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Monday, December 6, 2021 - 1:40 PM


No more will we see Percy Johnson stride on to the oval during a training session at Revo Fitness Stadium to counsel Ollie Eastland and other budding young ruckmen on the intricacies of football.

No more will we discuss the game with such a passionate person whose love of the game knew no bounds.

He expounded his football philosophies in a forthright manner, and, at times, he would agree with your views.

We, at the Claremont Football Club are deeply saddened by the death of Percy Johnson on Saturday at the age of 88 when he lost his year-long battle with cancer. 

One of the true characters of the game, a decent, honest man who leaves a wonderful legacy as a teacher and developer of young footballers, Johnson enjoyed a lifetime involvement in football, first as a talented and athletic ruckman who represented Western Australia in 13 interstate matches and then as a coach and insightful critic.

Born in Kalgoorlie and educated at Aquinas College, Johnson was a brilliant all-round sportsman who excelled at football, cricket and athletics. He played in 228 WAFL league matches and was inducted into the West Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

He made 180 appearances for East Fremantle, 21 for Swan Districts and 27 for Claremont.

He made his league debut for East Fremantle in the first match at the club’s new home ground, East Fremantle Oval, on April 25, 1953, when East Fremantle, trailing Claremont by 29 points at half-time, rallied to win by two points, 7.18 to 8.10.

Johnson was a member of East Fremantle’s 1957 premiership side, and he was captain-coach of Swan Districts in 1959 before joining Claremont in 1960 when he was the side’s No. 1 ruckman in all 21 matches. He scored 39 goals and was the joint winner with rover Murray Ward as Claremont’s leading goalkicker.

After playing another six games for the Tigers in 1961 Johnson returned to East Fremantle for his final season as a league footballer in 1962 when he retired after playing against Swan Districts in the losing grand final side that year.

Johnson coached South Fremantle in 1977 and West Perth in 1978 and 1979, he spent four years as the ruck coach with the Fremantle Dockers and in recent years (until his health deteriorated towards the end of 2020) he enjoyed his role as a ruck coach both at Claremont and Swan Districts.

For many years Johnson was an erudite football critic on television and on radio, during which time he also spent countless hours as a tutor and mentor of young footballers. 

Rarely has there been a more passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable person on all matters football. All at Claremont mourn the passing of a truly wonderful man, whose like is never likely to be equalled.