Obituary: Johnny Bollands

11 July 1935  –  16 September  2022

Sunderland: 16 March 1956 -  25  February 1960

SAFC career  63 appearance / 0 goals.

Club historian Rob Mason pays tribute

We were saddened to learn of the death of Johnny Bollands. He was a spectacular goalkeeper who inspired the young Jim Montgomery. Indeed on the night the Montgomery Suite was named at the Stadium of Light Bollands was invited along as a special guest. “I used to go and watch him in reserve matches when you could get in for nothing when I was a young lad” remembers Monty. “Johnny was very agile and a spectacular keeper who influenced me a lot. He was a lovely man and he’ll be sadly missed.”

Bollands played for Sunderland in five seasons, being first choice in 1956-57 when he made 40 appearances in total, the only season in which he reached double figures. In October 1956 he was selected along with his teammate Stan Anderson for an England Under 23 international squad against France.

After coming to prominence with South Bank, Bollands began and ended his senior career with Oldham Athletic where he was given his league debut with the Latics by future Sunderland manager George Hardwick. Johnny made his Sunderland debut against Birmingham City at Roker Park in March 1956 and his final appearance at Ipswich in September 1959 before being transferred to Bolton Wanderers in February 1960. After retiring from the game Johnny took over his father’s job at Teesport Docks and also worked as a long-distance lorry driver.

Back to top