From: North Launceston
Number: 8 (1959-1969)
Premiership player - 1959, 1960, 1964
Captain - 1969
Team of the Century - full back
150 Heroes selection
Life Member - 1968
Victorian state player - 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967 (12 matches)
MFC Hall of Fame - 2006
Statistical categories led
Most games in jumper 8
Known as 'Tassie' due to the prevalence of other Robert Johnsons at Melbourne, he had to sit out of football for a year after being recruited by the Demons while waiting for a clearance from North Launceston. The dispute between the VFL and the Tasmanian league caused him to miss the entire 1958 season despite being on Melbourne's list.
Johnson played in an exhibition game in Brisbane in September of that year, and appealed the decision in November on the basis that he had been moved to Melbourne by his employer, but the Australian National Football Council rejected the idea.
After playing most of his football in Tasmania as a key position forward, Johnson became one of the league's best defenders. He played at full-back in his first two premiership sides, before turning out as a back pocket in the last with an occasion turn in the ruck when the ball was in defence. He was one of the longest drop kicks in the game, usually landing the football near the middle of the ground when kicking in.
Despite being interviewed for a position as playing coach at Albury, Johnson opted to remain at the Demons, and in Melbourne where he worked, and was promoted to vice-captain in 1967. He represented Australia on the 1968 Galah's World Tour. Later in his career was used in other positions including centre-half forward. In Round 16, 1969 he became the first Tasmanian to play 200 VFL games before retiring at the end of the year.
He was later named in the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame.
|Round 7, 1966||Striking||Not Guilty|