Ex-Notts County striker Tommy Johnson was presented with the Notts County Former Players’ Association’s Achievement Award at their 15th Annual Dinner.
Tommy scored 57 goals in 149 appearances for the Magpies, including a combined total of three finishes in back-to-back Play-Off finals that saw the club climb from the third tier to the top flight in the 1989.90 and 1990.91 campaigns under Neil Warnock.
Every year, the NCFPA pays tribute to a County legend with the accolade and Tommy was this year’s deserved recipient.
“I was 13 and I came down for trials and the first training session was with Jimmy Sirrel and that was the sort of club it was,” he said.
“All the players made you feel so welcome and, although my family wanted me to stay at home and play for Newcastle, I knew I wanted to play here and I’ve been here ever since.
“My time here was great and I couldn’t have had a better start to my career.”
A number of his former teammates paid tribute to his accomplishments in the Black and White stripes.
Midfielder Dean Thomas said: “He’s wonderful character, his personality is infectious and that’s the kind of personality you want as a footballer.
“More than that, he was a fantastic footballer, he was very direct, had a lot of pace and very dynamic.
“The amount of goals he scored was a credit to this football club and he went on to Aston Villa and Celtic and had a fantastic career.
“That’s the potential I saw in him the day I arrived at Meadow Lane and he deserves the award.”
Good friend and midfielder Mark Draper said: “Tommy was hungry and that’s the first thing you look for in a footballer, he was very narrow minded and knew what he wanted.
“Any kid you see, you’ve got to have that hunger first and foremost and he had that in abundance.
“He was a natural finisher, he was greedy and we were saying that he’s never heard of a one-two.
“Tommy always used to have a saying: ‘I’ve got you your bonus’ and he was right – at the end of the day, he was the man that put the ball in the back of the net.”
Striker Dave Regis, who presented Tommy with the award, said: “He was great and nothing except for that he wouldn’t pass the ball back to you.
“If anyone could find a clip of him passing the ball to me I’ll give them a tenner – seriously.
“As a strike-partner or as a three, you didn’t mind and you did it for the team and more often than not, Tommy would score the goals.”
Draper was also awarded the Harold Mace Memorial Trophy on the night, which saw around 150 people show their support in the Wheeler’s.