John Aloysius Paton 1923-2015
A one game wonder as wartime guest for the Gunners, he went on to be a hugely popular player wherever he appeared.
Born in Glasgow on 2 April 1923, after a number of junior Scottish clubs he joined Celtic on 28 May 1942, and he then joined the RAF in July 1943.
Paton appeared for Arsenal in one match as a guest player from Celtic on 24 February 1945 in a Wartime Football League Cup – South tie against Reading, where he played left wing and scored a goal in the 3-0 victory.
In the wartime he played in the American Soccer League for the New York Americans as his role as a navigator saw him stationed in USA.
In Britain as well as the Gunners he also guested for: Crystal Palace, Millwall, Manchester City and Leeds in England and East Fife in Scotland. Paton also represented the RAF in wartime games.
While still in the RAF Paton joined Chelsea on loan from Celtic in December 1946, returning to Glasgow in summer 1947. But a dispute with management over wages saw him return to London for Brentford on 9 September 1949.
He remained at Griffin Park until July 1952 where he moved to Watford. After he finished playing Paton was made manager at Vicarage Road for a short term spell in 1955-56.
With an interest in coaching under Walter Winterbottom he took FA coaching badges and worked for the FA.
After finishing in football he took over the management of an Ealing snooker hall, at which game he became a professional referee and coach. Additionally he tried his hand successfully at photography, dancing and boxing at various points during his lifetime
Johnny Paton passed away in Stanmore, London, on 2 October 2015 aged 92.
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