John Robertson (footballer, born 1964)

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John Robertson
Personal information
Full name John Grant Robertson[1]
Date of birth (1964-10-02) 2 October 1964 (age 54)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Inverness Caledonian Thistle (manager)
Youth career
Salvesen Boys Club
Edina Hibs
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1988 Heart of Midlothian 202 (106)
1988 Newcastle United 12 (0)
1988–1998 Heart of Midlothian 310 (108)
1998Dundee (loan) 4 (1)
1998–2000 Livingston 41 (14)
Total 569 (229)
National team
1990–1995 Scotland 16 (3)
Teams managed
2002–2004 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
2004–2005 Heart of Midlothian
2005 Ross County
2006–2007 Livingston
2007 Derry City
2010–2012 East Fife
2017– Inverness Caledonian Thistle
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Grant Robertson (born 2 October 1964) is a Scottish professional football player and coach, currently in his second spell of managing Inverness Caledonian Thistle. His playing career included spells at Newcastle United, Dundee and Livingston, but he is best known for his two spells at Heart of Midlothian, where he is the club's all-time leading goalscorer. He has since managed Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Heart of Midlothian, Derry City and East Fife.

Playing career[edit]

Hibs attempted to sign him but he asked for time to think the deal over. After Hibs refused he signed for Hearts along with school friend and fellow future internationalist Dave Bowman. Robertson eventually earned the moniker "The Hammer of Hibs" as he scored a record 27 goals in Edinburgh derby matches.[2]

Robertson was an instant success at Hearts, becoming a legend in the first few seasons with his prolific goal scoring record. In 1986 Robertson took Hearts to the brink of a league and cup double by scoring goal after goal as the club went on an unbeaten run through that season. The league title was snatched from Hearts by Celtic on the last day of the season, and Hearts lost 3–0 to Aberdeen in the cup final.[3] He left Hearts briefly to play for Newcastle United in April 1988. Robertson failed to match the success he had enjoyed at Tynecastle and returned to Hearts in December of that year.

Robertson achieved his greatest success at Hearts, where he spent the vast majority of his playing career. Robertson's loyalty to Hearts was finally rewarded in 1998 when Hearts won the Scottish Cup and he received a winner's medal, albeit as an unused substitute. After an earlier loan spell with Dundee, he left Tynecastle that summer, joining Livingston as a player-coach.

Robertson was also a Scottish international, playing on 16 occasions for Scotland. He made his debut against Romania in 1990, scoring in a 2–1 win. He trained with the national team before UEFA Euro 1992, but had to withdraw from the final squad due to injury.[4] Robertson scored three goals in 16 international appearances during his career.[4]

Managerial career[edit]

Whilst playing for Livingston, Robertson became involved the coaching side of the game.[5] He left the club in season 2002–03 to become manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle where he guided the Highland team to the SPL for the first time in their history. In November 2004 he returned to Hearts as head coach and despite two cup semi-finals and a good season in Europe as well as finishing fifth in the league, he was sacked in May 2005.

He was appointed manager of Scottish First Division team Ross County in June 2005, but left by mutual consent after four months.[5] Robertson was appointed manager of Livingston in February 2006,[5] then sacked in April 2007 after finishing sixth in the First Division.

He was appointed by League of Ireland side Derry City in July 2007. He took club out of the relegation battle to a safe mid table position and also won the FAI League Cup and qualified for the Setanta Cup before being dismissed by the new chairman and board of directors at Derry, and replaced by former Derry boss Stephen Kenny.[6]

In 2009, Robertson coached strikers at Scottish Premier League clubs Dundee United and Kilmarnock. In March 2010, Robertson helped coach the strikers at Hearts on a non-contract basis.

Robertson was appointed manager of East Fife in October 2010. In September 2011, his East Fife side knocked SPL club Aberdeen out of the Scottish League Cup at Pittodrie Stadium.

On 1 March 2012 it was announced that Robertson had left as manager of East Fife[7]

In June 2017, Robertson returned to Inverness Caledonian Thistle as manager.[8][9] On 24 March 2018, he guided the club to be 2018 Scottish Challenge Cup champions, the second challenge cup glory in his ICTFC career, and first manager in scottish football to win the cup twice with the same club.

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1981–82 Heart of Midlothian First Division 1 0
1982–83 23 21
1983–84 Premier Division 34 15
1984–85 33 8
1985–86 35 20
1986–87 37 16
1987–88 39 26
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1987–88 Newcastle United First Division 12 0
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1988–89 Heart of Midlothian Premier Division 15 4
1989–90 32 17
1990–91 31 12
1991–92 42 14
1992–93 42 11
1993–94 36 8
1994–95 31 10
1995–96 33 12
1996–97 27 14
1997–98 21 6
1997–98 Dundee First Division 4 1
1998–99 Livingston Second Division 36 13
1999–00 First Division 5 1
Total Scotland 557 229
England 12 0
Career total 569 229

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 22 March 2019[10]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Scotland 26 December 2002 3 November 2004 84 44 13 27 052.38
Heart of Midlothian Scotland 3 November 2004 9 May 2005 35 13 9 13 037.14
Ross County Scotland 21 June 2005 24 October 2005 15 6 5 4 040.00
Livingston Scotland 15 February 2006 15 April 2007 51 15 10 26 029.41
Derry City Republic of Ireland 2 July 2007 11 December 2007 24 8 8 8 033.33
East Fife Scotland 26 October 2010 1 March 2012 62 28 11 23 045.16
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Scotland 14 June 2017 Present 86 39 26 21 045.35
Career total 357 153 82 122 042.86



Heart of Midlothian


Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Derry City


  1. ^ "John Robertson". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Heart of Midlothian VS Hibernian". FIFA. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  3. ^ Pye, Steven (1 May 2015). "How Albert Kidd became a Hibs and Celtic legend without playing for them". the Guardian.
  4. ^ a b "A to Z of sports with Hearts legend John Robertson". The Scottish Sun. Retrieved 12 September 2016. Ever been injured on international duty? I missed Euro 1992 due to an injury I picked up in Chicago while training with the squad. I was flown home and given a fortnight to prove my fitness. Everything seemed OK and then in the last minute of the practice game I smashed in a shot and my groin area just exploded. I missed the finals and required a hernia operation, and I was gutted at missing out having played a big part in qualifying.
  5. ^ a b c "Robertson named Livingston boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Derry sack Robertson". Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  7. ^ "John Robertson". Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  8. ^ Healey, Derek (14 June 2017). "John Robertson returns as Caley Jags boss 13 years after securing top flight promotion". The Press and Journal. DC Thomson & Co Ltd. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  9. ^ "John Robertson returns as Inverness Caley Thistle manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  10. ^ "John Robertson's managerial career". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 18 June 2017.

External links[edit]