Christmas Nottingham 2014
Stapleford Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Dave Watson
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Dave Watson worked as a an electrician before joining Notts County in 1967 as a Centre Forward, but it was under Tommy Dochertys Rotherham that he became more of a utility player. In December 1970 he moved to Sunderland where his career really came alive.

At Roker Park he earned his first England cap and was an important member of the 2nd Division team that shocked Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final. The performance caught the eye of the bigger clubs and the following year first Dennis Tueart and then Dave were signed by Manchester City. The fee at the time was substantial - over £200,000, and wisely they signed him on a 6 year contract.

Dave immediately became one of City's most popular players. The fanatical City crowd loved his rugged qualities and fighting spirit. The media often described him as a negative player and some of his opponents claimed he was "dirty". The truth was that Dave was a battler and determined to see the Blues succeed. He gave the game all he could every time, as in the 1976 League Cup final when he played with blood pouring out of a head wound. The cameras even filmed him in the dressing room after the game receiving stiches while being interviewed, needless to say his tough guy image improved after that game.

He was voted player of the year in 1976/77 and became captain of the team the following year. He was injured during training before an international against Luxembourg, but still insisted he could play. He lasted 70 minutes and returned to City and the treatment table. The following Saturday he showed up before the Nottingham game and again insisted he could play, but Manager Tony Book refused to let the injured Watson get on the pitch.

Dave played 65 times for England and 30 of those caps were earned while at City. Despite his many abilites he did not survive the Malcom Allison clear-out of 1979. At the time experience did not seem to count, and he was transferred to Werder Bremen. Shortly after, he returned to England and Southampton where he earned 18 more international caps. While at Southampton he played in a team with 5 previous or future England captains: Mick Channon (2), Alan Ball (6), Kevin Keegan (31), Mick Mills (8), and Peter Shilton (15).

In 1982 Dave moved to Stoke City before he had spells with Vancouver Whitecaps (voted into the NASL all star team of 83) and Ft. Lauderdale Sun (USL Champions) in the USA. While he was at Stoke he set a record of becoming the first man to make England international appearances while in the books of five different clubs.

Dave was one of City's - and England's - greatest central defenders of all time, some would say the greatest. He was a granite-like figure who simply made it impossible for his opponents to play. He was a rock in defence and a vital member of Tony Book's impressive side from 1976 to 1979. City have never since managed to find a defender to replace him.

After his footballing career Dave started a marketing business in Nottingham, where he lives with his wife Penny. Their son Roger (aka Dj Hal) is a successful dj, musician, and producer.


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