Johnny Crosbie

John Anderson Crosbie (3 June 1896 – 1 February 1982) was a Scottish professional footballer, who played as an inside forward in the Scottish Football League for Ayr United and made more than 400 appearances in the Football League for Birmingham. He was capped twice for the Scotland national football team.

Johnny Crosbie
Personal information
Full name John Anderson Crosbie[1]
Date of birth (1896-06-03)3 June 1896
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Date of death 1 February 1982(1982-02-01) (aged 85)[2]
Place of death Ayr, Scotland
Height 5 ft 7+34 in (1.72 m)[3]
Position(s) Inside forward
Youth career
Glenbuck Cherrypickers
Muirkirk Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
0000–1913 Saltcoats Victoria
1913–1920 Ayr United 157 (45)
Clyde (guest) 1 (0)
1920–1932 Birmingham 409 (71)
1932–1933 Chesterfield 3 (0)
National team
1919 Scotland (wartime)[4] 1 (0)
1920–1922 Scotland 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Crosbie was born on 3 June 1896 in the Gorbals district of Glasgow. As a youth he played for several clubs in his local Ayrshire area, including the Glenbuck Cherrypickers club which produced many Scottish footballers.[5]

In July 1913, Crosbie signed for Ayr United. When the First World War put a temporary halt to his football career, he volunteered for the Lanarkshire Yeomanry. Ayr's board of directors agreed to keep him on half pay for the duration of his military service.[6] After the war Crosbie returned to play for Ayr.[7] He won his first full cap for Scotland in 1920 against Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff.[8] In May of that year he signed for Birmingham for a club record fee of £3,700.[9]

Crosbie played a great part in Birmingham's winning the Second Division championship in the 1920–21 season, playing in every game and creating numerous goals.[10] The following season, he won his second and last cap for Scotland, in a 1–0 win against England at Villa Park, Birmingham.[8] He formed an excellent understanding with Joe Bradford, Birmingham's leading scorer throughout the 1920s. He set up Bradford's goal in the 1931 FA Cup Final, but this was not enough to give his side victory.[10]

After finishing with football, he returned to Scotland and settled in Ayr,[6] where he died in February 1982 aged 85.[10]




  1. Joyce, Michael (16 October 2012). Football League Players' Records 1888–1939 (3rd Revised ed.). Tony Brown. p. 71. ISBN 9781905891610.
  2. "Chesterfield FC: Player-based information – 1921–2018". Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  3. "Blues" News. The Official Programme of Birmingham Football Club, Ltd. Birmingham F.C. 30 August 1924. p. 3.
  4. "Sat 19 Apr 1919 Ireland 0 Scotland 0". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  5. Faulds, Rev. M. H. & Tweedie, Wm., Jnr. (1997) [1951]. The Cherrypickers Glenbuck Nursery of Footballers (PDF). Muirkirk Advertiser and Douglasdale Gazette. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  6. "Ayr United and World War One". Ayr United F.C. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  7. Litster, John. Record of Pre-War Scottish League Players. Norwich: PM Publications.
  8. "John Crosbie". Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  9. Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  10. Matthews, Tony. Birmingham City: A Complete Record. pp. 14–19.