David Watson (footballer, born 1946)

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This article is about the 1970–80s defender. For the 1980–90s defender, see Dave Watson. For the 1990s goalkeeper, see David Watson (footballer born 1973).
For other people of the same name, see David Watson (disambiguation).
David Watson
Personal information
Full name David Vernon Watson[1]
Date of birth (1946-10-05) 5 October 1946 (age 67)[1]
Place of birth Stapleford, England[1]
Playing position Central defender
Youth career
Stapleford O.B
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1967 Notts County 25 (1)
1967–1970 Rotherham United 121 (19)
1970–1975 Sunderland 177 (27)
1975–1979 Manchester City 146 (4)
1979 Werder Bremen 2 (0)
1979–1982 Southampton 73 (7)
1982–1983 Stoke City 59 (5)
1983 Vancouver Whitecaps 26 (3)
1983–1984 Derby County 34 (1)
1984 Fort Lauderdale Sun
1984–1985 Notts County 25 (1)
1985–1986 Kettering Town 14 (3)
Total 702 (71)
National team
1974–1982 England 65 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

David Vernon "Dave" Watson (born 5 October 1946) is a former English footballer who played for Notts County, Rotherham United, Sunderland, Manchester City, Werder Bremen, Southampton, Stoke City, Vancouver Whitecaps and Derby County as well at the England national team where he won 65 caps.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Watson was born in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, and started his career in 1966 as a striker with hometown club Notts County making 26 appearances in two seasons, before moving to Second Division Rotherham United in 1968. Watson was signed by Tommy Docherty in a player exchange deal which involved Keith Pring, going to Notts County and the Millers paying £1,000.[2] He was thrust into a relegation battle with Rotherham in 1967–68 which was unsuccessful which led to Docherty's departure. In came Jim McAnearney who installed him as club captain and continued to use him both in defence and up-front. After four seasons at Millmoor, making 141 appearances scoring 21 goals he caught the attention of Sunderland manager Alan Brown who paid £100,000 for his services in December 1970.[2]

At Roker Park Watson began at centre forward which many believed hindered their chances of gaining promotion.[2] It was not until Bob Stokoe took over in November 1972 that Watson began to play at centre back and it paid off with Sunderland reaching the 1973 FA Cup Final where they beat First Division Leeds United 1–0.[2] Watson was singled out for praise from Stokoe after the match for keeping Leeds's strike pairing of Allan Clarke and Mick Jones quiet. Following Sunderland's cup success the expectation was now for the club to gain promotion but they missed out by two points in both 1973–74 and 1974–75.[2]

In the summer of 1975 Watson joined First Division Manchester City for a fee of £175,000 in a deal which saw Jeff Clarke move the other way.[2] Watson spent four seasons at Maine Road which saw Man City miss out on the title in 1976–77 by one point. They did win the League Cup in 1976 beating Newcastle United 2–1.[2] He left Manchester City in the summer of 1979 for German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. His time at Bremen was short as after making his debut in a 1–0 win over Bayer Uerdingen he was sent-off in his second match against 1860 München for "pushing" Hermann Bitz was banned by the German FA for eight-weeks.[2] He was fined by his club and refused to travel to an away match against FC Schalke 04 because of an injury before turning up to play for England.[2]

Unsurprisingly he was back in England by October with Southampton paying £200,000. Watson played 31 games in 1979–80 and 44 games in 1980–81 as the Saints finished 8th and 6th respectively.[2] However he was dropped by Lawrie McMenemy during the next season and he joined Stoke City in January 1982.[1] He played 24 times for Stoke in 1981–82 helping them to avoid relegation.[1] He the played 40 times in 1982–83 as Stoke finished in a mid-table position of 13th. Watson the spent the summer of 1983 with the Vancouver Whitecaps before ending his career with a season each at Derby County and his first club Notts County.[2]

International career[edit]

Watson's performances at Centre Half for Sunderland were noticed at the highest level and less than a year after the FA Cup win and despite playing in the Second Division he was given his debut for England in a friendly game against Portugal in Lisbon. Watson – quite advanced in years for a debutant at 27 – was one of six first-timers on show (among the others were Trevor Brooking) in what would prove to be 1966 World Cup-winning manager Alf Ramsey's last game in charge. Later in 1974, Watson won his second cap in an 2–0 defeat by Scotland at Hampden Park, Glasgow, coming on as a substitute for Norman Hunter. His first competitive game at international level was his seventh appearance in all as England defeated Czechoslovakia 3–0 at Wembley in a qualifier for the 1976 European Championships. Despite this scoreline, England would not ultimately qualify for the finals while the Czech team would go on to win it. He played every minute of England's fixtures that year, including World Cup qualifying victories over Luxembourg (twice) and Italy, though after the Italians had earlier defeated England in the campaign and had a better goals record against Luxembourg. England missed out on the finals for a second successive tournament. Watson did not miss another England game until 1980.[2]

During the same year, Watson's establishment as England's first choice central defender was galvanised by a 4–3 victory over Denmark in Copenhagen which set the seal on a qualification for the 1980 European Championships – England's first major tournament qualification for a decade. Watson continued his England career, earning his 50th cap against Argentina in a warm-up game prior to the European Championships in Italy. Watson duly played in all three of England's group games – against Belgium, Italy and Spain – but a draw, defeat and victory respectively was not enough for England to progress. His final appearance for England came against Iceland in June 1982 having gained 65 caps.[2] He was excluded from the squad for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, with manager Ron Greenwood selecting only three specialist central defenders, Phil Thompson, Terry Butcher and Steve Foster. Watson remains the most-capped England player never to play in a World Cup finals match.

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Notts County 1966–67 Fourth Division 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
1967–68 Fourth Division 21 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 22 0
Total 25 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 26 1
Rotherham United 1967–68 Second Division 18 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 22 0
1968–69 Third Division 44 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 48 8
1969–70 Third Division 41 2 3 0 5 0 0 0 49 2
1970–71 Third Division 18 9 2 3 2 0 0 0 22 12
Total 121 19 13 2 7 0 0 0 141 21
Sunderland 1970–71 Second Division 17 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 4
1971–72 Second Division 42 13 4 1 1 0 4 1 47 15
1972–73 Second Division 37 3 9 4 1 0 0 0 47 4
1973–74 Second Division 41 3 2 0 4 0 4 0 51 3
1974–75 Second Division 40 4 2 0 1 0 3 0 46 4
Total 177 27 17 5 7 0 11 1 212 33
Manchester City 1975–76 First Division 31 1 1 0 7 1 3 0 42 2
1976–77 First Division 41 2 4 0 1 0 2 0 48 2
1977–78 First Division 41 0 2 0 6 0 2 0 51 2
1978–79 First Division 33 1 2 0 4 0 8 1 47 2
Total 146 4 9 0 18 1 15 1 188 6
Werder Bremen 1979–80 Bundesliga 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Southampton 1979–80 First Division 30 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 31 4
1980–81 First Division 38 2 4 0 2 0 0 0 44 2
1981–82 First Division 5 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 8 1
Total 73 7 5 0 3 0 2 0 83 7
Stoke City 1981–82 First Division 24 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 3
1982–83 First Division 35 2 3 0 2 1 0 0 40 3
Total 59 5 3 0 2 1 0 0 64 6
Vancouver Whitecaps 1983 NASL 26 3 26 3
Total 26 3 26 3
Derby County 1983–84 Second Division 34 1 5 0 2 0 0 0 41 1
Total 34 1 5 0 2 0 0 0 41 1
Notts County 1984–85 Second Division 25 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 27 1
Total 25 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 27 1
Career Total 688 68 53 7 41 2 28 2 810 79
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Anglo-Italian Cup, Anglo-Scottish Cup, Texaco Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

Sunderland
Manchester City

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Dave Watson". football-england.com. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 

External links[edit]