Allan Johnston reveals why former Hearts team-mates didn't call him 'Magic'

Hearts supporters used to revere Allan Johnston during his time at Tynecastle – particularly in the 1995/96 season where the winger really came into his own, including scoring a famous hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Rangers at Ibrox.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 12:31 pm
Former Hearts star Allan Johnston. Picture: SNS

His scintillating form, and the similarity of his name with a American basketball star, had fans widely referring to him as ‘Magic’ Johnson.

However, this wasn’t the popular moniker with his Hearts team-mates. After Johnston headed home an injury-time winner to defeat Aberdeen 2-1 in a Scottish Cup semi-final, club legend John Robertson was doing an interview with the BBC when he said he thought John Colquhoun had got the goal and didn’t learn of the scorer’s identity until he got back into the changing room and realised it was “wee sticky” instead.

It was a name that followed Johnston he moved on from Hearts the following summer, going to France to sign with Rennes before coming back to the UK and having noted spells with Sunderland, Rangers and Kilmarnock. But where did the nickname come from?

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"Sticky was what the majority of the boys called us,” Johnston told the Evening News when remembering his part in the triumphant victory over Aberdeen at Hampden on April 6, 1996.

“It was for two reasons. Firstly, when I must came in I must have only weighed about seven stone. I was outrageously thin. And they also said the ball used to stick to me as well.

“So yeah, that's where 'Sticky' came from.”

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