John Fox Watson

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Jack Watson
Personal information
Full name John Fox Watson
Date of birth (1917-12-31)31 December 1917
Place of birth Hamilton, Scotland
Date of death 1976 (aged 59)
Place of death Southend-on-Sea
Playing position Centre half
Youth career
Douglas Water Thistle
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
–1946 Bury
1946–1948 Fulham[1] 71 (2)
1948–1949 Real Madrid (player/coach) 1 (0)
1949–1951 Crystal Palace[2] 61 (1)
1951–19?? Canterbury City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

John Fox Watson (31 December 1917 – 1976)[3] was a Scottish football player, believed to be the only Scottish player in Real Madrid's history.[4] He was one of the first players from the British Isles[citation needed] to sign for a high-profile side abroad, leading the way for players like John Charles, Jimmy Greaves and Denis Law in the following decades.


Watson was born in Hamilton during Hogmanay,[3] at the end of 1917. Watson started his career at Waterthistle and Douglas Juniors before signing with English side Bury for whom he made his Football League debut in February, 1939, ahead of World War II. After the war, he played with Fulham until 1948.

John Fox Watson on Real Madrid's wall of internationals

In 1948, Watson joined Englishman Mike Keeping, a fellow former Fulham player, at Spanish giants Real Madrid as a player/coach. In his one season in Madrid, Watson played just one match, a 3–1 defeat away to Celta Vigo. He signed for the club during a period of unprecedented change; president Santiago Bernabéu Yeste had just been appointed, and Watson had come in just six months after the opening of the New Chamartin, later renamed the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.[4] He is believed to be the only Scottish player and the first British player to play for Real Madrid.

Watson returned to England in 1949 to join Crystal Palace, making 63 appearances in two seasons before joining non-league Canterbury City.[4] He died in 1976.


  1. ^ FULHAM : 1946/47 - 2008/09, Newcastle Fans.
  2. ^ CRYSTAL PALACE : 1946/47 - 2008/09, Newcastle Fans.
  3. ^ a b " SFAQs". Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  4. ^ a b c Rowbotham, John (2007-07-05). "From Douglas Water Thistle to the Bernabeu". Retrieved 2008-09-30.