 14 April, he scored in a 6–1 win against Norwich at Carrow Road.[43] He ended that season with 26 league appearances as Manchester City won the 2011–12 Premier League in dramatic circumstances on the last day of the season.[44]


2012–13 season

On 24 August 2012, his hometown team Sunderland signed Johnson on a four-year-contract for £10 million. Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill said "Adding quality players to the squad has been our main aim this summer and Adam certainly fits that bill. He has terrific ability, great delivery and I'm sure he is a player who will excite the fans. I couldn't be more delighted to have him at the club."[45] On 28 August, Johnson made his first appearance for Sunderland in a 2–0 win over League Two side Morecambe in the League Cup second round, assisting both goals at the Stadium of Light.[46] He scored his first goal for the club on 10 November, opening the scoring in a 1–2 defeat away to Everton.[47] His second Sunderland goal came in a 3–1 defeat at home to Chelsea.[48] Johnson's next goal came in a 1–0 win over former club Manchester City at home on 26 December. Johnson then scored goals against West Ham United at home and then against Sunderland's fierce rivals Newcastle United at St James Park in which Johnson rifled in a shot from 25 yards to help Sunderland to win the match 3–0.

2013–14 season

Johnson's first goal of the 2013–14 season came in the League Cup against Milton Keynes Dons after a run from his own half, as Sunderland scored four goals in 12 minutes to win 4–2.[49] However, his form suffered as Sunderland struggled to one point from the first eight games, a run that cost manager Paolo Di Canio his job. Johnson's next goal came in a 2–1 home defeat to Tottenham on 7 December.[50]

After losing his place in the starting line up, the FA Cup Third Round game with Carlisle United marked a turning point in Johnson's fortunes as he scored a free kick and played a part in both other goals in Sunderland's 3–1 win.[51] Two days later, Johnson was brought on as a substitute in the League Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester United, and won a penalty after being fouled by Tom Cleverley, which Fabio Borini scored to give Sunderland a 2–1 advantage going into the second leg. Manager Gus Poyet praised Johnson's contribution as 'outstanding'.[52] On 11 January 2014, he scored his first career hat-trick and assisted Ki Sung-Yueng, inspiring Sunderland to a 4–1 away win against Fulham which lifted them off the bottom of the table.[53] He was the Premier League Player of the Month for January 2014.[54] On 2 March in the League Cup Final against Manchester City, he assisted Borini for the opening goal in the tenth minute, but Sunderland lost 1–3.[55]

2014–15 season

Johnson playing for Sunderland against Chelsea in 2015

His first goal of the 2014–15 season came on 27 August in the League Cup against Birmingham, where he scored the second goal in a 3–0 win.[56] His first league goal of the season came on 13 September, where he scored a fine solo effort in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham at the Stadium of Light.[57] On 21 Demeber he scored a 90th-minute winning goal away to Newcastle, securing Sunderland's 4th consecutive win over their local rivals, and his third goal in three seasons against the club.[58] The following week on 26 December 2014 Johnson opened the scoring after just 30 seconds against Hull City, but was unable to help the team avoid defeat as they went on to lose 1–3.[59] He scored his fifth goal of the season on New Years Day 2015, scoring from a penalty to make the score 2-2 against Manchester City, although Sunderland would go on to lose the match 3–2.[60] He continued to play under new manager Dick Advocaat while on bail for alleged sexual activity with a child.[61]

2015–16 season

Having played the first game of the new season, Johnson picked up an injury in August 2015, putting him out for two months.[62] On 25 October, he scored a penalty in the Tyne–Wear derby, opening the scoring before half time in an eventual 3–0 win.[63]

International career

A former under-19 international, Johnson was called up for the under-21 team at the 2009 UEFA U21 Championships in Sweden. He scored once in qualification[64] and again in the first leg of the qualification play-offs against Wales U21s as the Young Lions narrowly won 5–4 on aggregate to qualify for the tournament. During the tournament, he started in two of the three group stage matches. He won the man-of-the-match award in the final group stage match against Germany that ended in a 1–1 draw[65] and converted his penalty in the semi-final shoot-out win against Sweden.

In late February 2010, Johnson was named in the senior squad for the first time in Fabio Capello's 30-man shortlist for the upcoming March friendly against Egypt in May, but did not make the final 23.[66] Two months later, Capello named Johnson in his preliminary 30-man World Cup squad.[67] Johnson made his full England debut on 24 May in a World Cup warm-up match, a 3–1 friendly victory against Mexico at Wembley Stadium. Johnson came on as a late substitute for James Milner; however, as this was a warm-up match for the World Cup, this did not count as a cap. The following week Capello announced his final 23-man squad, and Johnson failed to make the cut.[68]

England's first game after the World Cup was against Hungary at Wembley. Johnson was named in the starting line-up for the first time, making his full England debut and playing the entire game.[69] He scored his first international goal on 3 September 2010 against Bulgaria in a Euro 2012 qualifier, which England won 4–0.[70] He scored his second international goal against Switzerland in a 3–1 win after coming on as an early substitute for the injured Theo Walcott.[71] In all, he made five appearances in qualifying as England progressed to the finals of Euro 2012.[72]

Fabio Capello resigned as England coach in February 2012, and Stuart Pearce took temporary charge. Johnson started Pearce's only match as England manager, a 2–3 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands.[73] When Roy Hodgson took over in May 2012, Johnson was not selected in Hodgson's 23-man squad for Euro 2012, but was named on standby in case of injuries.[74] As of August 2012, Johnson has 12 England caps, and has scored two international goals.

Personal life

Johnson attended school, and the academies of Sunderland and Middlesbrough, with Dale Roberts, who went on to play as a goalkeeper for Rushden & Diamonds. He regarded Roberts' suicide on 11 December 2010 as "the worst day of my life".[75]

Johnson is in a relationship with Stacey Flounders.[76] They have a daughter, born in January 2015,[77] and live in Castle Eden, County Durham.[78]

On 2 March 2015, Johnson was arrested by Durham Police on suspicion of having sexual activity with an underage girl.[79] He was released on bail, and suspended by Sunderland until the conclusion of the police investigation.[76] On 18 March, with his bail having been extended until 23 April, his suspension was lifted by the club.[80] When his bail ended, he was charged on three counts, and was due to appear at Peterlee Magistrates's Court on 20 May.[78]

At a hearing in August 2015 Johnson appeared at Durham Crown Court where Judge Christopher Prince decided that the trial would be held on 10 February 2016 at Bradford Crown Court.[81]

Career statistics

As of 7 February 2016.[82]
Club League Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Middlesbrough Premier League 2004–05 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
2005–06 13 1 1 0 1 0 3 0 18 1
2006–07 12 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 16 0
Leeds United (loan) Championship 2006–07 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Middlesbrough Premier League 2007–08 19 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 24 1
Watford (loan) Championship 2007–08 12 5 0 0 0 0 12 5
Middlesbrough Premier League 2008–09 26 0 5 0 2 2 33 2
Championship 2009–10 26 11 1 0 1 1 28 12
Middlesbrough total 96 13 14 0 6 3 4 - 120 16
Manchester City Premier League 2009–10 16 1 16 1
2010–11 31 4 4 1 1 0 7 2 43 7
2011–12 26 6 1 0 4 1 7 0 38 7
Manchester City total 73 11 5 1 5 1 14 2 97 15
Sunderland Premier League 2012–13 35 5 2 0 3 0 40 5
2013–14 36 8 2 1 7 1 45 10
2014–15 32 4 2 0 2 1 36 5
2015–16 19 2 0 0 1 0 20 2
Sunderland total 122 19 6 1 13 2 0 0 141 22
Career total 308 48 25 2 24 6 18 2 375 58



Manchester City



  • North- East Football Writers' Young Player of the Year 2009[83]


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External links