|Full name||Stuart Watkiss|
|Date of birth||8 May 1966|
|Place of birth||Wolverhampton, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Current club||Grimsby Town
(Youth Team Manager)
|Mansfield Town (Youth Team)|
|2004||Barnsley (Youth Team)|
|2006||Grimsby Town (caretaker)|
|2008||Grimsby Town (caretaker)|
|2013–||Grimsby Town (Youth Team)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
As a player he was a defender and notably played for Walsall, Hereford United and Mansfield Town. He became manager of Mansfield in 2002, and later Kidderminster Harriers. In 2006 he became assistant manager of Grimsby Town where he remained until 2009 where he then spent three years as a development coach at Hull City. He was briefly appointed assistant manager at Stockport County in 2013.
Watkiss started his playing career at Ward's Bridge School in his hometown of Wolverhampton, he then joined Willenhall Town, for the youth team, which reached the Midland Floodlit Youth League Cup final at Villa Park during the 1982–83 season. He later joined his home town club Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he served his apprenticeship as a 17-year old, his debut was on 17 March 1984 in a Division One game with Sunderland, however after making only two appearances he joined West Midlands (Regional) League side Gresley Rovers in June 1985, before making a move to Crewe Alexandra in January 1986.
He went on to play for Rushall Olympic, Walsall and Hereford United before moving to Mansfield Town in 1996, scoring his only goal for the Stags in a 2–4 win at Darlington in October, when he met a Ben Sedgemore cross, header bounced downward and up into the top corner of the net. Watkiss remained with Town until hanging his boots up in 1999.
Management and coaching career
Watkiss remained at Mansfield Town as youth team coach taking over from Tony Ford, producing at least ten players who progressed into the first team during his three years in charge of the club's youth set-up. In June 2001, assistant manager Mark Kearney left to join Northampton Town as youth team coach. Speculation mounted that Watkiss would step up to assistant manager. Watkiss told the press "I do feel that the job would be a natural progression for me. A lot of the lads who have come up through the club were with me and I would like the chance to work with them again." A few of weeks later, the club's official website revealed that "the worst kept secret in the club's history had been confirmed", and Watkiss was promoted to assistant manager. Manager Billy Dearden explained "I gave the position a lot of thought and have decided that Stuart is the best man for the job. He is a young coach who could go a long way in the game. He is at the right age to work with me, and it is a huge reward for him. He has done an excellent job with the youth team and it was a huge wrench to take him away from the youth team." Watkiss said "I am confident in my ability, I wouldn’t have gone for the job if not. Obviously time will tell if I am a success or not, but I am cautiously optimistic. It will be great working with Bill Dearden. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience within the game and I will be watching and learning all the time."
Following the resignation of Billy Dearden to take over at Notts County, Watkiss made the step up from assistant manager at Mansfield Town to become the team's manager in January 2002, where he guided them to their first promotion in 10 years. Due to his promotion success, he was then rewarded a three-year contract, butMansfield struggled in the 2002–03 season and by December 2002, following a 4–2 defeat away to Port Vale, the Stags were bottom of Division Two, Watkiss and assistant Neil Richardson were sacked after a meeting with Mansfield chairman Keith Haslam on the following Monday.
Following his dismissal he became Assistant Manager to Graham Rodger at Grimsby Town, and took over team affairs briefly in November 2006 following the sacking of Rodger, but he was overlooked for the job, which was given to Alan Buckley instead.
Watkiss continued in his role as Assistant Manager for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 campaigns, signing a new one-year contract in June 2007, he said "I'm absolutely delighted to be staying and I can't wait for the season to begin, I've learned so much from Alan in such a short time and I have really enjoyed working with him." He was once again given the role of Caretaker Manager following the dismissal of Alan Buckley in September 2008. Watkiss made public his desire to become the team's manager on a permanent basis, but a 1–1 draw with Morecambe and then a 1–0 home defeat to Barnet, who at the time were the only club in the football league statistically worse than them, pushed club chairman John Fenty into releasing a statement to worried supporters saying that Watkiss would not be given the job permanently.
Grimsby appointed Mike Newell in October 2008 and Watkiss re-took his former position as Assistant Manager. At the end of the 2008–09 season, Watkiss was relieved of his duties at the club, and replaced by the club's Chief Scout, Brian Stein.
He was appointed as Development Coach by Phil Brown at Hull City in July 2009. Subsequent to the appointment of Steve Bruce as team manager, on 8 June 2012, Watkiss and fellow first team coach Steve Wigley left the club.
On 28 January 2013 Watkiss was appointed assistant manager of Stockport County, working under Darije Kalezić. On 12 March 2013, less than two months after joining the club his contract was terminated by mutual consent following an illness to Watkiss in which County thought it was best to release him in order for him to regain his health. Less than two weeks later Kalezic was dismissed as manager and was replaced by Ian Bogie.
Return to Grimsby Town
- "WFSA Roll of Honour". Wolverhampton Schools FA. 18 September 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Player Database – Stuart Watkiss". Gresley Football Club. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Willenhall Town stars of the '70s & '80s". The Black Country Bugle. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Profile of Stuart Watkiss". Stagsnet. 1 March 2003. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Mansfield on the up". BBC Sport. 20 April 2002. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Watkiss boost for Stags". BBC Sport. 9 August 2002. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Port Vale 4–2 Mansfield". BBC Sport. 30 November 2002. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Mansfield sack Watkiss". BBC Sport. 2 December 2002. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Watkiss appointed academy manager at Barnsley". Stagsnet. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Watkiss given Kidderminster post". BBC Sport. 30 November 2004. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Grimsby Town sack manager Rodger". BBC Sport. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Grimsby unveil Buckley as manager". BBC Sport. 9 November 2006. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Watkiss pens new Grimsby contract". BBC Sport. 4 June 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Grimsby dismiss manager Buckley". BBC Sport. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Watkiss keen to take Grimsby role". BBC Sport. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Newell takes over as Grimsby boss". BBC Sport. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Watkiss Leaves Grimsby". The Fishy. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Hull bring in Watkiss and Davison". BBC Sport. 7 July 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Former first-team coach Steve Wigley leaves Hull City". BBC Sport. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012.