Mark Johnson (footballer)

Mark 'MJ' Johnson (born 23 May 1978) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Essendon Football Club and Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson while playing in his final season with Fremantle
Personal information
Full name Mark Eugene Johnson
Date of birth (1978-05-23) 23 May 1978
Original team(s) Diggers Rest /Sunbury /Calder U18
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 80 kg (176 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
19992007 Essendon 194 0(92)
2008 Fremantle 014 00(8)
Total 208 (100)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2008.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Early life

Johnson is commonly known as "Mr. Sunbury", referring to the body building award he won as a teenager in his home town of Sunbury, Victoria.[1]

Mark commenced his junior football with Diggers Rest Football Club, before moving to Sunbury Lions.

He was drafted to Essendon as a rookie after playing underage with the Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup competition.

AFL career

Johnson was elevated from the Essendon rookie list in 1998, playing his first game in 1999. He was part of the 2000 premiership side, and won the W.S. Crichton Medal in 2002.

Known for his toughness, Johnson was part of the midfield duo known as the "Johnson Boys" at Essendon, the other member being Jason Johnson. The two are not related, however Mark did have a brother who played in the AFL for Geelong, David Johnson.

He was a courageous player and sometimes his height and strength were underestimated by opposition players. He played every match in 2006 and was one of just three Essendon players to do so; the others being Brent Stanton and Scott Lucas.

On 15 October 2007, Essendon announced that 29-year-old Johnson was to be delisted by the club, giving him the option of nominating for the national draft.[2] The decision to delist Johnson was unpopular to many Essendon fans who enjoyed Mark's 'hard at it' attitude to his footy.

In November 2007, Mark was training with rival club, the Kangaroos.[3] In the 2007 AFL Draft however, he was drafted to West Australian club, Fremantle, where he was reunited with former Essendon teammates Dean Solomon, who was traded by Essendon in 2006, and Kepler Bradley, also delisted by the Dons at the end of the 2007 season.

Johnson brought up his 200th AFL game in round 14, coincidentally against his former side, Essendon, at Domain Stadium. His old club triumphed by four points.[4] He later sustained a career ending shoulder injury and played his last game in round 22 against Collingwood, which Fremantle won by 24 points.

He later sought compensation from the Dockers for his injury.[5]

Playing statistics

Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1999 Essendon 2815211317921047200.
2000 Essendon 12454269124393102390.
2001 Essendon 1231022508933984480.
2002 Essendon 12452247142389109780.
2003 Essendon 12484257165422107980.
2004 Essendon 120171116211727954570.
2005 Essendon 1222912265133398106841.30.512.
2006 Essendon 1229421214635899640.
2007 Essendon 1207318013131198490.
2008 Fremantle 171483886014835310.
Career 208 100 46 2061 1186 3247 841 568 0.5 0.2 9.9 5.7 15.6 4.0 2.7


  1. Exclusive Interview - Mark Johnson Archived 18 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine Accessed on 11 December 2006
  2. Essendon FC: Essendon Delists three players Archived 18 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine 15 October 2007
  3. Matthews, Bruce; Mark Johnson keen; 14 November 2007
  4. Conway, Simon (23 July 2016). "'To be honest I did hate it'". Essendon Football Club. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  6. Mark Johnson's player profile at AFL Tables
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