Although he was slightly built, inside forward Johnny Brooks always showed a good range of skills that could open up a defence.
A good player from an early age, representing Reading and Berkshire schoolboys, with his skilful and fast style, Johnny Brooks carved out a name for himself at local side Reading in the inside forward position, being signed as a professional after six weeks with the Royals. it was his ability attracted Tottenham to sign the player in 1953. Johnny chose spurs over a move to Newcastle United and cost the club £,000 plus two players - Dennis Uphill and Harry Robshaw - in exchange for the little forward. Brooks went into the Tottenham line-up in April 1954, but failed to make an immediate impact, finding the top division tougher than what he had been used to. However, by the end of the campaign, he had become a regular member of the team and became a popular figure in the side, with his feints and shimmies beating players to make chances for the Spurs strikers.
A fan favourite because of his dribbling skill and being able to put chances on a plate for Bobby Smith and George Robb, but there was also his eye for a goal and he was spotted by the England selectors, who picked him three times (in which he scored twice) in 1956-57, before they decided that he was not compatible with Johnny Haynes and he was not chosen again.
With the Tottenham team in transition between the championship winning 'Push and Run' side of the late 1940s/early 1950s and the formation of Bill Nicholson's Double team, Brooks was the sort of player that could have forged a link between the two eras. But there was not a string of consistent performances by the player, who could win a game on his won on his day, but as Bill Nicholson took over from Arthur Rowe and Jimmy Anderson, fell out of favour as Alfie Stokes was preferred and Bill Nick brought in players to produce the winning formula.
With Les Allen not getting a regular start at Stamford Bridge, Nicholson identified him as the man to pair with Bobby Smith in attack and the cost was parting with Brooks, who made the move in the opposite direction to sign for his former Reading boss Ted Drake late in 1959. His abilities were not fully utilised by Chelsea, for whom he was an irregular name on the team sheet for the first XI, playing only 52 games in six years before Johnny moved on to Brentford and Crystal Palace to wind down his career, including a year playing in the North American Soccer League. Became player-manager at Knebworth Town.
Worked as a messenger for a foreign exchange broker's firm near London Wall in the City of London, but Johnny is now retired and lives in Bournemouth, Hampshire.
Johnny's son Shaun was also a footballer and played for Crystal Palace, Leyton Orient and Bournemouth.