Player name in full: John Andrew Crossan
Debut Game: 1964
Last Game: 1967
Number of appearances: 110
Goals scored: 29
Johnny Crossan was born on 29 November 1938 in Derry, Northern Ireland.
Crossan began his playing career at Derry City. His talent was spotted by several leading English clubs, including Arsenal and Sunderland.
When Sunderland made a substantial bid, Derry City offered Crossan a payment deal which he rejected. When the Sunderland negotiations broke down, Derry City dropped Crossan, who signed for Coleraine. Derry City, still aggrieved by Crossan's actions, reported themselves to the Football League authorities for technical breaches of regulations, thus ensuring that Crossan would face disciplinary action.
In January 1959, a commission of inquiry imposed small fines on Derry and Coleraine but banned Crossan from all forms of football for life. A partial lifting of the ban was allowed following an appeal and in May 1959 the inside forward signed for Dutch Champions Sparta Rotterdam.
He went from the Netherlands to Standard Liège, where he played in the semi-final of the European Cup against Real Madrid. In 1963, Crossan returned to football in the UK (following the lifting of his 'lifetime' ban) where he was signed by Sunderland, with whom he made it to the First Division.
He then signed for City who were playing in the Second Division in 1965 making his debut against Derby County in January 1965 and became a pivotal member of the promotion team back to the First Division in 1966. That season is widely believed to have been the start of Manchester City's golden era, a period largely concurrent with the reign of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison as managers at the club and as team captain, he was the first player under Joe Mercer’s successful reign to lift a trophy. That season was Manchester City F.C.'s seventy-fourth season of league football and second consecutive season back in the Football League Second Division.
The 1966 /67 season saw Manchester City in the First Division after winning promotion from the Second Division in 1966. A fifteenth-place finish consolidated the club's place in the division. However, Club captain Johnny Crossan struggled with injuries and a loss of form and was sold to Middlesbrough for £34,500 in the close season with Tony Book succeeding him as captain Manchester City.
Non-City career (briefly):
After leaving City he played over 50 games for Middlesborough between 1967-70 before heading to Belgium to play 5 years with KSK Tongeren
Internationally, he was capped 24 times by Northern Ireland and scored 10 goals and he is now an author, radio sports analyst and entrepreneur.