Johnny Johnson, a cherished athletic trainer in the Giants organization whose strong hands worked on Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford, Michael Strahan and likely every player in between, passed away Sunday one month shy of his 99th birthday.
Johnson spent 60 years with the Giants, starting in 1948 and retiring, at the age of 90, after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII. He was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor last season.
“Johnny Johnson was one of the finest men I have ever known,” Giants co-owner John Mara said. “He spent 60 years with our team caring for players from Charlie Conerly and Frank Gifford, right on up to Eli Manning. Nobody was more loved and respected than Mr. J. We were so pleased to be able to include him in our Ring of Honor this past season. He was part of the family, and we will miss him terribly.”
In 1947, Johnson became the head trainer at Manhattan College and a year later was hired by the Giants. He kept both jobs for 56 years. Following open-heart surgery, he left the job at Manhattan and remained four more years with the Giants. Only Wellington Mara, the team patriarch, had a longer tenure with the franchise than Johnson, who was on the Giants’ staff for 874 regular-season games, 34 postseason games and worked for 12 head coaches. He was a part of four championship teams.