Mikey Johnston is only 18 years of age, but he has undoubtedly just had the best weekend of his life.
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) May 8, 2017
A lifelong Celtic fan, Johnston, who signed with the Glasgow club’s youth development program when he was just nine, made his first-team debut for the Hoops on Saturday in a 4-1 win over St. Johnstone. In just under an hour on the field, he wowed the crowd at Celtic Park, setting up a beautiful goal by Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts.
— Read Celtic (@ReadCeltic) May 6, 2017
He and fellow Celtic youngster Anthony Ralston earned plaudits from Bhoys manager Brendan Rodgers after the match: “With young Mikey, you see the profile of a player I like,” the manager told The Scotsman. “He’s an exciting player, he’s fast. He’s dynamic and once he becomes a little bit better on the final pass, and can add goals, then he’s going to be a big, big talent.”
"I'm absolutely delighted. I have played for this club for about 10 years and I have supported them my full life."
Michael Johnston pic.twitter.com/CY2ti9ycXr— CelticQuote (@CelticQuote) May 7, 2017
But Johnston’s wonder weekend was far from over. On Sunday, Celtic announced that they had signed the young Johnston to a new, three-year contract.
“I have played for this club for about 10 years and I have supported them my full life so to make my debut and then sign the contract and commit my future here is unbelievable,” he told the press. “It was literally straight after the final whistle. Once I got changed, I went straight in and got the deal signed. I knew it was happening and it all came on the right day. I have committed my future here for a reason. This is where I want to be.”
Tekkers from Mikey Johnston. pic.twitter.com/wM6C2HcAka— CelticLisboa (@CelticLisboa) May 11, 2017
That should be music to the ears of Celtic supporters everywhere, as the young player has already drawn comparisons to a club legend with a similar name — Jimmy Johnstone. “Wee Jinky” made more than 500 appearances for Celtic and scored 129 goals. And, of course, he was a key cog in the “Lisbon Lions”, the Celtic side that won the European Cup in 1967.
Obviously, the younger Johnston has a long way to go before he reaches Jinky’s level. But his career is certainly off to a good start.