AT Port Melbourne, he was not just Frank Johnson. He was “the legendary Frank Johnson’’ or “the great Frank Johnson’’.
A champion ruckman who crossed the bridge from association to league football with ease late in his career, Johnson died yesterday at the age of 84.
In 2007 he was the first (and remains the only) VFA player to be inducted to the Australian football hame of fame.
Johnson was at Port from 1950-57, winning five best and fairests and the 1952 JJ Liston Trophy, playing in eight consecutive grand finals and the 1953 premiership team, and gaining selection in the 1953 and ‘56 All Australian sides.
He also coached the Borough in 1956-57.
Frank Johnson marking in the 1952 VFA grand final against Oakleigh.
Johnson then coached South Warrnambool in 1958-59 and the following year joined South Melbourne, which had coveted his signature for some years.
In his first season as a Swan he won the best and fairest at age 27, edging out Bobby Skilton. He stayed with South until 1964, notching 64 games.