Stacey West XI Wingers – More nominations

David ‘Magic’ Johnson

Again, there will be some who question why David Johnson makes it onto this list but as a young man in the 1993/94 season, he did have a significant impact. He was the highest scorer (13 goals) and there was something exotic about him. I’m not sure what, it certainly wasn’t his name, nor his background. Perhaps his style of play caught the eye. Perhaps we’ve had so few out and out wingers that he was the only one people could think of. Well, it was either him or Steve Mardenborough.

Magic Johnson arrived from Sheffield Wednesday in 1993. He had allegedly been highly thought of at Sheffield Wednesday, and they turned a £100k bid down for him from Hartlepool the season prior to him signing for us. Wednesday had also accepted a £40k offer from Scunthorpe United, which Johnson turned down, making him even more of a fans favourite! Eventually the tribunal set his fee at £32k which was brilliant news for City.

He was a right-sided forward (or winger as I suppose it’s better known) with a touch of flair, and initially it seemed he would play out wide all the time. He drifted into the centre and ended up as our leading scorer in the 1993/94 season with 13 goals, including our only strike against Bolton in the FA Cup defeat that Sky televised live.

His next two seasons were disrupted by injury and management changes. He scored seven times in 1994/95 including a famous winner against Premiership giants Crystal Palace at Sincil Bank, and a winner at home to Huddersfield in the FA Cup. The following season was blighted by injury as well, and he only managed seven starts under John Beck before leaving the club. His replacement was Gareth Ainsworth, so few could blame Beck for letting Johnson go. After leaving us he went to Altrincham, but never appeared in the league again thanks to those injuries.

Despite a relatively low goal haul for three full seasons Magic Johnson will always be remembered fondly by Imps fans for popping up with those goals in cup ties. My personal highlight has to be the winner against a strong Palace side, and what should have been the winner over two legs had referee Gary Willard not found seven minutes of injury time in the return leg at Selhurst Park.

3 Comments

  1. What!!! Not a mention of Gordon Hughes. The wee man we bought from Derby. Now there was a winger. Ask your Dad…Or maybe someone older about him.

  2. Re Danny N’Guessan, remember a night game at the Bank, he came on as a second half sub.
    As he came on I said, which Danny is it tonight? cart horse or thoroughbred? After is first touch, cart horse it is then.
    Had the skill but so frustrating!

  3. The reason David Johnson didn’t suit John Beck was because he couldn’t head the ball despite being at least 6ft, which was also the reason he was usually played out wide. A talented player who should have done better.

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