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Johnny McNichol

Real Madrid's Francisco Ghento shakes hands with Johnny McNichol prior to a friendly in 1962

Clubs: Newcastle United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace

Johnny McNichol came to Selhurst Park in March 1958 as manager Cyril Spiers' last desperate attempt to prevent Palace from becoming founder members of the Fourth Division. Johnny was immediately made captain, a position he held for nearly five years, and scored the winning goal of the game on his debut, but even his seven goals in 12 games could not keep Palace out of the new basement division.

An old-fashioned inside forward, Johnny gradually moved, via wing-half, to full-back and it was from there that he skippered Palace's first promotion side for 40 years. Johnny went on to have a couple more seasons as a player but he retired after a nasty fractured cheekbone and broken jaw early in 1962/63, only to turn to the commercial side of the game to build a new and successful career. It was Johnny who set up the first weekly pools and bingo competitions at Crystal Palace and it is from those humble beginnings that the present-day lottery has grown.

Statistics

 

Games

Goals

1957/1958

12

7

1958/1959

51

4

1959/1960

50

3

1960/1961

50

1

1961/1962

32

0

1962/1963

10

0

Total

205

15

Source: Crystal Palace Player by Player, Rev. Nigel Sands (Sporting and Leisure Press 1996)

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