Vale Brian Johnson

The New South Wales Rugby League would like to send its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Brian Johnson, who has passed away at the age of 59 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

He is survived by his wife Karen and two sons.

Johnson made an impressive start to his successful playing career, earning representative honours with the New South Wales Country Origin Firsts team in 1978.

He joined the St George Dragons the following year and made an immediate impact in an outstanding debut season, capped by scoring a try in the 17-13 Grand Final victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

After seven years at the Dragons – which included a 1980 Dally M Fullback of the Year award - he played his final season in the NSWRL for Eastern Suburbs in 1986, before finishing his playing career in England with the Warrington Wolves.

Johnson scored 48 tries in 103 games for the Wolves, and was subsequently appointed their Head Coach in 1988 for a nine-year stint. He coached the side to a Lancashire Cup win in 1989 and the Regal Trophy in 1992.

Following his time in England, Johnson was later employed by the Australian Institute of Sport as a rugby league coach.