The son of a Celtic reserve team player, John Aloysius Paton was a schoolboy internationalist (in the company of George Young and Billy Steel) while at St Mungo's Academy, and he was signed by Dennistoun Waverley from St Mary's Calton in 1939.   He was capped by Junior Scotland before signing for Celtic in May 1942, and made his first team debut in the Summer Cup.
 
He was very familiar with Celtic Park, not only as a spectator in the company of his father and grandfather, but as a press photographer with the Scottish Daily Express and Sunday Express.
 
Paton was also a keen boxer, and was welterweight champion for the Air Training Corps in  1942.   Called up by the RAF who trained him as a navigator, he was stationed in Canada and turned out for a New York team, and played for the RAF against Sweden and Denmark in 1945, with Stanley Matthews on the other wing,
 
He guested for several clubs during the Second World War, including Arsenal, Manchester City, Millwall, East Fife, Leeds United and Crystal Palace.  
 
As peacetime football restarted in 1946/47, after playing for Celtic in five League Cup ties he was effectively loaned to Chelsea, where he scored three times in 23 League and FA Cup ties, making a good impression with clever footwork and accurate crosses, the principal beneficiary being England centre forward Tommy Lawton.   Back at Parkhead, he was first choice outside left for the following two seasons, the first of which brought a brush with relegation as Celtic finished in 12th place, just four points ahead of second bottom Airdrieonians.    The joke around Parkhead was that no-one knew that Johnny was in the team, as the cheer which greeted the announcement of Charlie Tully at inside left drowned out mention of his winger.
 
Although they recovered to finish sixth the following season, Celtic were some way from challenging for honours and Paton was transferred to Brentford in September 1949.   He had fallen out with the management over summer wages, and Paton went without pay for six weeks.   He contacted Bernard Joy, the former Arsenal centre half who wrote for the London Evening Star, asking for his availability to be advertised.   Brentford coach Malcolm Macdonald read the article and remembered Paton from his playing days at Celtic.   He scored on his debut and became a fans' favourite, scoring 16 times in 94 League and FA Cup appearances.
 
He signed for Watford in July 1952 and in three seasons at Vicarage Road scored 17 times in 84 League matches.  He was amongst the first batch of players to gain FA Coaching badges while he was at Brentford, where Jimmy Hill and Ron Greenwood were team-mates, and he became player-coach at Watford, and stayed on as coach when he finished playing.   In October 1955 he was appointed manager, but they lost to Bedford Town in the FA Cup the following month and the ensuing financial problems contributed to his dismissal in February.  
 
Through his coaching qualifications he had sound contacts in the English game, and was employed by Arsenal as a scout, and then as coach of their Metropolitan League team, through which many of their 1970-71 double-winning team graduated.
 
When he left Arsenal, he managed an Ealing snooker hall, during which time he qualified as a professional snooker referee, and he also competed, successfully, in ballroom dancing.   Paton retained good health and fitness until the last couple of years of his long life
 
Eugene MacBride and Martin O'Connor, in their Who's Who "An Alphabet of the Celts", included an amusing footnote to their biography of Paton.   "Johnny's grandfather, Billy McVey, held Celtic Season Ticket No.2 and as a child Johnny sat on Billy's knee watching Celtic from stand seat No.2 behind the Directors' Box.  Billy ran a confectioners opposite St Mary's, Abercromby Street, and on Celtic nights, used to supply the committee and company with cakes."
 
Go to Next Page        Go to Previous Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Scroll down for links to the FOOTBALL BOOKS & DATABASES we have for sale.
 
 
THE LEGAL BIT.   This site and its contents are the Copyright of John Litster 2015.   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from John Litster is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that the following attribution is displayed: Taken from Scottish Football Historian magazine Issue No. [as appropriate, plus date of issue]
 
 
 
 
Here is a list of the books and databases we have for sale.
Click on the title to obtain further details,
and how to buy.
You can also click on the Book Cover illustrations below

HISTORY BOOKS

 

50 YEARS OF SCOTTISH FOOTBALL

 

THIRD LANARK HISTORY

 

VALE OF LEVEN HISTORY

 

FOOTBALL' S WHITE FEATHERS (World War 1 & Scottish Football)

 

SCOTTISH CUP FINALS

 

RAITH  ROVERS HISTORIES

 

A History and Guide to
FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

 

FOOTBALL HISTORY DATABASES   (all on CD ROM, in Excel format)

 

A RECORD OF PRE-WAR
SCOTTISH LEAGUE PLAYERS

 

 

A RECORD OF POST-WAR
SCOTTISH LEAGUE PLAYERS

 

 

SCOTTISH LEAGUE TABLES 

 

PRE-WAR SCOTTISH LEAGUE RESULTS, SCORERS, ATTENDANCES

 

We are also publishers of
Football History Books
If you "have a book in you" and wish to have it published,
contact John Litster by
 Telephone : 01603-449237
E-mail :
progm@hotmail.com
 
 
and click on Football History
 
Twitter : @pmpublications1
 
 
You can also click on the Book Cover illustrations below
 
 
 
 
JOHNNY PATON
 
Born on 2nd April 1923 in Glasgow, died in Stanmore, Middlesex on 1st October 2015, aged 92
SCOTTISH FOOTBALL HISTORIAN
e-zine Winter 2015/16   Issue 136
 
About Us
Full Screen Version
 
 
Contents
Football Books & Databases