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Roy Johnson

Career : 1911 - 1912
Debut : Round 1, 1911 vs Essendon, aged 19 years, 285 days
Carlton Player No. 248
Games : 15
Goals : 21
Last Game : Round 10, 1912 vs Geelong, aged 20 years, 340 days
Guernsey No. 27
Height :
Weight :
DOB : July 18, 1891


When 19 year-old Roy Clifford Johnson ran out to play for the Old Dark Navy Blues against Essendon on Saturday, May 11, 1912 at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground, his name was etched into club history as the first Carlton player to wear guernsey number 27 in a senior match.

Johnson was a follower-forward who joined the Blues in 1911 from Carlton District. In just his third game, against Richmond at Princes Park in round 5 of that year, he kicked 6 goals from full-forward as the Blues won by 50 points. Another three majors against St Kilda at the Junction Oval in round 6 had supporters excited, but then his form fell away and he didn’t trouble the scorers for a fortnight. Nonetheless, he finished his first season with a handy return of 16 majors from nine matches and had been particularly effective alongside the Blues’ regular spearhead Vin Gardiner.

In 1912, the VFL introduced individual player numbers, and Johnson wore number 27 for the first time into the round 3 clash against the Same Old. Carlton was beaten and Roy was again held goalless, but he returned to form and booted 4 majors against Richmond in round 7. By late June, Carlton was travelling well – sitting second on the ladder behind Essendon - when the team and hundreds of supporters boarded a train at Spencer St. station for the Saturday morning trip to Geelong.

Approaching 2 pm, a huge crowd had packed into Corio Oval for the match, and the Geelong side was already out on the ground – but where were the Blues? Eventually, the answer came – thick fog had dramatically slowed the train’s progress, and the game would be delayed. At last, the ball was bounced to start proceedings at 3.22, but darkness had descended by the time it finished with Geelong victorious by 19 points.

Vin Gardiner kicked four goals for Carlton that afternoon, while Johnson was hardly sighted and didn’t add to his career tally of 21 majors. Although he was still not yet 21 by then, Roy didn’t play another senior match for the Blues, and to date, no details of his subsequent life have emerged - apart from the fact of his death at the age of 70 on May 8, 1962.

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Roy Johnson | Johnson's Blueseum Image Gallery

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