Player profile

David Johnson

David Johnson

Birthdate: 23 October 1951
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Other clubs: Everton (1967-72), Ipswich Town (1972-76), Everton (2 / 1982-84), Barnsley (loan 1984), Manchester City (1984), Tulsa Roughnecks (1984), Preston North End (1984-85), Barrow (1985), Naxxar Lions
Bought from: Ipswich Town
Signed for LFC: £200,000, 12.08.1976
International debut: 21.05.1975 vs. Wales
International caps: 8/6 (5/3 at LFC) - 12.06.1980
Liverpool debut: 21.08.1976
Last appearance: 20.03.1982
Debut goal: 28.08.1976
Last goal: 19.01.1982
Contract expiry: 09.08.1982
Win ratio: 53.52% W:114 D:60 L:39
Games/goals ratio: 2.73
Honours: League Championship 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82; League Cup 1982; European Cup 1977, 1981
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 14 / 4
LFC league games/goals: 149 / 55
Total LFC games/goals: 213 / 78

Player profile

Twenty-four-year-old Johnson was already an England international having scored 46 goals in 187 League matches for Everton and Ipswich before featuring for Liverpool. The boyhood Red started his career at Everton which Johnson says came as a "great shock" to his family who were all-red. He certainly got Liverpool's attention when he scored the winning goal as a 20-year-old against the Reds at Goodison on 13 November 1971, a feat he would repeat for Liverpool at Goodison in 1978. Shankly made two enquiries for Johnson while at Everton but Harry Catterick wouldn't let him go across the park. Shankly asked for him on couple of more occasions while Johnson's career flourished at Ipswich, usually a top-three team. When Ipswich finally caved in to Liverpool's attentions it was Bob Paisley who welcomed Johnson, who didn't hesitate to put pen to paper for his boyhood idols.

Although picked from the start for the first eight first division fixtures of 1976/77, many of Johnson's 26 League appearances that year were from the substitute's bench. He had been bought as a future replacement for John Toshack, who had scored a Liverpool career-high total of 23 goals in the previous season, but was now struggling with injury. Johnson was more often than not on the wing rather than up-front. Johnson still easily qualified for the first of his four League Championship medals. He scored in the final League match of the season, away to Bristol City, and that was enough to earn him a place in the FA Cup final team to meet Manchester United. He was substituted by Ian Callaghan during the final and 'Cally' kept his place for the European Cup final in Rome four days later. Johnson along with the other four substitutes had to watch Liverpool triumph from the bench. Stuck in the reserves for much of the next season, Johnson started the first leg of the European Cup semi-final against Gladbach and scored Liverpool's consolation goal in Germany. He scored the only goal at Goodison Park but when he was establishing himself he tore his knee ligaments against Leicester on 8 April 1978 and missed out again on a European Cup final.

The following season was a bit of a stop-start understandably having suffered such a bad injury but Johnson finally established himself in the second half of 1978/79. Johnson had his best season in 1979/80, scoring 27 goals and forming a powerful partnership with Dalglish. Johnson scored two goals in a 4-1 win over Aston Villa, the second consecutive year that Liverpool sealed the League Championship by beating the Villains. His form earned him further international recognition and he scored twice in a 3-1 win against world champions Argentina at Wembley in May 1980. Ian Rush's emergence in 1981 relegated Johnson to the bench but not before he finally achieved his dream by being part of the side that lifted the European Cup for the third time at the Parc des Princes in 1981. Johnson re-signed for his first club Everton in August 1982 where he stayed for a couple of years before going down the League ladder. He also sampled life in USA and Malta.

David Johnson was known as the Doc as he used to suffer from sore throat so he always kept cough sweets in his bag along with headache tablets: "Everyone used to go to my bag to use my gear," Johnson explained. "Terry Mac went in there one time and took out all these pills and stuff and said: 'It's like a flippin' doctor's bag and after that it just stuck."

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 149 19 19 23 3 213
1976-1977 26 4 2 6 0 38
1977-1978 12 1 1 3 0 17
1978-1979 30 4 0 3 0 37
1979-1980 37 8 6 2 1 54
1980-1981 29 1 5 5 1 41
1981-1982 15 1 5 4 1 26

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
14 Arsenal
10 WBA
10 Aston Villa
9 Middlesbrough
9 Manchester United
9 Everton
9 Wolves
8 Tottenham
8 Leeds United
8 Coventry City
8 Ipswich Town
7 Norwich City
6 Southampton
6 Manchester City
6 Birmingham City
6 Nottingham Forest
5 Sunderland
5 Stoke City
5 Derby
5 Bristol City
5 Crystal Palace
4 QPR
3 Brighton & Hove Albion
3 West Ham United
3 Chelsea
3 Bolton Wanderers
3 Leicester City
2 Crusaders
2 Trabzonspor
2 Hamburg SV
2 Tranmere Rovers
2 Dinamo Tbilisi
2 Bradford City
2 Oulu Palloseura
2 Aberdeen
2 CSKA Sofia
1 Barnsley
1 Exeter City
1 Grimsby Town
1 Altrincham
1 Real Madrid
1 AZ Alkmaar
1 Flamengo
1 Bayern Munich
1 Saint-Étienne
1 Zurich
1 Gladbach
1 Wrexham
1 Anderlecht
1 Burnley
1 Newcastle United
1 Bury
1 Swansea City
1 Portsmouth
Total Started/substitutions
177 Started
39 On the bench
36 Substitute
31 Substituted
Total Competition
149 League
20 European Cup
19 FA Cup
19 League Cup
3 European Super Cup
2 Charity Shield
1 World Club Championship

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 55 6 9 8 0 78
1976-1977 5 0 0 3 0 8
1977-1978 3 1 0 1 0 5
1978-1979 16 2 0 0 0 18
1979-1980 21 3 2 1 0 27
1980-1981 8 0 4 1 0 13
1981-1982 2 0 3 2 0 7

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Started/substitutions
73 Started
5 Substitute
Total Competition
55 League
9 League Cup
8 European Cup
6 FA Cup
Total Goal minute period
14 1-15 minutes
14 16-30 minutes
9 31-45 minutes
10 61-75 minutes
17 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
78 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 21.08.1976 Norwich City Anfield League
50 21.01.1978 Birmingham City Anfield League
100 15.09.1979 Leeds United Elland Road League
150 23.08.1980 Leicester City Filbert Street League
200 07.11.1981 Everton Anfield League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 75 28.08.1976 Birmingham City St Andrews League
50 65 05.01.1980 Grimsby Town Anfield FA Cup

Related Articles

I lived the dream with derby winners for Liverpool and Everton

Story by James Pearce for Liverpool.com on Sep 25, 2008. More

David Johnson coming home

From the Daily Mirror on 13 August 1976.More

Chelsea hand out the punishment

Daily Mail report on Chelsea – Liverpool 4-2 on 9 January 1978.More

Reds' away fans teach pub guard dogs a lesson!

Most Liverpool fans have a story to tell about one away game or another - mine comes from right at the very start of the 1983-84 season.More

Related Quotes

"It was the most satisfying night of my European career. It meant so much to be after being on the bench in '77 and on crutches in '78. This time I actually played, and for the whole 90 minutes too."

David Johnson on the European Cup final in 1981

"That was thanks to Terry Mac. In those days a dressing room was a dressing room, there wasn't all the mod cons that are there now, so you took your own bag in there with all your own shaving gear, shampoo, hair brush and stuff like that. Well I always used to suffer from a sore throat, so there was usually strepsils or tunes or some sort of potion in my bag, and everyone used to go to my bag to use my gear - no-one ever brought their own, they just used to use mine - and Terry Mac went in there one time and took out all these pills and stuff, and said "it's like a flipping doctors bag' or words to that effect" he laughs - no doubt at the mere suggestion of Terry Mac using the word 'flipping' - "and after that it just stuck. Even Joe Fagan and Ronnie Moran took the mickey, and if we were travelling away anywhere they'd always give me all the headache tablets and things and if anyone had anything wrong with them they'd always come to me."

David Johnson on his nickname - Doc

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Everton 1970-1971 England First Division 10 1 12 1
Everton 1971-1972 England First Division 27 9 32 11
Everton 1972-1973 England First Division 12 1 13 1
Ipswich Town 1972-1973 England First Division 27 7 33 8
Ipswich Town 1973-1974 England First Division 40 13 54 15
Ipswich Town 1974-1975 England First Division 35 9 48 15
Ipswich Town 1975-1976 England First Division 35 6 43 8
Everton 1982-1983 England First Division 31 3 35 4
Everton 1983-1984 England First Division 9 1 10 1
Barnsley 1984 England Second Division 4 1 4 1
Manchester City 1984 England Second Division 6 1 6 1
Tulsa Roughnecks 1984 NASL 17 4 17 4
Preston North End 1984-1985 England Third Division 24 3 28 5
Barrow 1985 Alliance Premier League 21 3 25 5
Naxxar Lions 1985- Malta N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total 298 62 360 80
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