John Cushley (21 January 1943 – 24 March 2008) was a Scottish footballer who played for Celtic, West Ham United, Dunfermline Athletic and Dumbarton.

John Cushley
Personal information
Full name John Cushley[1]
Date of birth (1943-01-21)21 January 1943
Place of birth Hamilton, Scotland
Date of death 24 March 2008(2008-03-24) (aged 65)
Place of death Bothwell, Scotland
Playing position Centre half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1959–1960 Blantyre Celtic 0 (0)
1960–1967 Celtic 30 (0)
1967–1970 West Ham United 38 (0)
1970–1972 Dunfermline Athletic 49 (0)
1972–1976 Dumbarton 86 (0)
Total 203 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He was born in 1943 in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, and joined Celtic in July 1960 as a centre-half in the team's reserves. He made his first team debut for Celtic in March 1963, in a match against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Cushley found himself in the shadow of his teammate and former schoolmate, Billy McNeill, and many of his appearances for Celtic were dependent on McNeill's absence due to injury or international appearances. Nonetheless, Cushley played 41 games for Celtic, until he left the club in 1967 in a £10,000 transfer to West Ham United.[2]

In addition to his football career, Cushley was a teacher and a graduate in modern languages from the University of Glasgow. In 1964, he had acted as a Spanish translator when he and team manager Jimmy McGrory travelled to Spain in an unsuccessful attempt to sign Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stéfano to Celtic.[3] During his two years in London with West Ham, Cushley also worked as a teacher.

In 1970, he returned to Scotland, playing for Dunfermline Athletic and Dumbarton before retiring in 1976, although he continued teaching, and joined Celtic's coaching staff as an education officer.[4]

In 2007, Cushley was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (known as Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) in North America), the same illness that had claimed his Celtic teammate Jimmy Johnstone in 2006. He died at his home in Bothwell on 24 March 2008, aged 65.[3]


  1. ^ "John Cushley". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  2. ^ Obituary: John Cushley Archived 21 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, The Herald, 26 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b Former Celtic player John Cushley has died aged 65, Sunday Herald, 31 March 2008.
  4. ^ Lisbon Lions pay tribute to ex-Celt, Glasgow Evening Times, 28 March 2008.