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Glen Johnson (English footballer)

For other people named Glen Johnson, see Glen Johnson (disambiguation).

Glen Johnson
Full nameGlen McLeod Cooper Johnson[1]
Date of birth (1984-08-23) 23 August 1984 (age 31)
Place of birthGreenwich, London, England
HeightScript error: No such module "convert".[2]
Playing positionRight back
Club information
Current team
Youth career
2000–2002West Ham United
Senior career*
2002–2003West Ham United15(0)
2002Millwall (loan)8(0)
2006–2007Portsmouth (loan)26(0)
National team
2003–2006England U2114(0)

Glen McLeod Cooper Johnson (born Glen McLeod Cooper Stephens; 23 August 1984) is an English footballer, who plays as a right back for Liverpool and the England national team.

He began his career at West Ham United, spending time on loan at Millwall, and was signed by Chelsea for £6 million after West Ham's relegation in 2003. Following a successful season on loan, he joined Portsmouth in 2007, where he won the FA Cup in the following year. Johnson moved to Liverpool in 2009.

He has also been capped 54 times by the national team since 2003, and was selected in England's squads for two World Cups and UEFA Euro 2012.

Early life

Known as Glen Stephens at the time of his birth, he took his mother's surname following the separation of his parents.[3] His parents Wendy Johnson and John Stephens named him after former England midfielder Glenn Hoddle.[3] He was born in Greenwich, South East London and grew up in Dartford, Kent[4] where he attended Temple Hill Primary School [5] and then Leigh CTC School.[6] He was raised by his mother and grew up with his younger brother and older half-sister.[3] At one stage of his childhood, he lived in a hostel as his mother had nowhere to live. Johnson credits his mother with helping him develop a football career, he said "She had a tough time, bringing up three kids as a single parent with no help apart from the goodwill of close friends, and there were times when we had nowhere to stay.

"At one point we were homeless and staying in a hostel, but once mum got herself on her feet after a few hard years, and passed her driving test so she could take me to football every week, that gave us a fresh start."[7]

Club career

West Ham United

Johnson was a product of the West Ham United youth system, becoming a 15-year-old first year scholar in 2000.[8] He signed a three-year professional contract for the Hammers on 1 August 2001, close to his 16th birthday, and was given the number 23 shirt.[9][10][11] In the 2001–02 season, he made regular Reserves appearances for West Ham, but was unable to break into the first team.[12] He eventually signed an initial four-week loan deal with local rivals Millwall on 17 October 2002, making his Championship debut in an away loss against Norwich City on 19 October.[13][14] His loan was twice extended by a month, before he was recalled early to Upton Park after having spent seven weeks at The Den, his final appearance in a Millwall shirt coming in another away defeat to Crystal Palace on 7 November.[9][14][15] His Premiership and West Ham debut came on 22 January 2003 in another away defeat to a London club, this time against Charlton Athletic, when he came on for midfielder Édouard Cissé.[9][16][17] He made a total of 15 League appearances — and a solitary FA Cup appearance — in the 2002–03 season, becoming a more significant member of the West Ham side as the year went on.[9] He even signed a new four-year deal to remain in east London on 18 March 2003, appearing keen to help keep the club in the top flight.[10] However, his last outing in a Hammers shirt was to come on the final day of the season, 11 May 2003, in an away draw with Birmingham City — the must-win match which saw his club relegated to the Championship.[9][18]


Two months after West Ham United's relegation, Johnson joined London rivals Chelsea, signing on 15 July for a fee of £6 million.[19] The first purchase of the Abramovich era, he made his debut on 13 August in an away win against Žilina in the 2003–04 Champions League — and his first Chelsea goal came in the corresponding home leg two weeks later.[9][20] His league debut came on 17 August in an Anfield win against Liverpool, but he had to wait until 9 November for his first League goal, netting the opener of a 5–0 romp over Newcastle United.[9][21][22] He made 19 league appearances in the 2003–04 season as Chelsea finished as runners-up.[9]

In Chelsea's FA Cup fifth round clash against Newcastle United in the following season, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was sent off late in the match, and with no substitutions remaining, Johnson went in goal. Although he did not concede, Newcastle were already 1–0 up and went through at the expense of Chelsea.[23] He picked up a winner's medal when he came on as a second-half substitute for Chelsea in the 2005 Football League Cup Final, a game which Chelsea won against Liverpool after extra time. He also made 16 appearances, enough for a medal, as they won the Premier League title in this season, but he was to miss out on a medal for their success in the next season after managing only 4 appearances in the league because of thigh injury.

Johnson joined Portsmouth in a season-long loan in June 2006. In January 2007, while still at loan to Portsmouth, Johnson was caught trying to steal bathroom fittings from a B&Q store, most famously switching a more expensive toilet seat into a cheaper box. Johnson received an on the spot fine of £80 by the police.[24] On his return to Chelsea, Johnson started the 2007 Community Shield which Chelsea lost to Liverpool, and the opening Premier League game of the season at home to Birmingham City.


File:Glen Johnson.JPG
Johnson playing for Portsmouth

On 31 August 2007, transfer deadline day, Johnson signed for Portsmouth on a four-year contract, for a fee believed to be £4 million.[25] He was handed a start in the first match after his transfer, a 3–1 defeat at Arsenal and became the club's regular right-back.

On 20 October, Johnson scored his first goal in over three years, against Wigan Athletic in a 2–0 win.[26] after dribbling from the halfway line.

He played in and won the 2008 FA Cup Final. Shortly after Johnson's cup success, he and Portsmouth substitute goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown had their winner's medals stolen. However, after the medals were never returned, the FA remade medals for Johnson and Ashdown.[27] On 22 November 2008, Johnson scored a 30-yard screamer with his left foot against Hull City, a goal which won Match of the Day's Goal of the Month award for November, and later won the Goal of the Season award.[28]

Johnson seemed to have ended speculation that he would move to Liverpool for a rumoured amount of £9 million by signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with Portsmouth on 9 January 2009, although speculation once again suggested that Johnson could make a big money move to Liverpool in the near future;[29] this was reaffirmed in late April 2009[30]

On 22 April 2009, at the age of 24, Johnson was the youngest member of Times Online's Top 50 Portsmouth players list.[31]

Johnson was included in the PFA team of the year for the 2008–09 season despite Portsmouth finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League, 7 points above the relegation zone.[32]


Johnson warming up for Liverpool

A Portsmouth representative confirmed on 13 June 2009 that a "sizeable bid" had been received for Johnson, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City being mooted as possible suitors.[33][34] On 16 June 2009, Portsmouth agreed a bid believed to be £17.5 million from Liverpool. However, two days later Portsmouth confirmed they had also accepted a bid from Chelsea and it was up to the player as to who he wanted to join. Liverpool were believed to have tabled the £10m bid on the basis that they were still owed £7m by Portsmouth from the purchase of Peter Crouch in the summer of 2008, with Liverpool willing to reduce the fee owed on signing Johnson.[35] On 22 June 2009, Liverpool announced the transfer[36] and on 26 June 2009, Johnson signed a four-year contract.[37] He was officially unveiled on 9 July 2009.

On 15 July 2009, he made his Liverpool debut in the pre-season match against St. Gallen which ended as a 0–0 draw and his home debut in a friendly against Atlético Madrid. Johnson made his Premier League debut on 16 August 2009 in a 2–1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.[38]

On his home league debut for Liverpool on 19 August 2009, Johnson put in a man-of-the-match performance against Stoke City scoring his first goal for the club while also getting an assist in a game where he caused countless problems for the opposition defence.[39] On 29 August, Johnson scored his second goal for Liverpool in a 3–2 win against Bolton Wanderers.[40]

On 30 December 2009, Johnson sustained a tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during a league fixture against Aston Villa, which Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said would keep him out of action for at least a month.[41] On his return from injury in March, Johnson returned to form, scoring his third goal for the club against Sunderland at Anfield. Johnson went on to make 8 more appearances for the rest of the season, including helping Liverpool reach the semi finals of the UEFA Europa League. Johnson played 35 times and scored 3 goals in his debut season with the Reds.

On the opening day of the 2010–2011 season, he started and played the full 90 minutes against Arsenal at Anfield in a 1–1 draw.

In November 2010, Johnson received criticism from manager Roy Hodgson who felt his performances during the season had not been of international standard.[42] Johnson held clear-the-air talks with Hodgson and the pair have since played down the row.[43] He scored his first goal of the 2010-11 Premier League season on 20 November 2010 against West Ham United at Anfield in a 3–0 win, after returning from being out with a groin strain. On 5 January 2011, Johnson started and played the full 90 minutes against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in a rather disappointing 3–1 defeat.[44]

Under former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish Johnson was used as a left back and left wing back. Johnson then[when?] had an injury against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns but recovered before the end of the season to play in the final four games of the season including a 5–2 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

On 6 July 2011, Johnson signed a contract extension at Liverpool, the length of which was not disclosed by the club. On 20 November 2011, Johnson scored a solo goal against his former club, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after being set up by Charlie Adam. This proved to be the decisive goal, with Liverpool winning 2–1.[45] On 26 February 2012, he helped Liverpool to win their first trophy since 2006 as they won the 2012 Football League Cup Final, playing the full game, hitting the crossbar in the opening minutes and scoring his penalty in the penalty shoot-out, winning his first trophy for Liverpool.[46] On 9 December 2012, Johnson scored Liverpool's first goal in a 3-2 win over his old club West Ham United.[47] He played a total of 36 league games that season with Liverpool, beating his previous record of 28.

On 29 November 2014 Johnson scored the only goal for Liverpool in a 1-0 victory over Stoke City.[48]

On 24 May 2015, Johnson announced that he would leave Liverpool at the end of the season.[49]

International career

Early career and Under-21s

File:Glen Johnson England (cropped).jpg
Johnson warming-up before playing a match for England at Wembley Stadium

During his time with the England U21s, Johnson was handed his full England debut on 18 November 2003 against Denmark, coming on as a substitute for the injured Gary Neville after 16 minutes.

Following a poor performance in England's friendly in Denmark in August 2005 he lost his position as Neville's understudy in the squad to Luke Young, who played in both the subsequent World Cup qualifiers. Johnson did not make any further England appearances under Sven-Göran Eriksson or his successor Steve McClaren but was named in Fabio Capello's first squad in January 2008.

2010 World Cup

He played in the 2–0 victory over Andorra, and made four assists in the subsequent 6–0 victory against the same team for which he was named Nationwide Man of the Match.

During England's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, he cemented his place as the squad's first choice right-back. Johnson scored his first goal for England in a friendly match against Mexico on 24 May 2010 at Wembley Stadium, which ended 3–1 to England.[50]

Euro 2012

File:Mario Balotelli Euro 2012 vs England 03.JPG
Johnson (left) with Mario Balotelli in England's quarter-final match against Italy in Euro 2012

In February 2011, Johnson began England's new calendar year by assisting Ashley Young's winning goal in a 2–1 victory over Denmark in Copenhagen.

On 16 May 2012, Johnson was named in new England manager Roy Hodgson's UEFA Euro 2012 squad.[51] After missing England's 1-0 friendly win against Norway through injury,[52] he played in England's second warm-up game; a 1-0 win against Belgium at Wembley.[53] He featured in all three of England's group games at the tournament, helping England to win their group with a draw against France, and wins against Sweden and Ukraine. On Sunday 24 June 2012, he started for England in their quarter-final fixture with Italy, in which they were eliminated on penalties.[54][55][56]

2014 World Cup

On 12 May 2014, Johnson was named in the 23-man England squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[57] During England's group stage match against Uruguay, Johnson made a run down the right wing, received a pass from Daniel Sturridge and speared a cross into the penalty area to Wayne Rooney who scored,[58] although Uruguay went on to win 2-1.[59]

Career statistics


As of 10 May 2015[60]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2001–02 West Ham United Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Millwall (loan) Division 1 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
West Ham United Premier League 15 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
2003–04 Chelsea 19 3 1 0 3 0 9 1 32 4
2004–05 16 0 3 0 3 0 6 0 28 0
2005–06 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
2006–07 Portsmouth (loan) 26 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 28 0
2007–08 Chelsea 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Portsmouth 29 1 6 0 1 0 0 0 36 1
2008–09 29 3 1 0 1 0 4 0 35 3
2009–10 Liverpool 25 3 0 0 1 0 9 0 35 3
2010–11 28 2 0 0 0 0 7 0 35 2
2011–12 23 1 3 0 3 0 0 0 29 1
2012–13 36 1 0 0 0 0 7 1 43 2
2013–14 29 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 30 0
2014–15 19 1 4 0 2 0 3 0 28 1
Career totals 308 15 25 0 17 0 45 2 395 17

National team statistics

As of 19 June 2014
England national team
Year Apps Goals
2003 1 0
2004 1 0
2005 3 0
2006 0 0
2007 0 0
2008 5 0
2009 10 0
2010 10 1
2011 5 0
2012 10 0
2013 4 0
2014 5 0
Total 54 1

International goals

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Scored
1 24 May 2010 Wembley Stadium, London, England 23x15px Mexico 3–1 3–1 Friendly match 1

Community work

In 2007, Johnson set up the Glen Johnson Soccer School alongside Sam Taylor, a former player of West Ham United. The soccer school is based in Dartford, Kent, and its primary focus is training and development within local schools and one of his students is currently at West Ham United.[4]






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  2. ^ "Liverpool F.C. Profile". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Cassidy, Fiona (30 November 2003). "England star Glen's lost dad; I JUST WANT TO SEE MY BOY AND SAY 'I LOVE YOU'.". Sunday Mirror (via Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
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  8. ^ "All Change". West Ham United. 2001-05-01. Retrieved 2008-08-19. Moving up to second year scholarships [in May 2001] are nine players, namely James Allen, Antony Dean, Freddy Eastwood, Glenn Jackson, Glen Johnson, Terence Khan, Billy Mehmet, Kesiena Metititri, and Niall Ritchie. 
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  45. ^ McNulty, Phil. "Chelsea 1 – 2 Liverpool". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
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External links