Player profile

Johnny Wheeler

Johnny Wheeler

Birthdate: 26 July 1928
Birthplace: Crosby, Liverpool, England
Other clubs: Tranmere Rovers (1944-51), Bolton Wanderers (1951-56)
Bought from: Bolton Wanderers
Signed for LFC: £9,000, 07.09.1956
International debut: 02.10.1954 vs. Northern Ireland
International caps: 1/0
Liverpool debut: 15.09.1956
Last appearance: 09.12.1961
Debut goal: 13.10.1956
Last goal: 31.03.1961
Contract expiry: May 1963
Win ratio: 52.54% W:93 D:37 L:47
Games/goals ratio: 7.7
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 8 / 2
LFC league games/goals: 164 / 21
Total LFC games/goals: 177 / 23

Player profile

A right-sided midfielder who was strong in tackle, had a good engine and was dangerous in attack. The 28-year-old was already an experienced player before arriving at Anfield, having played 101 League games for Tranmere in Third Division North and from 1951 to 1956, just over 200 games for first division Bolton. Wheeler played in the famous "Matthews final" in the FA Cup in 1953 which Bolton lost 4-3 after leading 3-1, due to Blackpool's Stanley Matthews' brilliance on the day. Liverpool manager, Phil Taylor, told the Daily Mail of his first big signing for the club: “I played against Johnny a number of times, and was always impressed by his forceful personality and fine club spirit. He is a man who will play anywhere.” Taylor put Wheeler's wealth of experience to good use as Liverpool tried to get promoted from the Second Division and made him club captain in the 1958/59 season. Wheeler was a versatile player who normally played at wing-half but many of his early appearances for Liverpool came as an inside-forward, including the remarkable day against Port Vale early in November 1956 when, after Billy Liddell had equalised Vale's first-half goal, Wheeler scored one of the fastest hat-tricks ever recorded, his goals coming in the 81st, 82nd and 85th minute.

During the 1960/61 season Wheeler had to share the No. 4 shirt with the young Gordon Milne. By the start of the following season Wheeler was out of the first-team picture altogether and was only selected for one more League game, covering for left-half Tommy Leishman when Plymouth Argyle visited Anfield on 9 December 1961. Wheeler was appointed player-manager of New Brighton in May 1963, but did not take up the post, becoming assistant-trainer at Bury instead where he stayed until 1969.

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 164 10 3 0 0 177
1956-1957 28 1 0 0 0 29
1957-1958 38 5 0 0 0 43
1958-1959 41 1 0 0 0 42
1959-1960 29 2 0 0 0 31
1960-1961 27 1 3 0 0 31
1961-1962 1 0 0 0 0 1
1962-1963 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
10 Bristol Rovers
9 Sheffield United
9 Swansea City
9 Stoke City
9 Lincoln City
9 Leyton Orient
9 Huddersfield Town
7 Middlesbrough
7 Charlton Athletic
7 Rotherham United
6 Fulham
6 Cardiff City
6 Barnsley
5 Grimsby Town
5 Bristol City
5 Derby
5 Ipswich Town
5 Sunderland
4 Plymouth Argyle
4 Brighton & Hove Albion
3 Scunthorpe United
3 Portsmouth
3 Southend
3 Blackburn Rovers
2 West Ham United
2 Nottingham Forest
2 Leeds United
2 Southampton
2 Luton Town
2 Norwich City
2 Doncaster Rovers
2 Sheffield Wednesday
2 Port Vale
2 Aston Villa
2 Notts County
1 Worcester City
1 Hull City
1 Northampton Town
1 Manchester United
1 Coventry City
1 Bury
1 Leicester City
Total Competition
164 League
10 FA Cup
3 League Cup

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 21 2 0 0 0 23
1956-1957 10 1 0 0 0 11
1957-1958 5 0 0 0 0 5
1958-1959 1 0 0 0 0 1
1959-1960 2 1 0 0 0 3
1960-1961 3 0 0 0 0 3
1961-1962 0 0 0 0 0 0
1962-1963 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Competition
21 League
2 FA Cup
Total Goal minute period
3 1-15 minutes
4 16-30 minutes
4 31-45 minutes
3 46-60 minutes
4 61-75 minutes
5 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
23 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 15.09.1956 Stoke City Anfield League
50 25.12.1957 Grimsby Town Blundell Park League
100 14.02.1959 Cardiff City Ninian Park League
150 01.10.1960 Derby Anfield League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 7 13.10.1956 Bristol City Ashton Gate League

Related Articles

Wheeler inspires a fight-back

The Daily Express report on Liverpool - Derby County on 06.04.1960. More

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Tranmere Rovers 1948-1949 England Third Division North 34 0 35 0
Tranmere Rovers 1949-1950 England Third Division North 41 2 43 3
Tranmere Rovers 1950-1951 England Third Division North 26 7 28 8
Bolton Wanderers 1950-1951 England First Division 34 1 34 1
Bolton Wanderers 1951-1952 England First Division 41 4 42 4
Bolton Wanderers 1952-1953 England First Division 26 3 34 3
Bolton Wanderers 1953-1954 England First Division 34 6 38 6
Bolton Wanderers 1954-1955 England First Division 41 3 43 3
Bolton Wanderers 1955-1956 England First Division 26 1 27 1
Total 303 27 324 29
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