John was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1944. He was picked for the U11 select team that played in the Wilson Cup, a competition for all district teams in Scotland. He played juvenile soccer for the Moorpark Royal Victoria team for 2 years in the P & D league.
John immigrated to Canada in 1969 and joined Saltfleet Go-Ahead soccer club in the SOSL in 1970 where he won the team MVP and league’s top goalkeeper twice. He left Saltfleet and played for Dundas United Soccer Club, where he resided. John was also the secretary for Dundas Untied for many years, and was instrumental in Dundas United being accepted into the Ontario Inter-City Soccer league (OICSL) where he finished his serious playing days. John also played intermittently with both Hamilton City and Hamilton Apollo in the NSL.
John’s coaching career started in 1978 with Dundas United’s reserve team in the SOSL Premier Division, winning the 1978 League and Playoff Championship. The team was a mixture of veterans and youngsters, not quite ready for first team duty.
John was appointed OICSL team coach for Dundas in 1979 during a time of re-build. An U18 youth team was added with John bringing in several young players from McMaster University, making the team more competitive.
During his five and half years at Dundas the team won 4 OICSL league Cups and were finalists twice. They won three Spectators Cups from 1979 – 1984 and were Ontario Cup finalists in 1980 and 1982. The team never finished lower than 3rd in the OICSL and won three league titles before resigning in 1984, for personal reasons. Gerry Shaw took over as player/coach for the remainder of the year and the team went on to win the League, Spectator Cup, Ontario Cup and lost in the Canadian Championship. Dundas United was selected Team of the Decade (1980 -1989) to cap a glorious run. Between 1979 and 1984 the team won 83% of league games.
In 1985 John was appointed head coach of the Mohawk College Soccer Program where he worked as a Teaching Master in the Electrical Apprenticeship Program. After a poor start the first year, the team was rebuilt, just missing the playoffs. In the following four years the team was OCAA silver medallists three times, won OCAA gold and CCAA Canadian Championship in 1989. It was the first Gold for the college. The program won 70% of games between 1985 and 1991.
John coached both his sons in youth soccer in Dundas and Brantford for many years and recently retired from work and soccer.
1990 Nat. Achievement Award from Ontario – distinguished performance in the field of Amateur Sport
2001 Inducted into Mohawk College Hall of Fame – Category Builder
2004 President’s Award for Excellence – Mohawk College