Albert Johanneson

A hero at Leeds, he joined City towards the end of a long and successful career

Born in South Africa, Albert Johanneson joined Leeds United in 1961 at the age of 21.

He was one of the first high profile black men to play top flight football in England and is believed to be the first player of African heritage to play in the FA Cup Final.

Later, as a powerfully built and skilled left winger, he found his chances limited through injury and the emergence of Eddie Gray.

Aged 30, he was released in 1970 after playing 172 league games and scoring 48 goals for Leeds during an era where racial discrimination was rife.

He joined City in July 1970. He made a good start to his City career, featuring in the first 20 games before losing his place in November. Subsequently, he struggled for game time as City went onto clinch promotion from the basement division. His one and only game of the following season was on the opening day. He was released at the end of the season. In total, he made 33 appearances, scoring 5 goals for City, undoubtedly one of the most skilful players to ever play for City, unfortunately by the time he joined City, he was suffering in his personal life.

Divorce and an ongoing battle with alcoholism followed. Despite help from the PFA, he never really got back on his feet and he died in 1995, his body discovered a week after he had died alone in his Leeds' flat.

"Ground breaking sportsman who played with a smile, unfortunately, his well documented drinking was already affecting his playing when he joined City", Stewart McCartney

Footnote (1): His nephew Carl Johanneson was the British super featherweight title holder (2006 - 2008).

Footnote (2): Tony Collins (signed from Sheffield Wednesday) became City's first black player when he made his debut on 3rd December 1949. He was followed by Johannesburg born Gerry Francis (City debut, 21st October 1961). Hackney born Dennis Walker (signed from Manchester United, City debut, 22nd August 1964) was the next and he was followed by another South African born, ex Leeds player, Albert Johanneson (City debut, 15th August 1970)..

Albert Johanneson: The first black FA Cup finalist.