Green & White Cult Heroes – Terry Johnson

Screen Shot 2021-02-17 at 09.35.30Certain names are synonymous with specific events in the history of this great club.
Upon hearing the name; Terry Johnson
your instantly taken back to the famous events of 1977/78.

Terry joined the Spartans in July 1977 with a pedigree of over 250 Football League appearances.
He would never have imagined that stepping down into part time football would propel him to a level of fame far greater than his years in the professional game.

However, but for the sake of having a passport it could have been a very different career for one of the most legendary Spartans ever.

IMG_6751Born 30th August 1949 in Benton, Newcastle Terry had started playing for his school team and then South East Northumberland Boys when he was spotted by United.
Playing for United’s Under 18 teams he signed as a professional aged 17; on exactly the same day Dave Clarke signed for United.

Terry played for United’s Junior and Central League teams, he was top scorer with 34 goals in his first season playing in the Central League and was highly rated by the club’s coaching staff.
IMG_4916He had been training with the first team since the start of the 68/69 season.
Having impressed the management, he was part of the travelling party for the  4-1 win at Ipswich on 12th October 68.
He was then named as a sub for the 0-1 defeat at Stoke City on 7th December 68, but never got on despite United needing a goal.
On 21st December Terry was again included in the party to travel down to London for the QPR game but this time missed out on being named as a sub for the 1-1 draw in which his Reserve team strike partner Alan Foggon scored.

Joe Harvey and his management team had finally planned to give Terry his big break, United were due to play in Spain in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup 3rd Round on New Years Day 1969.
NO PASSPORTBeing picked ahead of £75,000 summer signing Jackie Sinclair for the 1st Leg tie at Real Zaragoza was his big opportunity.
But there was one very big snag, 19 year Terry didn’t have a passport!

Club officials tried get him one but due to the time of year and the quick turn needed it couldn’t happen in time.
Heartbreakingly he had to stay behind in Newcastle while Sinclair took his place on the plane to Spain.IMG_6754
That was as close as he ever got to breaking into the first team, despite being a first team squad member for the 69/70 season he never got a look in.

In October 1969 Hartlepool boss Angus McLean approached Joe Harvey about taking Terry on loan. While United were open to the deal, Terry was not so keen to join the 4th Division side: “I’m afraid I just didn’t fancy the set up down there. I’ve decided to make this my make-or-break season at Newcastle, so I’m staying put until the end of the season at least”, he told The Newcastle Journal.
TJ to Darlo loan 11:11:69A month on and Joe Harvey felt Terry needed the experience he would gain from a loan playing in the Football League. TJ Darlo loan
With a continued lack of first team opportunities, on 11th November he finally agreed to go out on loan and spent November at Darlington.
He played four games for Ray Yoeman’s Fourth Division side scoring once.

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 11.04.46Now the owner of a passport, he was included in the squad for United’s end season tour of North America & Canada.
Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 11.06.28It proved a great success for Terry, he got games on the three week tour and even scored in the 4-3 win over Vancouver Spartans on 18th May.
Off the back of that successful tour he felt his chance would come in new the season, but again it never happened despite continuing to impress for the Reserves.
He could only watch on at the thought of what could have been as his Reserve team strike partner Alan Foggon carved out first team career.

In January 1971 Newcastle’s management decided to ‘have clear’ out and made it known they were open to offers for several players.
Unsurprisingly Terry was one of them, in his last season he scored 15 Central League goals but his time as a Newcastle player ended in frustration.
He received yellow cards in three consecutive games, it led to a £25 fine a two week suspended sentence and being ordered to take a referee’s course on the rules of the game!

SUFC MoveUnited were not short of offers for their players and Terry was on the radar of an unlikely Fourth Division club.
All time record goalscorer in English League football, Arthur Rowley was enduring a tough time as Southend manager and was on the look out for talented young hungry players and had been tipped off about Terry.

TJ SUFCOn Tuesday 19th January Rowley drove up to Wolverhampton to watch Terry play for United’s reserves, despite the 0-2 defeat he was suitably impressed with the 21 year old.
Rowley arrived in Newcastle on 26th January to meet the two players he wanted, Terry and wing half Dave Elliott.
While Elliott asked for time to visit the area before making a decision, there was no such hesitation from Terry.
TJ NUFC to SUFC Jan 71Having taken advice from the legendary Jackie Milburn he had already decided to leave and forge a career elsewhere, accepting the move straight away with a £7,000 fee being agreed between the clubs.

A move down to Essex to play for a club struggling near the foot of the Fourth Division may have seemed a strange choice for someone born and brought up on Tyneside but it proved an inspired one.
SUF DebutTerry and he was an instant hit, three days after signing, Friday 29th January, he was handed his debut. IMG_6728
He instantly delivered scoring the winner in the 1-0 win over York City at Roots Hall.
He played in their final 21 games of the season scoring 8 goals as United climbed to safety with a 17th place finish.
Screenshot 2021-02-18 at 07.12.18
Having missed out on a foreign adventure a year and half earlier, July 1971 provided Terry with a taste of European football but the destination was a surprise. Southend officials arranged a pre season tour of the Soviet Union!
TJ SUFC 2They played four games against Soviet teams and in return Shahkter Donesk would visit England in the November to help cover the cost of the trip behind the Iron Curtain.
The tour was a success despite losing all four games but Terry did become the only ever Southend United player to score in the Soviet Union, in the 1-2 defeat to FC Metallurg Lipetsk on 31st July.

  • Come the November when Shahktar were due in England the political landscape had changed. United officials had arranged for them to also play St Johnstone, Oxford & Bristol City but a week before they were due they cancelled the tour.
    An embargo had been placed on all sporting & cultural visitors to Britain so United officials were left out of pocket and unable to recoup anything from the summer trip to the Soviet Union.

SUFC promotionThe 1971/72 season proved to be a great one for the club, Terry was a virtual ever present playing as a winger scoring vital goals as they finished Runners Up and gained the club’s first ever promotion.
The step up a Division didn’t prove an issue as Terry rose to the challenge, they finished a comfortable 14th. He was awarded Player of the Year for his performances in 72/73.

In November 74 Terry was the subject of an approach by long time admirers Brentford.
Having been promoted to Division Three with United in 72 the Bees hadn’t fared as well and were relegated the following season.
They knew all about Terry’s abilities from that season United had pipped them to Runners Up spot by a single point.
TJ to BFCBees boss Mike Everitt had agreed the £15,000 transfer but Terry had to decided if he wanted to drop down a league. Eventually he felt a change was needed, after all he’d achieved with the Shrimpers he’d surprisingly become the target of barracking by some of the fans.

Once again he scored on his debut, 16th November 74 he scored the second in a 2-3 defeat at Hartlepool United.
He would score another seven in his 30 appearances that season as they finished 8th under new manager John Docherty.
1975/76 saw a strong start to the season, they won three and drew three of the first six league matches of the season.
They advanced to the League Cup 2nd Round only to lose to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Terry scored 14 in his 46 appearances, he was second top goal scorer and made the second highest number of appearances although they finished in 18th, just 3 points about the re-election zone.

IMG_4911Football wise the move proved a good one, moving to live in Greater London less so. In February 76 he asked to be placed on the transfer list with the view to hopefully moving closer to home.
Terry, his wife and young daughter were living in a club owned house, they had wanted their own property but simply couldn’t afford one.
Having started on a basic wage of £45 per week, he had asked for a £5 wage rise at the end of his first season but that was refused, having only been at the club eight months he accepted the decision.

At the end of a good 75/76 season, Terry felt in a stronger position so asked for a pay rise. Bees flamboyant Yugoslavian Chairman, Dan Tana informed him that he had wanted to give all his players a £15 pw rise but the club were only allowed to give them a £6 rise due to government restrictions!

76/77 started three consecutive defeats, he scored the clubs first goal of the campaign in the 2-2 draw at home to Doncaster Rovers on 4th September. He also scored in the first win on 18th September as they beat Southport 3-0.
100% pensFrom a wide midfield birth he scored 8 in 25 appearances, with 3 penalties he had a 100% record from the spot.
On the 11th December Brentford played Colchester away in an FA Cup tie, it led to Terry being ruled out for eight weeks.
On a frozen Layer Road pitch he fell and broke his arm, after being subbed the game was then abandoned due to the deteriorating icy conditions!
After eight weeks in a cast he returned to first team action on 22nd February and duly scored the opening goal in a 3-0 home win over Rochdale.

Rochdale were also the opposition in what would proved to be Terry’s last ever game as a professional on Saturday 14th May 1977, the Bee’s won 3-2.
His last ever goal as a pro came on the ground he first played a Football League game some 7 years earlier when he scored in the 2-2 draw with Darlington at Feethams on 2nd April 77.

At the end of the season the family went away on holiday, after discussions with wife while on holiday he decided to call time on his professional career. They decided to move back up North, having become homesick due to the struggle to live down south.
In July upon returning from holiday he spoke with his manager Bill Dodgin and informed him of his decision.
In a last attempt to keep his midfielder Dodgin then offered him a new wage of £65 per week from the £51 he had been on, but it was too late his decision was made.
Dodgin understood his feelings and the families situation that had led to the decision.
left BFCKnowing he was still under contract Terry feared Dodgin may be somewhat annoyed, even vindictive when he asked if he would be allowed to play for a local side. Terry was grateful of his managers understanding whole of the situation, they agreed on the provision they kept his registration. 
In an interview with the Brentford Gazette and Post
Terry explained:
“After three years of struggling on the wages, I felt it was just hopeless and decided to quit. With a wife and young daughter to support I just couldn’t manage it. We were in a club house, but wanted to buy our own place, and there was no chance down here on those wages, I couldn’t carry on living on the wages”.

On 14th July the Gazette and Post broke the news that Terry had ‘quit’ the club and was already back in the North East and about to take up a job as an assistant manager at a chemical warehouse.
The Spartans swooped and signed him straight away after coach Jackie Marks heard from a contact that Terry was back home.
Chairman Jim Turney then had to negotiate with Brentford officials the legalities of him still being their contracted and registered player and playing part time for the another club.
After lengthy discussions a deal was struck deal that allowed Terry to play but only because Blyth were a part time club.

IMG_6737He made his debut in the friendly against Berwick Rangers on Friday 5th August and scored his first goal 4 days later in the 5-2 home friendly win over Wallsend Town.
The first competitive goal as a Spartan came on Tuesday 13th September when Blyth beat Shildon 4-1 at home in the league.
Four days later he scored a second half goal in the 3-0 win at Shildon in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round, little did he know then what a further six goals in the competition would do.

Former club Brentford had been monitoring his form and it wasn’t long before they made an attempt to bring him back. Prior to Blyth’s FA Cup 2nd Round tie with Chesterfield he had gone to watch his former Bees teammates play at Darlington and was spotted in the stand by club officials who informed their Chairman. Bees official approached him but he wasn’t interested:
“There is now way I shall turn my back on Blyth with the FA Cup tie coming up”.

Johnson 3-2By the time Blyth played Stoke City away in a delayed FA Cup 4th round tie he had scored another 10 goals.
Of all the teams and grounds to cemented his cult hero status, his performance at Stoke City’s Victoria Ground was somewhat cathartic given his last visit in December 68 with Newcastle.
All his experience was clear to see in the final seconds of a tie, latching onto a loose ball he unerringly fired home a sensational winner.
The dramatic goal in the epic 3-2 win saw Blyth become the first Non league club to reach the 5th Round for 29 years.
Terry revealed that while the Stoke players may not have underestimated Blyth their attempted gamesmanship towards them only inspired the Spartans. His exchange with footballing legend Howard Kendall after they had taken a 2-1 lead was a prime example:
“Howard Kendall came up to me and said, never mind son, you’ve done really well to get this far!
He was so bloody condescending. You should have seen his face when we got the equaliser, and when I belted in the winner I gave him the two fingers, the look on his face”.

Being part time it was straight back to work the next morning, with the team not not gettingScreenshot 2021-02-19 at 07.30.45 home until 2.30am in morning he was up at 7.30am to drive to his work.
It wasn’t until after putting in a day at work the players were able to celebrate their achievements at the Croft Park social club where a party was thrown.
IMG_6791Having taken a job as a storeman at  the Jackel factory in Blyth the press wanted a photo of the hero at his place of work.
The players lapped up all the attention of this once in a lifetime opportunity, Terry was even invited on the BBC’s Football Focus show to talk about the cup run and his heroics at Stoke.
That win had also brought the players an unlikely reward. Terry’s goals as a professional had won him awards but had never furniture! 
Local bedroom furniture company Alpha gifted all the Blyth players £1,000 each worth of furniture their efforts at Stoke.

While Terry was scoring at Stoke a result elsewhere denied him and Blyth their dream cup tie. Prior to kick off the clubs knew the next round opponents were either Newcastle United or Wrexham away, the Welsh side hammered United 4-1.
Terry knew the home ground of the inform Welsh side, he had scored on the Racecourse Ground on 17th February 73 in Southend’s 2-3 league defeat.

5 years on he repeated the feat scoring one of Blyth Spartans most iconic goals ever.Screen Shot 2021-02-16 at 15.40.51Only 12 minutes into the 5th Round tie on Saturday 18th February he famously fired Blyth into a lead that put them within seconds of the FA Cup Quarter Finals.
What happened in the final few seconds of the game has be debated countless times since with the tie controversially going to a replay.

With St James’ Park being due to stage the replay, Terry was faced with a return for the first times since his release seven years earlier. Still bitter at not being given the chance he felt he had earned, despite being a Newcastle fan he hadn’t been to the ground since:
“I’ve never been back, not even to watch a game I just wanted to stay away.”

78 playersOn Saturday 21st February 78, Terry finally made a return to St James’. Blyth manager Brian Slane contacted United officials to ask if his players could visit the St James’ before the game to get a feel for the ground. United’s hieracy went one better and invited the Blyth players & officials to be guests of honour at the home game with Ipswich on Saturday 21st February.

IMG_6900Having featured on the cover of Brentford’s programme for the 76/77 season, once again he was graced a match day programme. Replay prog
The iconic ‘official souvenir programme’ for the St James’ ParkScreenshot 2021-03-12 at 07.35.28 replay featured only three of the Spartans heroes; Terry, Dave Clarke & Ron Guthrie.
Fittingly, having started their careers together at Newcastle United as young pro’s they were chosen to feature on the cover of the famous programme for big game.

SJP CrowdOn the night of the legendary replay, Terry was the darling of the packed St James’ Park crowd that he had once worked so hard to play in front of.
42,157 saw another incident packed game, the epic cup run sadly come to an end but it was some what fitting that Terry scored the last goal of the run with it coming at St James’ Park.
Terry was in a rich vain of form, that replay at SJP was the sixth consecutive game he had scored in, the 8 goals in 6 games which was his best return since joining the club.

Picture 3After a decade of trying to make a name for himself in the professional game with only moderate success in the lower reaches of the Football League, after only 28 games as a part time player he had achieved national fame.
League teams were queuing up to speak to the Blyth players.
Both his former clubs made approaches but he was enjoying his football and was more than happy at Blyth.

It had brought him a hero worship status that he was enjoying:
“I have to say I love being recognised and stopped in the street by kids, mums and dads, grandmas and grandads. I enjoyed having my picture in the papers and seeing myself score goals on television.
Do I miss the league? Sometimes I wish I was still playing in it, I know I can hold my own.
But if I has stayed at Brentford would have missed all this magic.”

He won his first silverware as a Spartans and it came back at St James’ Park of all places.
On Tuesday 2nd May 78 he scored again on St James’ Park as Blyth beat North Shields 2-1 in the Northumberland Senior Cup Final.
His second half winner sealed his first medal for Blyth and within a week he had another, on Tuesday 9th May he added a Northern League Cup winners medal as the Spartans hammered Willington 5-1.
In between the two finals he hit his first hat trick for the club as they hammered League Champions Spennymoor 6-1 in the final league game of the season.

Saturday 13th May Blyth headed to Wrexham again for the 1st Leg of the Debenhams Cup Final.
Terry made it 3 goals in 3 appearances at The Racecourse Ground when he fired Blyth ahead in the 5th minute. Unfortunately by the time Dave Varty sealed the 2-1 win in the 72nd minute Terry had been subbed due to a hamstring injury.
He recovered in time to play in the 2nd leg five days later but again had to be subbed in the 70th minute of the 1-1 draw after the injury flared up again.
The draw sealed the 3-2 aggregate win and his 3rd winners medals in 13 days to round off a superb debut season with the club.

Screenshot 2021-02-26 at 07.12.30He started the new 78/79 season in great style, Saturday 19th August he hit a hat trick in the open day 5-1 home win over Horden CW. His next goals also came in a 5-1 win, bagging a brace in the home win over Willington on Tuesday 29th August.
The FA Cup came around once again in November 78, Blyth were drawn away to 4th Division York City in the 1st Round. He scored from the penalty spot to earn a 1-1 draw at Bootham Crescent but then suffered a broke toe which forced him out of the replay three days later.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 09.59.34By the time he returned to action on the 22nd January his strike partner Alan Shoulder had sealed a dream move to Newcastle United and manager Brian Slane had retired.
The promotion of Jackie Marks from coach/assistant to team manager kept the continuity and Terry thrived under the man who had brought him to the club. Playing alongside new signing the Les Mutrie he scored six goals as they finished the season with a 15 game unbeaten run that saw another medal added to his growing collection when they retained the League Cup.

Screenshot 2021-02-27 at 20.30.00The 79/80 campaign was the start of the worst run of injuries he’d ever had in the game.
A bizarre incident in the final seconds of a pre season friendly against a works football team led to him suffering a career threatening eye injury.
In the win against York British Rail at Croft Park on Saturday 4th August, his shot rebound off their keeper and hit him in the face damaging his right eye, he was rushed to hospital in Newcastle.
After his release and return home he revealed to the Evening Chronicle that his career was on the line:
“I have seen a special, who has warned me that if I play football in the next three or four weeks  – and assuming I took a knot on the head – I could go blind. I’m told the right retina has gone thin.
It’s now just a question of waiting to see what happens. I’ve got to wait for a month to see how things go – and even then I’m not certain if I’ll play again”.

He didn’t get the all clear until mid October and made his return as sub in the last 20 minutes of a 3-0 League Cup win over Penrith on Tuesday 23rd October. Four days later he returned the to the starting XI for the 1-1 draw with Billingham.
Only week later the injury curse struck again when he broke his leg in a 2-2 home draw with Marine in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round on Saturday 3rd November.

Screenshot 2021-02-27 at 20.32.08After 12 months of injury misery in January 1980 he decided it was time to quit the game, sadly the competition that had made him famous had ended his career.
Despite recovering for the broken leg, now aged 30 he felt the timing of his decision was right:
“It was a very difficult decision to make, but it is the right one. I’m mending well now but i think it is about time I concentrated my energies on the firm I work for”.

Now the stores manager at Jackel International he acknowledged their part in his success:
“If it wasn’t for their understanding I wouldn’t have been able to do as much for Blyth Spartans. I’ve enjoyed myself and if you asked me for the most memorable goal I scored, then I’ve got to pick the one that won us the 4th Round cup tie at Stoke”.

While working hard on his recovery he kept in touch with manager and friend Jackie Marks, and attended training session to get his fitness back.Screenshot 2021-02-27 at 20.35.21
In March 1980 Blyth had fought their way to the Quarter Finals of the FA Trophy but had a growing injury list.
With a home replay against Northern Premier League side Mossley two days away Jackie Marks didn’t want to risk further injuries for the Saturday league game against Durham City.
With the club still having Terry contracted until the end of the 80/81 season the SOS call was made.
Along with fellow striker Paul Ross, who had damaged his knee liagments only a fortnight after Terry had, they were asked if they were up to playing a game.

It proved a shrewd move by Marks, playing in a midfield birth he’d not played since his Brentford days Terry bagged two goals in the 4-0 win. Speaking about is first goals for the Spartans since May 79:
“I had a great time, I decided to go out and enjoy myself and i did just that – with two goals into the bargain”.

Screenshot 2021-02-27 at 20.27.10Ahead of the FA Trophy Quarter Final replay, The Journal’s reporter Bill Bradshaw quizzed Terry on his future plans:
“Initially, I was just doing them a favour and I had certainly decided to not play again any more and concentrate on my job. But that’s easier said than done. Football isn’t something I can turn my back on. I’ve kept fit training with the Blyth lads and playing five-a-side matches. Football’s been a big part of my life and when Blyth had injury problems I was delight to turn out for them”.

Terry kept his midfield place for the replay but Mossley proved too good on the night and Blyth’s Wembley dream ended for another season.
He went on to win his first league winners medal that season as Jackie Marks side stormed to the clubs first Northern League title since 1976, ending the three year reign of rivals Spennymoor.

Now established in a midfield role the new 80/81 season started disappointingly. Not only did Blyth surprisingly lose the opening game 0-2 at home to Consett, Terry picked up an achilles tendon injury that kept him out for a month.
IMG_6850He returned to action on 17th September as Blyth were in the middle of a 17 game unbeaten run and is first goal of the season came in the 1-1 draw at home to Crook Town on 23rd September.
By the time the club entered the FA Cup on 1st November with a 7-0 hammering of Horden, Terry had been appointed team captain. A 2-1 1st Round win over Burton Albion saw Blyth draw Hull City away in the 2nd Round. Three epic cup ties that ended with a narrow defeat in a 2nd replay played at Elland Road.
That night saw another of Terry’s teammates make the step up to league football when Les Mutrie signed for Hull straight after the game.

The end of 80/81 season brought him a trophy double as they retained the Northern League title and he also made another another appearance at St James’ Park.IMG_6849
The Senior Cup Final with Blue Star ended 1-1 and had to go to a replay at Whitley Bay, Terry opening the scoring in a 3-1 win that sealed the double.
However that isn’t the end of the drama, hours after the win the man who had brought Terry to Blyth Jackie Marks, stepped down as manager.

Experienced Northern League manager and former Blyth player Bob Elwell was appointed for what was a stop start season for Terry.
He scored in the first game of the season but after being a fixture in the managers new side he suffered another achilles injury in 3-2 home win over Ferryhill on 15th September that would keep him out for 8 weeks.
He returned in time to get a couple of games in before Blyth hosted Walsall in the FA Cup 1st Round, two games later he was sent off in a 2-2 draw at South Bank that brought him a 28 day suspension!

IMG_6792 2In the summer of 1981 he was made redundant from his job at Jackel International.
Shrewdly he made a career change that capitalised on his fame opening a Fruit & Veg shop in Blyth!
It was a huge success and he even took up a stall on the thriving Blyth market on a Saturday morning.

By the March he was on longer an automatic choice, it appeared that Terry didn’t feature in the managers plans and he wasn’t happy:
The manager has the right to hear what I have to say before anyone else, but it is true that I want to talk to him”.

Despite clearing the air he was used more often as a substitute as Bob Elwells’ won the treble, they clocked up an 11 game unbeaten run to retain the title. Terry did start in the last two games of the season which were both to be cup finals.
On 5th May he collected another League Cup winners medal as Blyth beat South Bank on penalties and then played at St James’ Park yet again as a Paul Walker 89th minute goal sealed another Senior Cup win and the third trophy on 12 days.

Terry scored in a 5-0 pre season friendly win over Seaham Red Star on Tuesday 10th August 1982 but that proved to be his last game as he was released by Bob Elwell days later.
Screenshot 2021-02-27 at 19.08.32Terry spoke of his sadness:
“I suppose, in a way I was expecting it.
But I’m shattered, nevertheless. 

I’m a Blyth lad now and have always felt very close to the club, but the manager doesn’t want me and I have to accept the situation”.

Bob Elwell explained his decision was playing budget related:
“I cannot afford to have a contracted player who is not in the team on a regular basis”.

Terry wasn’t short of offers with no fewer than six clubs interested and even a management career was on offer. Consett manager Gary Moore, had been Jackie Marks assistant at Blyth and knew Terry well and what he could offer. He wanted him to use his experience and become as his assistant manager for 1982/83 season.8F85D3A9-9920-49ED-8C20-4051F0A8962A

While Bedlington Terriers and Seaham Red Star made their interest public he wasn’t giving anything away:
“It would not be right to say who who they are at this stage. I’m still building my fruit and veg business in Blyth and I’m going to leave any decision about my future for a couple of weeks at least.
I do want to play again, though I only wish it had been with Blyth”.

After taking his time to decide on what would be best for him and his successful Fruit & Veg business, it was Bedlington Terriers boss Bill Ward pulled off a coup landing Terry for their first season in the new Northern League Second Division. However, come the New Year he was back at Croft Park.

Bob Elwell lost his job in November 82 following an FA Cup defeat at Alliance side Northwich Victoria that the Blyth board deemed unacceptable. His replacement was former the Scottish International Everton & Newcastle winger John Connolly.
The new Player Manager was an instant hit with the fans with his attacking free flowing football and in January 83 he endear himself to the Croft Park faithful even further bringing Terry back home.

IMG_6299IMG_6852He played a vital role as Blyth reached the 4th Round of the FA Trophy and stormed to yet another League title winning all but one of their last nine games. The game that clinched the title on Saturday 30th April proved to be Terry’s swan song to the Northern League.
Blyth went to Tow Law knowing they had to win to ensure the title. Making his second start since returning Terry scored four as Blyth hammered Tow Law 9-1!

His last game for Blyth came on Thursday 19th May 1983 when they lost a Senior Cup Final Replay to Blue Star, he called it a day on his football career at the end of that season.
He scored 73 goals in 164 appearances for Blyth and it the club’s 21st all time highest goalscorer.

Terry’s 6 years in Non League football was a huge success, more so than all his years as a professional.
It brought him national fame and made him a North East football legend.
TJ 77:78Every one of those 77/78 players are legends for what they achieved, they will never be forgotten even now their names are still revered in Non League football.

For his part Terry Johnson became the ultimate Green and White Cult Hero, a truly legendary Spartan.


Credits, Acknowledgements & Thank you’s:

The late Ken Sproat’s superb book ‘The History of Blyth Spartans’ was as ever an important source of information.

Yet again Kevin Tilmouth provided images from his superb collection Blyth Spartans memorabilia.

Phil Castiaux for the image from the Tow Law hammering.

Two Newcastle United fans provided vital info and an image and I must thank them for all their help with this article  –
Alan Golightly  – @old_toon
Once again Alan has been a great help with his knowledge of all things Newcastle United.

David Pallister – @DavidPallister
Another very knowledgeable Toon fan who was a great help

The following excellent websites provided important info and images:

Southend United Ex Players Association provided great images and info on Terry’s time at the club – @SUEPAssoc

The British Newspaper Library was a vital source of info and images.

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About Blyth Spirit

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2 Responses to Green & White Cult Heroes – Terry Johnson

  1. Mark says:

    Great article. Terry was one of my favourite Brentford players, I was at Wimbledon in the second round of the f a cup when he got both goals in a 2-0 win. I was also at Colchester when he broke his arm slipping on the frozen pitch in the abandoned match.

    A wholehearted player in a very ordinary side, he drove forward from midfield scoring his share of goals. I was shocked to read what his wage was, no wonder he retired from the pro game!!

    Good luck Terry, all bees fans followed the Spartans cup exploits with Terry doing so well, great to see so many memories here.

  2. Andrew Griffin says:

    Excellent, detailed biography of a local hero. Terry was a winner and an inspiration. I am delighted you used my cover design (with Alan Shoulder) from my book ‘Two Wins from Wembley’ which describes a fan’s view of the heady cup run of 77/78

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