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Tribute to former Keith FC striker Charlie Johnston who was a Highland League goalscoring star during the sixties


By Ali Morrison

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Keith FC lost a star centre forward of the mid 1960's with the sad passing of Charlie Johnston on Monday, April 13.

Charlie Johnston, pictured far right of this picture as a linesman at Keith's pre-season friendly against St Johnstone in 1973.
Charlie Johnston, pictured far right of this picture as a linesman at Keith's pre-season friendly against St Johnstone in 1973.

Charlie was 72 years of age when he died at Dr Grays Hospital Elgin following a short illness.

The past Maroons star, who loved a blether and was a really chirpy character, joined the club from Keith Dynamoes during the 1967-68 season, at the age of 20.

He ended up as Keith's top scorer that season notching 17 goals. Due to work commitments he only managed to play 34 games spread over two seasons, scoring 16 goals in 1968-69, finishing second top scorer behind Dennis Kennedy.

A prolific scorer during his time at Kynoch Park, Charlie hit four hat-tricks, twice against Rothes and once against Inverness Thistle and Buckie Thistle.

Two of those trebles came in the space of three days - hitting three in an 8-1 win at Rothes on August 21, 1968, then three days later repeating the feat in a 4-1 win at Kingsmills Park against Inverness Thistle.

Charlie made a scoring debut for the Maroons hitting the back of the net twice in a 5-0 at Buckie Thistle on January 27, 1968. It was no surprise that he ended up top scorer that season, finding the target in 13 out of 18 games he played.

Charlie was a frequent spectator at Kynoch Park in recent times, following the team with the same passion that he showed as a player.

He was always up for a blether about his times as a player, reminiscing about his counterparts like the aforementioned Dennis Kennedy, Keith Rattray, a young Eric Wilson, Derek Simpson and George Stables to name but a few.

A great character, Charlie will be sadly missed by all at Kynoch Park, and Keith FC's thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

The picture above shows Charlie Johnston in a different role at Kynoch Park. He became a football official and was linesman (pictured far right) when Keith took on St Johnstone in a pre-season friendly on July 31, 1973.

In front of a crowd of 850, the score ended up 4-1 in favour of the Saints with 17-year-old Doug Rougvie scoring Keith's goal.

He had just been taken on loan from Aberdeen FC, where he would later return to become one of their Gothenburg Greats and a highly respected figure in Scottish football.

That season saw the Maroons win the first of their three-in-a-row Highland League Cups. It was a marvellous Keith team that had the nucleus of the great team that went on to win three in a row Highland League titles.

Sy Johnstone had quite a tasty side during the time of the Kynoch Park match-up.

The line-ups from that day were:

Keith - Gray, Cowie, Maxwell, Wilson, Dalgarno, Lyon, Winton, Elvin (Rattray), Simmers, Pirie (Rougvie), Curran.

St Johnstone - Donaldson, Lambie, Ritchie, Rennie, Macdonald, Cochrane, Hall, Smith, Pearson (Muir), McQuade, Aitken.

Referee - W D Reid.



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