Former England Youth international Andy Johnson left Norwich
City in July 1997 to join Nottingham Forest for £2.2 million.
The final months of his career somewhat overshadowed his achievements
for the Canaries and lost him the respect of the Carrow Road crowd.
Bristol-born Andy joined Norwich as a trainee and captained the
Youth side. He signed professional forms in July 1990 and made
his league debut against Sheffield Wednesday in April 1992. The
following year, he began to establish himself in the first team
but was called upon to represent England at the World Youth Championships
in Australia. He failed to re-establish his place on return from
down under and had a couple of disappointing years with the Canaries.
He made his mark in Norwich's Division One campaign in 1995/96.
He occupied a central midfield role combining strong tackles with
an eye for goal. He made a total of 30 appearances that season
scoring 8 times. He began well under Mike Walker during the 1996/97 season but as Norwich slipped
further away from the promotion places, Andy grew more disappointed.
He later stated "I felt I was going stale; that with a move to
a big club like Forest I could fulfill a few of my ambitions in
football. I couldn't have stayed - I've been here ten years; I
needed a move." He also suffered niggling injuries and this frustration
spilled over onto his disciplinary record. A fracas between him,
Carl Bradshaw and a local taxi driver
led to assault charges being filed against him. He submitted a
transfer request in the early part of 1997 and was effectively
frozen out of the first team. He made 27 appearances that season
for Norwich netting 5 times.
Nottingham Forest submitted a £2.2 million bid for him which
was finally accepted despite Norwich's attempts to up Andy's price
to £2.5 million. Late bids from Martin O'Neill's Leicester City and Crystal Palace also
failed to knock the Forest deal off course. With Forest winning
the Division One championship, a clause in Andy's transfer generated
an extra £300,000 for the Carrow Road coffers.
Discovering that his grandmother was Welsh, Andy was called up
by Bobby Gould into the Welsh international squad and made his
debut in the 2-0 defeat against Italy on September 6th 1998.
Sport First, on 30th May 1999, claimed that Leicester manager
Martin O'Neill was planning a £2.5million
swoop for Andy Johnson. In August 2000, Andy was linked with a
move to Birmingham City in exchange for Zimbabwe winger Peter
Ndlovu whom Forest manager David Platt had supposedly wanted at
City Ground for some time. In November 2000, the Unofficial
Football Transfers website reported that Andy was a target
for ambitious Welsh club Cardiff City. In July 2001, it was suggested
that West Ham saw Andy Johnson as a midfield target if they were
unable to secure first choice signing Lee Carsley from Coventry.
In August 2001, Forest put all their players on the transfer list
as a result of the club's financial predicament. Johnson also
had a falling out with new manager Paul Hart and refused to be
only a substitute. Johnson said that he would seek a move and
that a return to Norwich would be appreciated as he "had some
great years at Norwich and always got on well with everyone there."
Nigel Worthington stated that he had no need for another central
midfielder especially with the wages that Andy commanded. Cardff
City again expressed an interest in signing Johnson. Andy's nightmare
at The City Ground ended when he joined Gary
Megson's West Bromwich Albion for a fee reported to be either
£100,000 or £200,000 depending which paper one reads.
Despite promotion to the Premiership, Andy submitted a transfer
request in mid August 2002 as the new contract he had been offered
was not deemed suitable for a Premiership player (in Andy's opinion).
In March 2003, speculation was rife that Leicester would approach
West Brom to sign Andy for £500,000 if Leicester were promoted
to the Premiership. This story has even more to support it following
the football results from 19-21 April 2003 that saw Leicester
promoted and West Brom relegated. Squeezed out of Megson's first
team plans by the signing of James O'Connor (Stoke) and Artim
Sakiri (Macedonia), Johnson was allegedly the subject of a £250,000
bid from West Ham on August 20th 2003. In the end, Andy stayed
with the Baggies and helped them win promotion back to the Premiership
On January 8th 2006, The People reported that Bristol
Rovers were preparing a £350,000 bid for Johnson. The following
week saw the News of the World claim that Preston manager
Billy Davies had joined the hunt for Johnson. The People
added the same week that Leeds and Notts Forest were also keen
on Johnson. On 26th March 2006, the News of the World reported
that Sheffield Wednesday and Leicester had approached the Baggies
about loaning Johnson before the transfer deadline day but were
rebuffed. However Johnson will be allowed to leave the club during
the summer when he is out of contract. The following week saw
Sheffield United added to the list of suitors according to the
On 20th June 2006, Andy signed for Leicester City. He had been
heavily criticised for his performances by the City fans, especially
in the 2-1 away defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on 4 November 2006.
Following that performance, Johnson had a spell on the sidelines
through injury, but has since made a comeback and was the man
of the match against Luton Town on 3 February 2007. On 25th April
2007,it was announced that having not featured under manager Nigel
Worthington, Leicester had begun talks to terminate Johnson's
contract early and he was eventually released in May 2007. He
had made 21 appearances for Leicester, scoring once.
Andy then signed for Championship rivals Barnsley in June 2007.
He was placed on the transfer list by the Tykes in January 2008.
He was eventually released by Barnsley in January 2009. After
he was spotted playing in a trial match for Kidderminster by Kings
Lynn manager Keith Webb, the Linnets made
an approach and he was delighted to team up again with Webb who
was his former youth team coach at Norwich. Johnson made 17 appearances
for the Linnets in the Conference South
In June 2009, he was appointed Assistant Manager at Lynn, having
hung up his boots. He will assist new manager Carl Heggs who replaced
Keith Webb who stepped down at the end of the 2008/9 season.
Johnson quit Lynn in early September 2009 claiming that he had
not been paid money owed to him from the previous season.