He was fast on his feet and unique in Scottish football - but who was Johnny MacKenzie, the Firhill Flyer?

1 Dashing winger John-Archie MacKenzie, the only native Gaelic speaker to be capped at football by Scotland, was born in Dennistoun in September, 1925. His father Donald was a seafarer from Skye, his mother, Ann MacKinnon was from Tiree, and it was to her home island that the family moved when Johnny was a boy. They moved back to Glasgow however, because doctors said the damp sea air was badly affecting Johnny’s health. (When he went to school, he could speak very little English, having always spoken Gaelic on Tiree.)

Glasgow Times: Johnny and fellow team-mates in a training session in 1957. Pic: Newsquest

2 Johnny played football on Tiree in the summer holidays, and after leaving school in 1943, he played for his works team as he completed an apprenticeship with an engineering firm. From there, he signed for junior football giants Petershill and then Partick Thistle. Shortly after joining the Jags, he was called up into the Scots Guards, with whom he served until the end of the war.

READ MORE: 'She was proud of her Springburn roots' - the story of Scotland's 'forgotten' suffragette

3 Johnny made his first-team debut in August 1948, and was chosen for the Scotland Tour to North America – one of the few uncapped players to travel. Back home, he helped Thistle to League Cup finals in 1953, 1956 and 1959, but losing all three, the team’s reputation for unpredictable results told against him. In November 1953, John-Archie was awarded his first cap, in a 3-3 Hampden draw with Wales.

4 In the Scotland v Hungary game in December 1954, which Hungary won 4-2, Hungarian captain Ferenc Puskas described Johnny’s performance as “the most-magnificent display of wing play I have ever seen”. He was so fast he became known as the Firhill Flyer.

READ MORE: 'I love the feeling of belonging' Glasgow actor Sean O'Kane's city memories

5 Johnny left Thistle in 1960 after more than 400 games. He played for Dumbarton, and Derry City, with whom he won an Irish Cup-winners’ medal, and ended his career as a trainer with Third Lanark during the final days of the club. Johnny died five years ago, aged 91.