Born 19th December` 1946 this colourful Scotsman was a fans favourite and still to this day his name brings a smile to every supporter, colleague who remember this magical winger. Willie Johnston has cult hero status amongst the Albion fans. Signed from Glasgow Rangers in December 1982, the club he started his apprenticship and signed professional with. A fee of £138,000 brought him down from Scotland. Willie was a fine winger who could beat a defender with either footwork or speed and could finish with a fierce shot. Willie could not keep out of trouble though, when he was signed he had just completed a 67 day suspension, sent off a total 17 times during his career. “Bud” as he was nicknamed scored 28 goals in his 261 appearances, 7 as a sub but for the suspensions he would have played many more games. He was a character, it is well documented he negotiated to buy a Garden Shed off a fan whilst waiting to take a corner! Popular with fans and colleagues alike he represented Scotland on 22 ocassions but of course his infamous sending home from the 1978 World Cup seemed to shorten his Albion career because the following season he had 2 loan spells, John Giles took him to Vancouver and then he had 6 months at Birmingham City. In August 1980 he returned to Rangers. Another move to Vancouver then short stints with Hearts, Raith, Hong Kong. Upon his retirement Willie took on a pub in Kirkcaldy where he still resides to this day, though he retired from the pub trade a few years back. We have seen Willie at a couple of Dinners at the Hawthorns and his popularity was still evident and his “wicked” humour was their for all to see.
The West Bromwich Albion Former Players Association was founded in 2003. The Association started following a conversation between two former players Brendon Batson MBE, then Managing Director of West Bromwich Albion and Graham Williams, captain of the 1968 Cup Winning Team.
If you are an Old Baggie or would like further information about the WBAPFA please contact our secretary Geoff Snape: