Date: 2nd August 2009 at 8:55pm
Written by:

No 6 in the Imps all time top scorers is Johnny Garvie a gourmet on the Lincoln green theatre of dreams

Johnny Garvie

Full Name: John Garvie,
Date Of Birth : 16/10/1927
Birthplace : Bellshill
Died : 01/1996
Apps: 192 (184 League);
Goals: 80 (78 League)

In the Golden era of the fifties the Imps pocessed two golden nuggets, they became known as the G Force. And though Andy Graver grabbed most of the headlines as the centre forward, he owed many of them to the trickery of inside forward Johnie Garvie. The wee Scottish wizard had a pace matched only by his eye for a through ball. If neither of those options suited the terrier he would go alone with a mazy dribble ending with a howitzer of a rising drive. The great Andy Graver may have been the swinging pendulum but Garvie was without doubt the clock maker as the Imps held there own with the big boys in the power house of the old second division, now Championship.

Johnie was plucked from Bellshill Athletic, near Motherwell who played in the Scottish highland league by the mighty Preston North End in the summer of 1949. He managed 5 appearances in a side that had been sensationally relegated the season before and were very much in transition. Heads would roll and the Imps would profit as he was discarded as mighty PNE returned as champions the following season. If Chris Fagan can pick as many pockets as Bill Anderson he will be a star. Anderson unearthed another of his Scottish gems as Garvie hammered 21 goals in his first season at The Bank. It was love at first sight for Garvie and the Imps as he got a hat trick against Accy and braces against rivals Mansfield, New Brighton and Southport to end up top scorer, a feat in itself for an inside forward.

The following season fired us to the Division Three North Championship with the G force wading in with 55 goals to packed crowds. He bagged 21 goals with braces against Chesterfield and Stockport in front of a record home league gate of 21,501. That season saw 21,757 roll up for the 3-1 FA Cup victory over the Mariners with another colossal 19,522 for the league game.

That first season in back Division two was tough with our best ever home crowds. Garvie got a brace against Bury as the bank crammed in 22,029 V Huddersfield, 21,726 V Forest, 21,042 V Blackburn and 20,776 V Donny. We also enjoyed 2 gates over 19,000, 1 over 18,000, 3 over 17,000, 2 over 16,000 and 3 over15,000. The following season Johnny was the leading scorer again with 13 goals bagging braces against Liverpool and Rotherham in front of 18,897 . Johny also scored and was archetypal in Graver`s hatrick in the famous 4-2 silencing of over thirty thousand Scousers. Bet they moaned their way home along the cobbles that night

Johnny joined Carlisle United April 1956 and scored six times in 25 appearances. He later returned to his adopted Lincolnshire joining Boston United (scored in their first game in the Southern League), Corby Town, Stamford Town and Ilkeston Town. Denno may also recall that he was a steward of the Corby Trades and Labour club.

Johnny Garvie passed away in January 1996 aged 68.

LCFC overall record :
Apps : 192 (184 League); Goals : 80 (78 League)

Season 1950/1951 : 5th Div 3 N
Apps : 41 ; Goals : 21
Hat trick: V Accrington Stanley
Braces: Mansfield, New Brighton, Southport
Highest Gates. Scunthorpe 16,857, Rotherham 14,714
Typical Gates 8-9k 1 x 12k 4 x 11k 8 x 10k

Season 1951/1952 : Div 3 N Champions
Apps : 45 ; Goals : 21
Braces: Chesterfield, Stockport
Highest Gates: 21,757 FA Cup (3-1) 21,501 V Stockport 19,522 v Cods
Typical Gates 1 x 17K 1 x 16k 4 x 15k 1 x 14k 4 x 12k 4 x 11k 2 x 10k

Season 1952/1953 : 15th Div 2
Apps : 25 ; Goals : 10
Braces: Bury
Highest Gates: 22,029 V Huddersfield, 21,726 V Forest, 21,042 V Blackburn, 20,776 V Donny.
Typical Gates 4 over 20k, 2 over 19k, 1 over 18k, 3 over 17k, 2 over 16k, 3 over15k

Season 1953/1954: 16th Div 2
Apps : 13 ; Goals : 10 out injured until Xmas
Hat trick: V Fulham
Highest Gates 23,027 FA Cup 4th R Preston (0-2) 17,979 V Leeds (2-0), 17,593 V Everton (1-3)
Typical Gates: 12k, 4 over 16k 1 over 15k, 1 over 14k, 4 over 13k

Season 1954/1955 : 16th Div 2
Apps : 42 ; Goals : 13
Braces: Liverpool, Rotherham. Also scored one in return – a famous 4-2 away win at Anfield
Highest Gates 18,897 V Rotherham.
Typical Gates 11- 12k. 2 over 15k, 3 over 14k, 5 over 13k

Season 1955/1956 : 8th Div 2
Apps : 26 ; Goals : 5
Highest gates 21,025 V Sheff Wed ( we stayed top after a 2-2 draw having beaten Leicester 7-1 at home the week before)
Typical Gates 13,5k 2 over 18k, 2 over 16k

1 Andy Graver (50/51-54/55,55/56,58/59-60/61) Apps : 289 ; Goals : 150
2 Johnny Campbell (33/34-38/39) Aps 198(0) Goals 110
3 Gordon Hobson (77/78-84/85,88/89-89/90 Aps 372 (14) Goals 105
4 John Ward (70/71-78/79,81/82) Aps 243 (20) Goals 99
5 Billy Dinsdale (26/27-30,30/31) Aps 136 Goals 103
6 Johnny Garvie (50/51-55/56) Aps 192 (0) Goals 80
7 Roy Chapman (57/58-60/61, 64/65-66/67) Aps 186 (1) Goals 81
8 Allan Hall (1931/32-1932/33) Aps 76 (0) Goals 68
9 Percy Freeman (70/71-72/73, 74/75-76/77 Aps 166 (15) Goals 76
10 Ernie Whittle (1949/50-1953/54 151 aps 64 goals


5 Replies to “6 Johnny Garvie – G Force Gem”

  • Great article recalling one of City’s all time legends. But to be pedantic, Saint Andy didn’t play in the 4-2 at Liverpool, it was Bert Linnecor who got the famous hattrick a few years after.

  • Obviously attendances given the current capacity could not get anywhere near the ones in the article. Does anyone think given a stadium of the right size a Lincoln team in the 2nd tier now could attract any where near those numbers?

  • When I was a kid in 1956 we were travelling to Cumberland to spend Christmas with my grandparents and shared a train compartment with Mr and Mrs Garvie and their baby from Leeds to Carlisle.

  • We will be lucky to get anywhere near thosr figures again as it was a different era from to day.
    There was no tv So the couch potatoes had to get off there backsides and go to the ground if they wanted to watch football.
    There is much more competition in the leisure market for clubs to draw on.

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