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The club were formed in 1956, in response to an article in the “Johnstone & Linwood Gazette” newspaper from a journalist that had been ordered out of the newspaper’s office on the corner of Johnstone’s Rankine Street by the office manager with instructions not to return until he had a story. The journalist proceeded to ask locals what they thought about forming a new football club to replace the former Scottish league side Johnstone F.C..
Their most successful period was in the late 1950s and 1960s when they twice won junior football’s top prize – the Scottish Junior Cup. Probably their most successful manager was Jimmy Blackburn who led them to both their Scottish Cup wins as well as West of Scotland Cup and Central League Championship wins. One of our local lads, Bobby Dick, who hails from Elderslie, played what was then right half for the Burgh, and can boast two Scottish Cup winner’s medals as well as a number of other medals. In those days the cup final was played at Hampden Park, which made it a day to remember. In later years, Bobby’s nephew Alan Donohoe played in goal for the Burgh and was involved in their cup final of 2000.
The 1967-68 season was Johnstone Burgh’s most successful season: they won the Scottish Junior Cup, beating Glenrothes 2–1 in extra time after a 2–2 draw at Hampden in the first match. Hugh Gilshan scored the winner. The team also won the Central League Championship and the Evening Times Trophy that season.
Johnstone Burgh have a home support of around 100–150, though this tends to increase vastly when the team is doing well. An OVD Cup tie between Johnstone Burgh and Glenafton Athletic in February 2000 attracted a crowd of over 2000.
In the 2000 Scottish Junior Cup Final against Whitburn, goals by Colin Lindsay, who later had a spell as manager, and John McLay took the game to penalties after a 2–2 draw. Johnstone Burgh won on penalties in their semi-final at Love Street, but failed to repeat this success in the final.