John Crumlin
John Crumplin
John Crumplin
● John Crumplin, 1990 (GET)


John Leslie Crumplin was born on Friday, 26th May 1967, in Bath, Somerset.

The 5' 8 (10st 9lbs) defender joined John Lambie's Thistle for a trial period in July, 1993, having most recently been with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Aged 26, he made his debut appearance on Tuesday, 27th July, 1993, in a 2-1 friendly win away to Derry City.

There were no goals for John during his spell with Thistle.

He played his second and last game for the club on Saturday, 31st July, 1993, in a 2-1 friendly win away to Portadown.

John's club-list included Bognor Regis Town, Portsmouth, Brighton & Hove Albion, Partick Thistle, Hull City, Woking, Crawley Town, Selsey, East Preston, Three Bridges, St Leonards, Lewes and Crawley Down.

Bio Extra

John was born in Bath, Somerset, in 1967, and spent his early childhood in Singapore, where his soldier father was stationed, before the family settled in Walberton, West Sussex. He was on the books of Southampton as a youngster, but his progress was interrupted by a broken leg, and he joined Bognor Regis Town. After playing for Bognor's first team at 16, he spent time on the books of Portsmouth, and returned to Bognor before signing for Brighton & Hove Albion in March 1987.

John started as an out and out winger, but found his calling as a right wing-back. He made more than 200 Football League appearances for Brighton & Hove Albion in the late 1980s and early 1990s, where he was regarded as a wholehearted and enthusiastic player, if not blessed with natural talent. As Brighton's club website tells, he was a bit of a cult hero at the club and enjoyed probably the best game of his Albion career at Anfield in January 1991. Liverpool were First Division champions, with a formidable forward line of Peter Beardsley, Ian Rush, and John Barnes. Except for the 7,000 Albion fans who travelled north, no-one gave the Second Division strugglers a chance in the FA Cup fourth-round tie:


Rush netted twice in the first ten minutes and the red sections of the crowd were rubbing their hands in anticipation of an easy victory. They hadn’t reckoned on the football genius who discovered Barnes in his back pocket after the match. Mickey Small converted a spot-kick after the late Paul McCarthy was fouled and then, as full time approached, Crumplin waved goodbye to England international Barnes once more, sending over one of his trademark deliveries. Small rose between three home defenders to nod across the penalty area and John Byrne arrived with a perfect diving header to send the Anfield Road end wild. Chants of ‘Johnny Crumplin football genius’ reverberated through the Merseyside air long after the final whistle and an Albion legend was born.

After having been released by Brighton at the end of season 1992-93, John played trial games with both Partick Thistle and Hull City, joining John Lambie's Jags for their pre-season tour of Northern Ireland. After all that, he ended up re-signing for one final campaign at Brighton! After finally leaving the Seagulls one year later, he played for Woking, contributing 3 goals from 48 Conference appearances as the team finished as runners-up in 1994–95 and 1995–96 as well as starting in the 1994–95 FA Trophy final. John later played for Crawley Town, Selsey, East Preston, Three Bridges, St Leonards, Lewes – where he also acted as physiotherapist – and Crawley Down.

John was player-manager of Selsey, Three Bridges, and Crawley Down, and then, after hanging up his boots, managed Ringmer, Crawley Down for a second spell, Redhill in October 2008, and Walton and Hersham from 2009 to 2010 when he resigned to concentrate on his builder business.


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