Allan Johnston

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For the Australian advertising creative executive, see Allan Johnston (advertiser). For people with a similar name, see Alan Johnston (disambiguation).
Allan Johnston
Allan Johnston Sunderland 1998.jpg
Personal information
Full name Allan Johnston
Date of birth (1973-12-14) 14 December 1973 (age 43)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Dunfermline Athletic (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–1996 Heart of Midlothian 84 (12)
1996–1997 Rennes 23 (2)
1997–2000 Sunderland 87 (19)
1999 Birmingham City (loan) 8 (0)
2000 Bolton Wanderers (loan) 19 (3)
2000–2001 Rangers 14 (0)
2001–2004 Middlesbrough 17 (1)
2002–2003 Sheffield Wednesday (loan) 12 (2)
2004–2009 Kilmarnock 115 (5)
2009–2010 St Mirren 10 (0)
2010–2013 Queen of the South 61 (7)
Total 450 (51)
National team
1994–1996 Scotland under-21[1] 3 (0)
1998 Scotland B[2] 2 (0)
1998–2002 Scotland 18 (2)
Teams managed
2012–2013 Queen of the South[3]
2013–2015 Kilmarnock
2015– Dunfermline Athletic[4]
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Allan Johnston (born 14 December 1973) is a former Scottish international professional football player and current manager of Dunfermline Athletic.[4]

He started his professional playing career with Heart of Midlothian and then followed on to French club Rennes before a spell in English football with Sunderland before returning to Scotland with Rangers. He then returned to England with Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday. He returned to Scotland and played out his playing career with Kilmarnock, St Mirren and Queen of the South. He played for the Scotland national football team at senior and u-21 level.

He started his managerial career in 2012, as player-manager of Queen of the South. He won the Second Division championship in his first season as a manager, then moved to Kilmarnock. He left that position after 18 months, after a dispute with the club's board about the sale of a player.

Playing career[edit]


Johnston began his career with Heart of Midlothian, becoming a first-team regular in the mid-1990s. In January 1996, Johnston scored his first career hat-trick, scoring all three goals in a 3–0 win against Rangers at Ibrox.[5] He picked up a Scottish Cup runners-up medal that season in the defeat to Rangers where Brian Laudrup dominated the final.


During the summer of 1996, Johnston moved to French club Rennes, but he left after less than one season.[citation needed]


He finished the season with FA Premier League side Sunderland as they were relegated to the Football League First Division. Although Sunderland were defeated in the 1998 play-off final, the club won the title the following season. During the summer of 1999, with just one year left on his contract, Johnston began negotiations about an extension. During this time, interest in Johnston was expressed by Rangers and after negotiations broke down with Sunderland, Johnston stated his desire to move to Glasgow. Despite previously being a first-team regular he never appeared for Sunderland in 1999–2000 season and was subsequently loaned to Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers, the latter with whom he appeared in both the F.A. Cup and League Cup Semi-finals. In the FA Cup semi final against Aston Villa he was one of two Bolton players to have their penalty saved by David James as they crashed out in a shootout.[6]

Johnston was the scorer of the final competitive goal at Roker Park in a 3–0 win over Everton in the final home game of the 1996/97 season.[7]


At the end of the 1999–00 season, having not featured for Sunderland in the entire campaign, Johnston moved to Rangers on a free transfer, scoring on his debut in a Champions League qualifying match against FBK Kaunas.[8] He scored twice more for Rangers, his strikes coming against Herfolge in another Champions League qualifier[9] and Brechin in the Scottish Cup.[10]


Little over twelve months later, in late August 2001 and with the FA Premier League season already underway, Johnston moved to Middlesbrough in a £600,000 deal, making his debut in the derby defeat to Newcastle United the following weekend. Johnston scored in his second match against West Ham[11] but failed to score again all season, missing February and March due to injury. The following season, Johnston spent much of the season on loan with Sheffield Wednesday, scoring twice, having only played in two League Cup matches for Boro, subsequently missing the entire 2003–04 season.


Johnston signed for Kilmarnock in August 2004, reuniting him with former Hearts management team Jim Jefferies and Billy Brown.[12] In April 2007, with his contract about to expire, Johnston agreed a new two-year deal, which wasn't extended upon its expiry in June 2009, resulting in his release from Rugby Park.[13]

St. Mirren[edit]

On 8 August 2009, Johnston played in a trial match for St Mirren against Wigan Athletic.[14] After the match, manager Gus MacPherson said that he would love to sign him, but felt he might be out of their price range.[15] After making 10 appearances for St Mirren, he was released at the end of the season.

Queen of the South[edit]

In July 2010 Johnston played as a trialist in four games for Dumfries club Queen of the South. Johnston was then confirmed on the club's website as having signed a one-year contract on 16 July 2010.[16] Johnston's competitive league debut for Queens was on 22 August 2010 when he played in central midfield during a 3–1 away win at Cowdenbeath.[17] Johnston scored his first Queens goal in a league win at Palmerston Park versus Partick Thistle on 18 September 2010.[18]

Coaching career[edit]

Queen of the South announced on 21 June 2011 that Johnston had signed a contract as player coach.[19] On 3 May 2012, Johnston was appointed as Queens new player-manager.[3][20] Johnston led Queens to a historic double in his first full season in management, winning the Scottish Second Division Championship and the Scottish Challenge Cup. [21][22]

Johnston and Clark both signed a two-year contract to join Kilmarnock as the club's new management team on 24 June 2013.[23] Queen of the South receive around £30,000 in compensation.[23] Kilmarnock narrowly avoided relegation in Johnston's first season in charge, winning their last two games to finish above the relegation play-off position. The club performed better in the league during his second season, but in February 2015 Johnston announced his intention to leave the club at the end of the season.[24] He had been upset by the sale of Robbie Muirhead, which Johnston said had only been advised to him after the transfer window had closed.[24] The Kilmarnock board then decided to remove Johnston from his position immediately.[25]

On 8 May 2015, after three months out of work, Johnston was appointed manager of Scottish League One side Dunfermline Athletic on a one-year contract.[4][26] His first season with the club saw him twice named Scottish League One Manager of the Month,[27][28] guide the Pars to the league title and promotion to the Scottish Championship,[29] and additionally, saw the side compete well against Scottish Premiership opposition in both the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup.[30][31] In April 2016, Johnston was rewarded for his achievements with a new two-year contract, keeping him at East End Park until Summer 2018.[32]

International career[edit]

Johnston made 18 appearances for Scotland between 1999 and 2002, and has also been capped at under–21 level.

Honours and Achievements[edit]


Queen of the South


Queen of the South
Dunfermline Athletic


Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 22 April 2017
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Queen of the South 3 May 2012 25 June 2013 46 37 5 4 80.43
Kilmarnock 25 June 2013 6 February 2015 66 20 10 36 30.30
Dunfermline Athletic 8 May 2015 Present 89 45 21 23 50.56
Total 201 102 36 63 50.75


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "QOS unveil New Manager" 3 May 2012
  4. ^ a b c "DAFC appoint new First Team Manager". DAFC. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lacey, David (2 April 2000). "Bolton miss out as Dublin delivers". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Roker relives Sunderland 3–0 Everton,; accessed 25 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Rangers struggle against minnows". BBC. 26 July 2000. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Rangers book Champions League spot". BBC. 23 August 2000. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Gers breeze by Brechin". BBC. 27 January 2001. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "Boro make Hammers pay". BBC. 15 September 2001. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Johnston joins Killie". BBC Sport. 10 August 2004. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  13. ^ "Killie release experienced trio". BBC Sport. 12 June 2009. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  14. ^ "Wigan Athletic 3 – 1 St Mirren: Ex-Killie winger Johnston plays as trialist as Buddies run illustrious opponents close". The Scotsman. 9 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  15. ^ "Gus MacPherson: We'd Love To Sign Allan Johnston For St Mirren But He Might Be Too Expensive". Sunday Mail. 9 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  16. ^ "new signings"
  17. ^ "Cowdenbeath 1 – 3 Queen of the South"
  18. ^ "Queen of South 2–1 Partick". BBC. 18 September 2010. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  19. ^ "It's 'Magic'--Allan Johnston's Player Coach" 21 Jun 2011
  20. ^ "Allan Johnston is named new Queen of the South manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b Barnes, John (25 June 2013). "Kilmarnock: Allan Johnston becomes new manager". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  24. ^ a b "Allan Johnston: Kilmarnock boss to leave at end of the season". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015. 
  25. ^ "Allan Johnston: Kilmarnock manager relieved of duties". BBC Sport. BBC. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  26. ^ "Allan Johnston: Dunfermline appoint former Kilmarnock boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Dunfermline: Boss of month Allan Johnston - hands off our players". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  28. ^ a b "Dunfermline: Johnston and El Bakhtaoui win March awards". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  29. ^ "Dunfermline 3–1 Brechin City". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  30. ^ "Dunfermline 3–1 Dundee". BBC Sport. BBC. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  31. ^ "Dunfermline 2–2 Ross County". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 January 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  32. ^ "Manager signs new contract". Dunfermline Athletic. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  33. ^ "Queen of the South boss Allan Johnston's cup medal taken". BBC News. BBC. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  34. ^ "Allan Johnston wins Scotland's Manager of the Year award". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 

External links[edit]