The Passing of an Age
Half a century ago, Bobby Johnstone became the first
player to score in consecutive F.A. Cup finals at
Wembley. Today such an achievement would bring worldwide
fame, whilst fortunes are available to rather ordinary
footballers. Yet Bobby Johnstone did not earn his
Born at the end of the 1920’s, at Selkirk,
in the Scottish borders, his early life was tough.
After the war, Bobby’s began his football career
with Selkirk F.C., but the mighty Hibernian soon
noticed. Hibs had not won a major trophy for over
forty years, but they assembled the all-international
forward line of Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull
and Ormond, known as the “Famous Five”,
and their golden age began. He went on to play for
Manchester City and Oldham Athletic.
He left a rich sporting legacy; his were the days
of the heavy leather football, the heaving terraces,
and the true unpredictability of the outcome; wingers
like Matthews, terraced club-houses, and the maximum
The book tells Bobby’s footballing story, from
time he followed his father as a player for Selkirk,
through his fabulous career, and onto retirement.
The stories of his progress are illuminated in interviews
with those who played alongside Bobby at every stage
of his career. The town of Selkirk provides a historical
backdrop to the story, as it did to Bobby’s
life, and his death in 2001.
These and others contribute to the fascinating story
of the type of footballer whose day is seemingly
gone – it is the story of the passing of an