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 Johnny LEATHEM 1935-1941 
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:29 pm
Posts: 675

Name: John "Johnny" Leathem

Nickname: "Jack The Hack"


Country: :NIR: Northern Ireland
Club: Belfast Celtic
Position: *DMF, CMF, AMF, SS
Side: RF/BS
Age: 23-29 years (??/??/1912)

Height: 181 cm
Weight: 79 kg

Attack: 73
Defence: 78
Balance: 82
Stamina: 81
Top Speed: 80
Acceleration: 76
Response: 81
Agility: 75
Dribble Accuracy: 79
Dribble Speed: 75
Short Pass Accuracy: 81
Short Pass Speed: 76
Long Pass Accuracy: 80
Long Pass Speed: 77
Shot Accuracy: 71
Shot Power: 82
Shot Technique: 73
Free Kick Accuracy: 65
Curling: 66
Header: 85
Jump: 84
Technique: 79
Aggression: 68
Mentality: 83
Goalkeeper Skills: 50
Team Work: 80

Injury Tolerance: A
Condition/Fitness: 7
Weak Foot Accuracy: 5
Weak Foot Frequency: 5
Consistency: 7
Growth Type: Standard/Lasting



Attack/Defence Awareness Card: Balanced


An extremely versatile player, Johnny Leathem could play anywhere across the half-back line as well as at inside-left – he even played a couple of games for Dundalk as ‘keeper.

Spotted playing with local Junior side Gilford Crusaders in the early-‘thirties, it was Glenavon who pipped Belfast Celtic to Leathem’s signature. He lasted only a short time at Mourneview before joining a Glentoran side regularly shipping goals and desperate for some defensive mettle. Within just a few months of his arrival at the Oval he claimed an Irish Cup winners medal. It took three matches to see off Distillery (1-1, 1-1, 3-1), with Leathem at left-half in the first two games and inside-left in the decider. Two years later he claimed his second winner’s medal in the Blue Riband final, another marathon of matches, all at left-half, were required to see off Larne (0-0, 0-0, 1-0).

In 1936 Leathem signed for Belfast Celtic as Elisha Scott sought to re-invigorate his side. At Paradise he slotted into the centre-half position as five consecutive League titles were claimed, together with three Irish Cups and every other trophy available. In January 1940 Celtic dished out a 13-0 hammering to Glenavon, Peter O’Connor scoring eleven and Charlie McIlroy and Leathem claiming one-a-piece. It was only the emergence of Jack Vernon that forced Leathem out of the centre-half position, and even then he simply returned to the left-half berth. Eventually Scott decided that Leathem was surplus to requirements, and in the summer of 1941 he joined Dundalk.

Immediately popular with all at Dundalk, Leathem proved a very consistent and reliable player, seldom missing a game. In his first season with the Railwaymen he played at centre-half in a 3-1 FAI Cup Final win over Cork United (Dundalk’s first success in that competition) and in the 1-0 Inter-City Cup Final win over Shamrock Rovers. Both Glentoran and Belfast Celtic were dispatched on the way to the Final of the first ever North-South competition.

The 1942/43 season brought another early success, Leathem scoring in an early round hammering of Bray Unknowns as the City Cup was claimed thanks to a 4-2 Final win over Drumcondra. Dundalk also ran close to a League success, finishing runners-up, just a point behind champions, Cork United. Leathem was rewarded with selection for the Inter-League matches against the Northern Regional League for his efforts. In the first match the North won 1-0 at Dalymount Park and in the return fixture at Windsor Park Leathem scored in a 2-2 draw.

Success eluded Dundalk for the remainder of Leathem’s time at Oriel Park, with his appearances as stand-in ‘keeper for the injured Gerry Matier an interesting footnote. Also a useful cricketer, Leathem regularly knocked up centuries for Lurgan CC.

Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:28 pm

Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:29 pm
Posts: 675

Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:46 am
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