Sunday, 26 December 2010
238 Alan Johnson
Position : Centre half
Played : 1996-97 to 1999-2000 (didn't appear in 1997-98)
Appearances : 62
Goals : 4
One of Barrow's most fondly-remembered signings, Alan was signed right on the eve of the new season after playing in Hong Kong during the summer. He came through the ranks at Wigan making his debut in 1989 and playing 180 games for them before a £60,000 move to Lincoln in February 1994. Despite the price tag Alan never played more than 25 games a season for the Imps and in 1995-96 went on loan to Preston before being released in the summer.
It was never clear why things had gone wrong at Lincoln as Alan settled in straightaway. Despite not being a six-footer Alan (imaginatively nicknamed "Psycho" ) looked very intimidating with his cropped hair and stocky build and soon became a crowd favourite with his fierce but well-timed tackling (he was rarely booked) and wholehearted commitment. Nevertheless I think there is a tendency to remember him as being better than he was. He was undoubtedly our best player in a boring mediocre season and deserved all the awards at the end of it but he's not up there with Alan Reeves and Craig Dawson. He had no pace and once he was turned he was out of the game. Alan's career was KO'd by a knee injury in pre-season 1997. He suffered a relapse in his comeback game in the reserves and missed the whole season. He recovered enough to play 16 games in 1998-99 but was clearly not the same player. He was kept on for 1999-2000 via an arrangement with the PFA subsidising his wages and made a handful of appearances for Steve Parkin but called it quits in April 2000.