A defender who waited for his time to step into the first team and was always a reliable man to come into the side, although he failed to gain a regular place in the Tottenham team for a prolonged run.
Educated at the Gravesend County Grammar School, Johnnie played his early football for Dashwood Athletic and then got signed up by Gravesend and Northfleet, where he joined the youth team.
Having been spotted by Spurs, he signed on as an amateur in March 1950, but had to complete his national service with the air force, where he represented the RAF. Signed on as a professional in August 1953 and had to be patient, working his way through the A team and the Reserves, originally as an inside forward before being converted to a full back, until he was selected to make his debut at Blackpool in 1957.
Selected for an FA tour to Ghana in 1958, Hills was regarded as a solid professional, who, if at another club, might have put a large number of games under his belt.
While he only made 32 matches in the first team, John racked up about 200 games in the other teams the club ran, before he left to join Bristol Rovers. He only spent a short time at Eastville, before his seven game career was ended there by a knee injury.
After retiring from the game, Johnnie went into teaching physical education, working in Belgium, Paris and Sri Lanka, before retiring from work to settle in the Belgian capital.