John Johnstone retires from the game

After a long and distinguished career for Dunbar United John ‘Jinky’ Johnstone has finally decided to hang up his boots and gloves and spend more time with his young family.

Dunbar born he excelled throughout his teens as a goalkeeper with Dunbar United Colts and was part of a very successful young side at that time. He made his debut for Dunbar United on 6th April 2004 in a Friendly match against Duns Amateurs with the now Manager Kevin Haynes scoring twice in a 5-1 win.

John left school to train as a PE teacher and went to University in Aberdeen where he played Junior football with Banks of Dee. On his return to Dunbar in 2008/09 season he was a stalwart in the Dunbar United side for the next five seasons before picking up an injury which curtailed his appearances. However he returned in 2015/16 and remained playing until sadly an injury picked up at Crossgates Primrose on 2nd October 2021 ended his playing career.

John pulled on the Dunbar jersey 329 times with 119 of these as a substitute and after recovering from his injury at Crossgates he has spent the rest of his career helping out at the club as a Goalkeeper Coach. He has made the eighth highest number of appearances in the history of the club and by far the highest number of appearances from any other goalkeeper. In his time at the club he made 39 clean sheets.

He will always be fondly remembered at the club with some memorable displays of goalkeeping but none more so than when Blackburn United who had already gained promotion from the South League were the visitors on 29th April 2017 needing a point to clinch the title.

Dunbar scored with 12 minutes left then Jinky saved a penalty three minutes later and deep into injury time with the visitors throwing everything at the Dunbar defence once again he managed to parry a McQuillan header over the bar. Dunbar then beat Livingston United away from home the next week to win the League.

With a responsible position at Castlebrae High School in Edinburgh and a young family to look after the club can only thank John for his time spent with Dunbar United and hopefully one of his children might carry on the Johnstone name in the future.

All the best Jinky and many thanks for your fantastic service at Dunbar United it is greatly appreciated by all at the club.

Words by Laurie Wood.