The Encylopedia of British Football

George Johnson

George Johnson was born in West Bromwich on 11th November 1871. He played local football for Wrockwardine Wood before joining West Bromwich Albion in May 1895. He made his debut for the first-team against Grimsby Town in the FA Cup second round replay on 20th February 1896. In his book, The Who's Who of WBA, Tony Matthews describes Johnson as "a thoughtful and aggressive forward who was equally at home in any of the three central positions." However, after only scoring one goal in three appearances he was sold to Walsall.

Johnson scored 23 goals in 55 games for his new club and in April 1898 he was sold to Aston Villa for £300. He joined a team that included forwards of the quality of George Wheldon, John Devey, Billy Garraty, Charlie Athersmith, John Cowan and Stephen Smith. Despite the competition Johnson played in 24 league games that season. He rewarded the club with scoring nine goals and Villa won the First Division title that season.

Aston Villa confirmed it was the best club in England during the 1890s when it won the First Division championship the following season. This was their fifth league title in seven years. However, Johnson only played in nine games that season. He scored 5 goals that year but could not displace the three main strikers: Billy Garraty (27), John Devey (13) and George Wheldon (11).

Johnson replaced George Wheldon in the first team in the 1900-01 season. He scored 9 goals in 21 league games but Aston Villa could only finish in 15th place that year.

The good form of Billy Garraty, Joe Bache and Harry Hampton made it difficult for Johnson to gain a regular place in the first-team over the next few years. A serious injury in December 1904 brought an end to his career. During his time at Aston Villa Johnson scored 47 goals in 110 appearances.

George Johnson died in Walsall in May 1934.