John Robertson (footballer, born 1964)

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For other people with the same name, see John Robertson.
John Robertson
Personal information
Full name John Grant Robertson[1]
Date of birth (1964-10-02) 2 October 1964 (age 52)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Heart of Midlothian (U17s coach)
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)
1998 Dundee (loan) 4 (1)
1998–2000 Livingston 41 (14)
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
* 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. 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 and Derry City, among others. Robertson was most recently the manager of East Fife.

Playing career[edit]

Hibs attempted to sign him but he asked for time to think the deal over and, 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. 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.[3] Robertson scored three goals in 16 international appearances during his career.[3]

Managerial career[edit]

Whilst playing for Livingston, Robertson became involved the coaching side of the game.[4] 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.[4] Robertson was appointed manager of Livingston in February 2006,[4] 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.[5]

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[6]

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



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. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b c "Robertson named Livingston boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Derry sack Robertson". Retrieved 11 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "John Robertson". Retrieved 1 March 2012. 

External links[edit]