10 August 2006

Johnny Campbell

A star of the great Belfast Celtic at the time of their demise, Johnny Campbell managed something with his club that eluded him with his country - a victory over Scotland...

Name: John Peter Campbell
Born: 28 June 1923, Londonderry
Died: January 1968, Belfast
Height: 5.10 ft
Weight: 11.10 st
Position: Outside-Left

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 2 Full Caps (1950); Irish FA Representative; Irish League: 1 Cap (1948).
Club Honours: (with Belfast Celtic) Irish League Champion 1947/48; Irish Cup Winner 1946/47.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Foyle Harps
-
-
-
-
-
-
Derry City
-
-
-
-
-
-
Belfast Celtic
45/46-48/49
-45
-
-
-
-
Fulham
49/50-52/53
Mar-49
-
62/4
6/2
-
TOTALS
-
£-
-
-
-

Biography:
Derry-born Johnny Campbell grew up playing Gaelic football at school. He was also an accomplished sprinter, and an Ulster champion over 100 and 200 yards. No doubt that turn of pace made him devastating when he took to soccer with Foyle Harps. 

An accomplished winger, though he could also lead the line, Campbell was signed-up by Derry City, and from there he moved to Belfast Celtic in 1945. At Paradise, Campbell scored over one hundred goals, won Irish League and Cup winner’s medals, and represented the Irish League. Perhaps his most famous contribution to the club’s history was the opening goal in a 2-0 win over Scotland during Celtic’s farewell tour of America. In all he scored eight times during that swansong series.

By the time of the US Tour, Campbell had already departed Belfast, signing for Fulham along with Robin Lawler for a reported £15,000 combined fee. He played almost seventy times while at Craven Cottage before his career was ended by illness early in the 1952/53 season. During his time in London he earned two caps, and indeed his wing-play earned praise from the maestro himself, Stanley Matthews.

With his playing days over, Campbell returned to Belfast to work as a scout for Fulham. He died from bowel cancer at the tragically young age of 44. Inadvertently, Campbell's ill-fortune brought a brief return of football to 'Paradise', a Belfast Celtic Select playing a benefit match which raised £800 in 1958.


Northern Ireland Cap Details:
07-10-1950 England. H L 1-4 BC
01-11-1950 Scotland A L 1-6 BC

Summary: 2/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 2.


Ireland Representative Appearance Details:
11-08-1948 USA Olympic XI H W 5-0 2 goals

Headshot courtesy of Red Warrior from the ILSF.

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