On 30 November 1937, 21 year old Lochgelly Albert inside-right, John Wilson, signed for Celtic. Scouts from several senior clubs, believed to include Arsenal and Manchester United, had watched the former Blairhall Colliery forward, who, before signing for Celtic had rejected an ‘attractive offer’ from an unnamed English side. That forenoon he had taken part in a trial game at Parkhead and his ‘form was so good that Manager Willie Maley lost no time in signing him’.
Wilson was a member of the Celtic reserve side that won the Alliance League in 1938.
Wilson signed for Chesterfield on 17 May 1939. Chelsea were also interested in his signature but manager, Willie Birrell, was too late in making an offer. Instead, Wilson became Chesterfield’s fourth new signing of the 1939-40 season. Described as ‘22 years of age and stand[ing] 5ft. 8in. He is a native of Blairhall, Fifeshire, and at one time played for the Scottish junior team Lochgelly Albert … He has plenty of that type of skill peculiar to the Scots with a fair turn of speed as well’.
During the war years he played for Blantyre Victoria and was a member of the side which lost to Glasgow Perthshire in the 1944 Scottish Junior Cup final. He also guested for Dunfermline, Hamilton, Berwick Rangers, Dundee United, and captained Cowdenbeath in 1945-46.
Following the war, he returned to Chesterfield before transferring to Oldham and Accrington Stanley. He later managed Blairhall Juniors for some twenty years. Johnnie Wilson died on 2 November 2010, aged 94.
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