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PersonalFullname: George Johnstone
Born: 15 Dec 1914
Died: 11 Sep 1974
Birthplace: Caldercruix (Lanarkshire)
Signed: Aug 1940 (loan)
Debut: Celtic 2-2 Hamilton Accies, Regional League, 10 Aug 1940
BiogAberdeen goalkeeper George Johnstone was a wartime loan signing who played 37 appearances for the Bhoys. By trade he was trader and had previously played against Celtic in the Scottish Cup final of 1937.
He joined Celtic in August 1940 and made his debut on August 10th in a 2-2 Regional League draw at home to Hamilton Academicals. Manger Willie McStay wanted him as soon as he took the job, but Aberdeen relented late.
He inspired Celtic in the Glasgow Cup final at Ibrox in Sep 1940. A great win, and significant as one of the few triumphs for Celtic in the otherwise disastrous war years for the club.
In one match v Rangers, when he came off he asked the opposition playerJimmy Smith: "Why don't you leave the goalkeeper alone? It doesn't do you any good."
In reply the Hun retorted: "I don't like goalkeepers - especially Celtic ones!". You can read into that as you like.
Having played in every league game the Caldercruix-born keeper departed Celtic Park after a bonus row. He charged the club with breach of contract over bonus money in Sep 1941. Bizarrely, Celtic were fined and then threw George's case out the window! His reaction was so forthright (unsurprisingly) and he was brought back to the chamber to repeat his thoughts. He was subsequently suspended sine die until he apologised on 7th Mar 1942.
He returned to the Dons, but we had the great Willie Miller to come in goals for us. Maybe without George's departure that may not have come into being, so both sides benefitted with George's departure.
In fairness, George was ever present for Celtic at a difficult time and helped us to a cup victory. That we should respect when we reflect back on the service he gave us at a very difficult time for the club and society as the war went on.
He was to become a favourite keeper of the Aberdeen support, appearing in the two Scottish Cup finals and a League Cup win. He moved on to Dunfermline in 1949 and then Raith Rovers.
|APPEARANCES||REGIONAL LEAGUE|| SCOTTISH |
|REGIONAL LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
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