David Johnson tribute: 'Doc was such a great character, we will miss him so much'
"A fantastic character who made everybody smile and a brilliant striker for Liverpool Football Club," is how John Aldridge will remember his friend David Johnson.
Tributes are being paid to Johnson, who scored 78 goals in 213 games and won a host of major honours across six years at Anfield, after he sadly passed away at the age of 71.
Aldridge was a close friend of the man known by all as ‘Doc’, with the pair sharing many a memory during their get-togethers with the Forever Reds former players association and on matchdays at Anfield.
“It’s really sad news and the Doc will be sorely missed by everybody,” Aldridge told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Some players are different to others and the Doc was certainly different in the manner that he made us laugh so much.
“He was a man after my own heart because I’m the same type of person and I just like to laugh through life, and David was the same.
“He was just a great character and he will be really missed, in and around the ground, and we used to see him working for the club at every home game, and it’s left a huge hole for us ex-players.”
Johnson was part of a small band of players who represented both Liverpool and Everton – including two spells at Goodison Park between 1967 and 1972 and 1982 and 1984.
“There’s not been that many players to do that over the years for whatever reason and he certainly did,” said Aldridge. “But, with all due respect to Everton, Liverpool was always the Doc’s club.
“He used to go as a supporter home and away and we used to share some great stories together, which I can’t tell on the club website!
“He used to go on the special trains from Lime Street and he used to hitch-hike to the match as well, fans did in the later 1960s and early 1970s.
“He was a huge Liverpool fan like many of us and Liverpool along with his family was his life.”
Johnson netted some iconic goals in a red shirt and also played his part in one of the best goals ever seen at Anfield in the 7-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
It was the striker’s first-time dynamic pass out to Steve Heighway on the left flank, who crossed for Terry McDermott to head home at the Anfield Road end, and the rest as they say is history.
Aldridge said: “He scored some brilliant goals for this club but the one thing he always used to go on about to all of us ex-players is Alan Kennedy’s winner in the 1981 European Cup final against Real Madrid.
“He used to say to Alan: ‘Why didn’t you square that ball to me, why didn’t you pass it!’ And ‘Barney’ used to say he tried to but he mishit it, and we were all in raptures laughing together about it!
“David was a great goalscorer in his own right and he doesn’t get the acknowledgement that he probably merited, for me.
“We have been blessed at this football club to have had some unbelievable strikers as we all know, but the Doc was in some fantastic Liverpool teams and he played a massive part in it, and he has the medals to prove it.
“His goals-per-game ratio was good as well and he was a workaholic on the pitch, worked his socks off for the side, which you had to do if you wanted to be the No.9 for Liverpool.
“On and off the pitch, I loved him, and it goes without saying at our former players Christmas party this year we will be remembering him and raising a big glass to him.”