Friday, 15 February 2013

My Hero - My Inspiration : Tom Johnstone

This feature for the "My Hero : My Inspiration" series is written by Tom Johnstone. A Scotsman, mad on football who supports Dunfermline Athletic, Liverpool and Lincoln Ladies. His motto .. "Say What I Mean, Mean What I Say" ... 

These are Tom's words ...

My hero whilst growing up in the 1950's and 1960's was my uncle, Tommy McDonald.  

Tommy was born into a mining family in Hill of Beath, Fife. Determined not to go down the mines, Tommy at the age of 17 joined Hibernian FC in 1947. Unable to break into the first team due to the form of Gordon Smith, who was one of "The Famous Five" attack, which consisted of Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and future Scotland manager, Willie Ormond. Tommy moved to English Football League champions Wolverhampton Wanderers in April 1954.

Tommy McDonald : Leicester City
Tommy struggled at Wolverhampton Wanderers to gain a first team place and in July 1956, was sold to Leicester City for a fee of £6,000.  It was at Filbert Street that Tommy made the most appearances of his football career, playing 113 games and scoring 27 goals in a four year spell, that included the 1956-57 promotion season to the First Division.  

Tommy McDonald -  Dunfermline FC (Front Row : First Left)
July 1960 saw Tommy return to Scotland where he was the legendary, Jock Stein's first purchase for Dunfermline Athletic at a price of £3,000.  It was during this season that Tommy missed out on a Scottish FA Cup Final appearance after helping The Pars defeat Celtic 2-0 in a replay after a 0-0 draw at Hampden Park in front of over 113,000 spectators.  Tom says, "I was at school on the Friday afternoon, the day before the Cup Final.  Our maths teacher who was also a football fan came over and told me that Tommy wouldn't be playing on Saturday, as he had been rushed into hospital with appendicitis. I was heartbroken."

The following season saw Tommy play in all six of Dunfermline's European Cup Winners Cup matches, he has the distinction of scoring in the club's first ever match in European competition in the 4-1 victory over St Patrick's Athletic from the Republic of Ireland.  Tommy though saved his best performance for the tie v Újpest Dózsa, scoring twice in a first leg 4-3 defeat.

Tommy's playing career ended at Cowdenbeath in 1964, after playing for Raith Rovers, Queen Of The South and Stirling Albion. He then went onto become the manager of Fife-based non league Oakley United.

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