OzWhite's Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
2018-22 - The El Loco Era: Back Where We Belong
2022-24 - Marsch back to the Championship
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Johnson: Rodney (Rod)

1962-1968 (Player Details)

Centre Forward/ Midfield

Born: Leeds: 08-01-1945

Debut: v Swansea Town (a): 08-09-1962

5’9” 10st 12lb (1963)

A pupil of Cow Close School, Leeds, he played for Leeds City Boys and Market District Boys Club before joining Middleton Parkside Juniors, where he played in the same team as Paul Madeley, Paul Reaney and Kevin Hector, who both went on to play for England. He was rejected by Reading after trials, before joining Leeds United and winning England Youth honours against Scotland, Northern Ireland and Romania. He made one appearance for the England Youth Amateurs team against Scotland at Peterborough on 24th February 1962. He signed professional for the club in February 1962 at the age of seventeen and just six months later he made his first team debut against Swansea Town at the Vetch Field. He enjoyed a scoring debut but was also carried off, after a collision with the much larger Swansea goalkeeper, Noel Dwyer, when Don Revie picked a crop of promising young players for the game. Norman Hunter,and Paul Reaney also made their debut and Gary Sprake played only his second first team appearance in that game. He was unlucky with injuries and was sidelined for a lengthy period after an operation to remove a cyst on a leg muscle. His appearances were limited to just four in that 1962-63 season as Don Weston and Jim Storrie were given the striking roles. 1963-64 was a barren season for Johnson as he failed to make one appearance as Alan Peacock was bought to enforce United's promotion push along with Storrie, Weston and Ian Lawson. After Peacock was sidelined for the first half of the 1964-65 season, Johnson was given a run of eight League and one F.A. Cup game in the first team. He scored in the first of those games on 28th November 1964 in a 1-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion and in the next game, against Manchester United at Old Trafford, on 5th December 1964, he was part of a famous Leeds victory as a Bobby Collins goal gave Leeds both points. Johnson had a fine game and ran rings round the Manchester Centre Half, Bill Foulkes. Unfortunately Johnson was not sufficiently robust to wear down First Division Centre Halves. He was quick and nimble and adept in bringing other players into the game as well as taking up good scoring positions himself. In the next game, a 1-0 home win over Aston Villa at Elland Road it was his cross that was deflected into the net by Gordon Lee that gave United victory. It was his goal, his third for the club, which ensured a fourth 1-0 victory on the trot, at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers, for the fast rising Leeds team, which now sat in third position on the First Division ladder. He was in the side that went top of the First Division with a 2-1 win over Sunderland at Elland Road on 2nd January 1965 and he scored the third goal in United's first advance towards a Wembley final, as they beat Southport at Elland Road on 9th January 1965 and he was on the scoresheet the following week with the second goal in a 2-2 draw with Leicester City, at Filbert Street, which helped maintain United's hold on first spot in the Championship race. In his spell of eight League and one F.A. Cup match, Leeds had not been beaten and drawn just two of their games. Weston and Peacock came back from long-standing injuries and Johnson's spell in the limelight was over apart from the odd game as a substitute and the rare appearance in League or League Cup matches. It was in one such League Cup match that Johnson scored his final Leeds goal, when he scored United's second goal in a 4-2 win over Hartlepools United at Elland Road on 22nd September 1965. Like many fine young home-produced players of the early Revie era Johnson suffered from the excess of talent at that time and his chances were severely limited as were many others on the fringe of the great team. After several years of faithful service many of them became valued players with other clubs. The others, Sprake, Reaney and Hunter became household names, but Johnson’s impact was made in the lower Divisions. He moved to Doncaster Rovers, who were managed by Lawrie McMenemy, for £5,000 in March 1968. he made a scoring debut, getting the first Doncaster goal in a 3-2 win at Chester City on 2nd March 1968 and he played a significant role in their Fourth Division Championship success in the following season. He started one hundred and six games and one off the bench for Rovers, scoring twenty-three goals in the League and one goal in nine appearances in the F.A. Cup and five starts in the League Cup. He went to Rotherham United in December 1970, for £8,000, and benefitted from the coaching of Jimmy McAnearney, who like Johnson preferred attacking football and this ideally suited his enthusiastic approach to the game. There were outstanding performances in Cup-ties at Highbury and White Hart Lane, which were lost by the narrowest of margins and Rotherham found a lot of good young players of the abilities of Steve Downes, Jim Mullen and skipper John Quinn. 1972-73 saw the Millers relegated to the Fourth Division and he started one hundred and eight times as well as two from the bench and scored eight goals in the League, together with one goal in twelve starts in the F.A. Cup. He signed for Bradford City for £9,000 in December 1973. He made one hundred and ninety starts at Valley Parade as well as two from the bench and scored sixteen goals and was instrumental in helping City to promotion to the Third Division in 1976-77. He was captain of City and also player-coach. In 1976 he played the off-season in the NASL with Chicago Sting, where he played nineteen games without scoring. After retiring from the professional game in 1979, he worked as an insurance salesman and joined Gainsborough Trinity in July 1979 and Garforth in September 1982, the latter as coach.

League 18/44
F.A. Cup 1 1
League Cup 6/11