Putting faces to a name

NAME GAME: AFL footballer Steve Johnson, left, competes with race car driver Steve Johnson at Skilled Stadium yesterday. Photo: PHILLIP STUBBS  
Thursday, August 15

STEVE Johnson outmarked Steve Johnson at Skilled Stadium yesterday.

The leading Ford racing driver and the star young Cats footballer who share the same name went head-to-head in a marking contest.

V8 speed ace Steve Johnson, 28, pulled seniority and took pole position to mark ahead of the 19-year-old Cats goalsneak. The two Steve Johnsons met for the first time at Colonial Stadium recently.

Yesterday young Steve presented the former rugby player from Surfers Paradise with a Cats jumper to cement his new-found interest in Aussie rules.

The V8 Supercar driver was captivated by the Cats fighting win over Essendon when he watched his first AFL game with fellow tyre-burner Craig Lowndes, a Bombers fan.

He'll be donning the Shell Helix racing suit at Winton, near Benalla, this weekend as the V8 Supercars near the business end of the season.

The Winton circuit is not far from Wangaratta, hometown of footballing Steve.

``I've watched a couple of races at Winton,'' the dashing flanker said. ``Even as a little fellow I used to tell other kids Dick Johnson (Ford racing legend and father of driver Steve) was my uncle.

``I even applied to join the Steve Johnson racing fan club, but it cost about $100 and I couldn't afford it.''

But rookie Steve has plenty of fans of his own these days.

He booted four goals in the Cats 1-point win over St Kilda last weekend, taking his tally to 15 in nine matches in his first season.

The forward will be looking to unleash his pace at Subiaco against Fremantle on Saturday.