Bert Johnson (footballer)

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Bert Johnson
Personal information
Full name William Herbert Johnson[1]
Date of birth (1916-06-04)4 June 1916
Place of birth Stockton-on-Tees, England
Date of death 30 June 2009(2009-06-30) (aged 93)
Place of death Evington, Kent, England
Playing position Wing half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1945–1946 Spennymoor United
1946–1953 Charlton Athletic 142 (1)
1953–1955 Bexleyheath & Welling
1955–1959 Cambridge United
Teams managed
1953–1955 Bexleyheath & Welling
1955–1959 Cambridge United
1959–1968 Leicester City (assistant manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

William Herbert Johnson (4 June 1916 – 30 June 2009), was an English football player, manager and highly influential coach who played as a wing half in the Football League. He played in both the 1946 FA Cup Final for Charlton Athletic.

However, he is perhaps most noted as an influential coach at Leicester City under Matt Gillies. He was originally signed by Gillies as head scout in 1959, but soon become Gillies' assistant manager. He was influential in the signing of both Dave Gibson and Mike Stringfellow, both of whom would become key figure in Leicester's success during the 1960s. Johnson is often credited as having come up with a tactical innovation of switching the positions of Frank McLintock and Graham Cross, upsetting the traditional 1-11 formation. This hugely influenced Liverpool manager Bill Shankly.[2]

Gillies said on the innovation: "confused opposition" as opposition players would often be asked to mark "our [Leicester's] number eight, so they thought Cross was their man, when McLintock had replaced him" as "players hadn't got beyond thinking about numbers then."[3]


  1. ^ "Bert Johnson". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Ex-Leicester City coach Bert Johnson dies aged 93". Retrieved 4 April 2011.[dead link]
  3. ^ Leicester City Official History (DVD). 2004.

External links[edit]

  • Bert Johnson at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database