Who is Derek Johnstone?
Derek Joseph Johnstone is a Scottish former football manager and player. He signed for Rangers as a schoolboy back in 1968. He turned professional two years later and made his debut in 1970, aged 16 years and 319 days.
He thrust himself into the limelight just few weeks later when his header secured a 1–0 win over Celtic in the 1970 Scottish League Cup Final. The Scot was still 16 at the time, but the faith shown in his ability by boss Willie Waddell paid off handsomely, as the Gers claimed their first big trophy for just over four years.
In spite of his heroics against Celtic, Johnstone found regular senior team outings in the number ‘9’ jersey hard to come by, largely because of the presence of Colin Stein, the country’s first £100,000 player, although he did net 11 goals in 16 league appearances during the 1971–72 term.
He compensated for the lack of frontline action by often playing as a central defender when either Colin Jackson and Ronnie McKinnon was injured.
He soon became a regular in the starting XI, and the player picked up a Scottish Cup winners’ medal back in 1973 when the club defeated Celtic 3–2 at Hampden Park.
Derek eventually picked up a league championship medal at the end of the 1974–75 season, as Rangers ended the Celts’ nine-year reign as champions of Scotland, and Derek was an integral part of Rangers’ domestic treble success a year later.
He was named club skipper, and in his first campaign with the armband, he almost led the Ibrox outfit to an unprecedented second consecutive treble; Johnstone did get his hands on the League Cup and the Scottish Cup.
That term was to be the high point for the John Greig era, and the club’s fortunes dipped badly thereafter. The team did win the Scottish Cup back in 1981 and the Scottish League Cup the following year.
Having been placed on the transfer list by John in April 1983, he left Rangers after the 1983 Scottish Cup Final defeat versus Aberdeen to join Chelsea for a £30,000 transfer sum.
Joseph was tempted back to Rangers by Jock Wallace in the winter of 1985 for £25,000. He was handed a free transfer when the Scot Graeme Souness took over the reins at the club in the summer of 1986. His return to the Gers was not a success, with 23 matches and one goal.