Thursday, August 12 – 1976
England striker David Johnson last night signed for Liverpool for £200,000 and said: “It’s great to be home.”
Merseyside-born Johnson dashed to Anfield yesterday, after Liverpool moved in with a late bid to pip Spurs at the post for the Ipswich centre-forward.
Johnson, who moved to East Anglia from Everton four years ago in a cash plus Rod Belfitt exchange deal, has been unsettled at Portman Road for several months.
And last week Ipswich manager Bobby Robson made him officially available for transfer.
After completing all the formalities last night a delighted Johnson said: “I feel tremendous. It’s a relief that I’ve put pen to paper and that it’s all over.
“I never really wanted to sign for any other club. Spurs showed a lot of interest and offered a lot of money and I saw them out of courtesy. But I told them honestly that I’d prefer to go back North. I didn’t fancy a London club.”
Liverpool’s swoop comes just three days before the deadline for the first two rounds of the European Cup. When they made their original move a week ago they were not prepared to meet the Ipswich asking price but a poor pre-season tour in Holland made them think again.
Johnson will not play in the Charity Shield against Southampton tomorrow. Anfield boss Bob Paisley, said: “We want him back for training next week in time for the first game of the season against Norwich.
“We’re always on the lookout for good players to strengthen our squad. We owe that to our supporters and I’ve seen enough of David to know we can make use of him.
“The money doesn’t come into it – it’s what’s achieved afterwards that counts.”
(Daily Mirror, 13-08-1976)
David Johnson signing the contract with secretary Peter Robinson (left). At the back Liverpool chairman John Smith, and manager Bob Paisley.