Harry Johnson (footballer, born 1899)

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Harry Johnson
Personal information
Full name Harry Johnson
Date of birth (1899-01-04)4 January 1899
Place of birth Ecclesfield, Sheffield, England
Date of death May 1981 (aged 82)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1916–1930 Sheffield United 313 (201)
1932–1935 Mansfield Town 163 (104)
Total 476 (305 )

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Harry Johnson (4 January 1899 – May 1981) was an English footballer who played as a striker for Sheffield United between 1916–1931 and Mansfield Town between 1932–1935.

Club career[edit]

Sheffield United[edit]

At the start of the First World War, Johnson joined the army and served in France. He joined the Royal Engineers after a recruiting session at Hadfield steel works. He served in France and Belgium, taking part in several inter-division football games, playing with distinction. When the war ended in 1918 he was demobilized very quickly at the request of Sheffield United so he could resume his footballing career. He was known as private Harry Johnson or young Harry for short. He signed for United during the Wartime in 1916 where he was nicknamed young Harry , so as not to be confused with his father of the same name, who also played for the Blades as a right half.

Johnson was a part-time professional with boundless enthusiasm. He had a tireless energy, born of a simple love of the game and never gave the opponent defenders a minute of peace. He also had remarkable pace, and could turn half-chances into goals. His cheerfulness and pluck made him one of the all-time favourites amongst Sheffield United supporters.

As a part-time player, he on many occasions had to gain permission from Hadfield Steel Works in Sheffield (who were his full-time employees) for a weeks release to play for United.

He played his first match in United colours for a Reserve United side at Heckmondwike, and upset the home fans who 'displayed a certain amount of animosity,' and one irate man even waved an unloaded gun at him.[1] He made his first team debut in 1923, replacing Bert Menlove at centre-forward. In 1925 he was an FA Cup Final winner with United, and scored 23 goals in the same season.

In 1928, United were drawn against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup 5th Round. The tie at Hillsborough ended 3–3. In the Replay at Bramall Lane on 22 February 1928, the match belonged to Johnson in front of 59,447 spectators, as he became the first player to score 3 goals in a Steel City derby and all in an 18-minute period.

Harry stayed with United for 16 years before finally leaving to join Mansfield Town in 1932.

Mansfield Town[edit]

In just 3 seasons at Mansfield, Johnson rattled in an astonishing 104 goals.


Johnson has the unusual distinction of being the all-time leading goalscorer for two different teams. He is Sheffield United's all-time leading goalscorer with 201 goals in 313 league games, which he scored between 1919 and 1930, and holds the same record at Mansfield Town, with 104 goals scored between 1932 and 1935.

He also jointly holds the Sheffield United record for most goals in a game – five against West Ham United in 1929.


  1. ^ Clarebrough, Denis (1989). Sheffield United F.C., The First 100 years. Sheffield United Football Club.