Aussie Craig Johnston: The Man Behind Football Boots

In all sports, there will be an individual that is responsible for pioneering the entire face of the game. Yes, even in football, there was a football star that operated behind Beckham and basically allowed Beckham to bend it ‘like a Beckham’. That athlete is Craig Johnston. He was not liked by everyone, that is true. People did not see him as the definition of football, however, he did invent the Predator football boots that were worn by the likes of Zidane and Beckham. Although Johnston, Beckham and Zidane have pretty much retired, their memory still lives on and you can often find that many betting hotspots like have successfully built their football facilities, due to the sporting stars making an impression on fans. Being passionate about football also means to be passionate about football betting!
The Adidas Predator boot. Released in 1994, it became the biggest choice of footwear in the industry. The design apparently came to Johnston, when he was coaching youths some football in Australia, there they complained about how the leather boots slipped on the grass, due to not being made of rubber. Even though he retired from the premier league at 27, football was still everything that he could think about, and what better way to keep the dream alive then invented the next “it” boot for all the football players to buy and wear.
Johnston did have to tinker the boot and make sure it was a feasible design, however he first initially trialled it out by taking the rubber off his tennis bat and putting it around his existing boots with an elastic band to keep it into place. After making sure that it works and fully helps with resistance against the grass, he decided it was time to show the boot to the big bosses in Adidas. It took some time and convincing, as his first showing/presentation was a complete fluke and did not impress Adidas at all. It was not until he sought connections within his football network, by the likes of the football stars from Bayern Munich (Beckenbauer, Rummingge and Breitner), that he eventually managed to win over Adidas. They helped him with the video representation and of course by wearing the boots themselves as a perfect example of how the boots work wonders for football players like themselves and Johnston.
After a video promo made by Craig, it was only then that Adidas were really convinced, however still to this day, he says that if it was not for the Bayern players helping him with his video promo, he probably would not have got very far, as Adidas rejected him at the beginning. Once the idea was accepted, Johnston then went through the process for allocating a name to the concept, assigning the task to Simon Skirrow. He came up with the idea of Predators.
Johnston said that despite his bad reputation (we still do not know why), this was probably the biggest thing he ever made out of his football career. He worked tirelessly to get people, football critics, etc. to like him, and we suppose at one point he was, as he would have never indeed that £570k move to Liverpool in the 1980’s would he? 
Coming from a background of ill health as a child, Johnston has always said he wanted to prove things to himself and running on a football pitch was a way of doing that for himself, after nearly having his leg amputated as a child and losing 8 months of his life, with no activity and sport-which he loved. Nevertheless, people could say that he was an ambitious man regardless and the fact he gave up everything career wise, to look after his sister back in Australia, we definitely rate him for that even more. Maybe the entire boot luck came as a way of the universe paying him back for such a selfless act.
All kids in the 90’s who loved football and wanted to bend the ball like Beckham, had one Aussie ex-football player to thank for that, and yes Craig Johnston was the name and reason!

Written by Alan Spencer


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