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Reporter publishes book on boyhood football hero

A local press journalist has published a book telling the story of a Scottish football legend who was his boyhood hero.

‘Pittodrie’s Silent Assassin,’ by Highland News reporter Donald Wilson, looks back at the career of 60s Aberdeen star Davy Johnston.

Johnston, a flying winger with an explosive turn of speed, was regarded by many – including Donald – as the greatest player ever to come from the North of Scotland.

But his career was blighted by homesickness and he retired without ever having fulfilled his huge potential.

The book, Donald’s first, was launched officially on Saturday in Johnston’s home town of Nairn and is available priced £14.99 at

Donald, who also hails from Nairn, said: “Davy was my boyhood hero and the hero of many youngsters in the town during that era.

“He was a wonderful person and a very quiet individual who I got to know as a committee member of Nairn St Ninian FC.”

Johnston made his Scottish League debut for Hearts aged 17 in 1960 but returned to Nairn homesick. He scored 73 goals in 1963-64 for his home town team Nairn County before joining the Dons in 1966.

After scoring 37 goals in 99 games for Aberdeen he returned to the Highland League with Inverness Caledonian and finished his playing days at Nairn. He died of cancer in 2004.

Added Donald: “I cannot thank Aberdeen Football Club, the AFC Heritage Trust, AFC Former Players Association and my publisher Cilve Leatherdale enough for all the assistance I received in bringing this project to fruition.

“Players and fans responded graciously and I thank them all for their support.”