Tommy Johnston

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The Independent Online

In his obituary of Tommy Johnston [1 October], Ivan Ponting rightly refers to the subject's "brace of trademark headers" for Norwich City which "scuppered the Gunners", knocking them out of the FA Cup in January 1953, writes Chris Sexton. However he also refers to it having been "an icy East Anglian afternoon". Icy it indeed was, but it was not East Anglian.

The match was at Highbury, and at the age of eight, was my defining moment for a lifetime's interest in football. I had travelled from Norfolk to London sitting on the wheel arches of my father's butcher's van. We had gone there to see the then greats of the game like Jimmy Logie and Alex Forbes (the latter was sent off in the first half, together with Norwich's Bobby Brennan) fully expecting a defeat. Instead we came away singing "On the Ball City".

I particularly remember my father, after a London spiv had offered to buy his yellow and green scarf, triumphantly informing him he needed more than a scarf – namely a football team!