A Leeds lad, Rod Johnson was another yet another talented player
who couldn't quite make the breakthrough into the first team at a
time when they were playing such great football. After just 30
games in 6 years, Johnson dropped down to the lower divisions where
he enjoyed some success with 3 Yorkshire clubs. He had a brief
spell in the NASL with Chicago Sting in the mid 1970s.
Darryl Johnson says: He's my cousin and just to fill in your
England query. He played for England just once at Amateur level
against Scotland aged 17 in 1962 at Peterborough. David Pleat, then
of Nottingham Forest, played in the same team. I think the result
was 4-2 to England but I'm not sure even though I was there. I was
only 14 or so and more interested in the pies. You might be
interested to know that Rod scored and was also stretchered off on
his league debut at the age of 17. He was selected to replace the
great John Charles who was injured. The match was at Swansea and
Rod was clobbered by an aging ex-England goalie Reg Matthews as he
scored. As a schoolboy he scored over 70 goals in his under 15s
season with Cow Close School and Leeds City Boys and was a
contemporary of Paul Reaney and Paul Madeley. He was an excellent
ball player and goal-poacher of the Michael Owen variety,
relatively short but well balanced and quick over a short distance.
A combination of ill-timed injuries and temperament difficulties
obstructed what could have been a more distinguished career. But
then I am biased.
Brett Norman says: he is currently helping Ray Norman (Manager
of Emley Academy) with Coaching the strikers
Darryl Johnson says: Correction: Apparently I've slandered Mr
Matthews who wasn't keeping goal in the match at Swansea. Rod was
flattened by a goalie call Dwyer and sometime after he scored his
debut goal. Sorry Reg. Funny how the memory plays these tricks.
Still, it was 41 years ago!