Friday, February 9, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 77: David Johnson

At number 77 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is striker David Johnson, an unsung member of the great Liverpool side that dominated in the late 70s/early 80s.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: David Johnson

Years at Liverpool: 1976 to 1982
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 23/10/51
Birthplace: Liverpool

Signed from: Ipswich Town (August 1976)

Games played: 209
Goals scored: 78

Honours won: First Division Championship (1976/77, 78/79 & 79/80), European Cup (1981), League Cup (1982), European Super Cup (1977), Charity Shield (1979 & 1980)

Sold to: Everton (May 1982)

David Johnson was an unsung member of the great Liverpool team that dominated at home and abroad in the late seventies and early eighties. He may not have earned the plaudits that came the way of his striker partner of the time Kenny Dalglish but he contributed with some vital goals and his presence in the team was highly valued by the backroom staff at Anfield. A boyhood Liverpool fan, Johnson began his career across the park at Everton in the early seventies and enjoyed meteoric success as he rose through the ranks at Goodison, establishing himself as a teenage scoring sensation with goals on his debut for the Blues in every competition - including the Merseyside derby! He was surprisingly sold to Ipswich on 1972 and continued to impress during a successful spell in East Anglia. International recognition soon came his way and in the long hot summer of 1976 Bob Paisley forked out a club record £200,000 to bring him home. It was a dream move for Garston-born 'Johnno' and by the end of his first season with the Reds he was the proud owner of a League Championship medal. Strong in the air and a powerful forward runner, Johnson was both a goalscorer and goal maker. His predatory instincts were certainly in evidence on 5 April 1978 when he achieved the unique distinction of becoming the first player to score for both teams in a Mersey derby, netting the only goal of a 1-0 victory in front of the Gwladys Street, but it was not until the 1978/79 season that he became an automatic choice in the first eleven. He top-scored the following season with an impressive 21 League strikes, including two in the title clincher against Aston Villa, and won a European Cup winners medal in 1981. However, despite his popularity on and off the pitch, the emergence of a young Ian Rush signalled the beginning of the end for him at Anfield and eventually resulted him moving back to Everton in 1982.

Claim to fame: Being the first player to score winning goals for both Everton and Liverpool in the Merseyside derby

Did you know? He once knocked himself unconscious by running into the goalpost when scoring in a 3-0 win against Derby County at Anfield in April 1980.

Where is he now? Living locally and popping up regularly on the after-dinner circuit.

John Keith on David Johnson: "He was a tremendous centre forward who would run all day and put himself about. Sadly, there aren't a lot like him around today. He would run through a barn door! Local lad of course, schooled at Everton and had this wonderful record of scoring on his debut at every level, moved on and then came to Liverpool. When I think of David I see the ball coming over and the headers going in."

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