‘It’s bigger than the Johnstone’s Paint’

26 Jul

Lee Johnson (left), Karen Johnson & Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson’s wife Karen presented the ‘Johnson Cup’ to son Lee after Monday’s game

“This is bigger than the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy!”

A bold claim, some might say, but Cheltenham Town boss Gary Johnson was keen to play up the significance of Monday’s pre-season friendly against Bristol City.

Family trophies are not normally up for grabs, and the Johnson Cup is certainly a unique prize.

The father-son bragging rights eventually went to son Lee, as Championship side Bristol City won 2-1, but what did it mean to him to win a first ‘trophy’ of the season against the League Two club?

“It does make me cringe a little bit,” City’s head coach, 35, told BBC Radio Bristol. “I’m trying to be serious here and my dad’s playing the media a treat, like he always does, but it’s all good fun.

“Whatever we’re playing, however small the game – table tennis, tiddlywinks – we try to beat each other.

“Actually, it probably did give it a little bit of spice, whether it was that or the players wanted to impress. And it was nice and funny that my mum comes down and presents a trophy.”

Town boss Gary, 60, added: “We thought we’d make it a little bit special.”

Gary Johnson<!–

Former Oldham Athletic boss Lee had been looking for a touch of revenge, having lost 4-0 to then-Yeovil Town boss Gary the last time they met, in a League One match at Boundary Park in 2014.

After that resounding victory, dad Gary declared himself the holder of the Johnson Cup.

However, Lee can now take the silverware home to proudly display on his own mantelpiece.

Lee Johnson (left) on Twitter<!–

The good relationship between the two clubs was clear to see on Monday and Bristol City even allowed Austrian goalkeeper Ivan Lucic – who was on trial before a proposed move from Bayern Munich – to play in goal for Cheltenham.

The question that remains is: When will the two managers’ teams meet again?

Cheltenham Town<!–


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