Dave Watson

Dave Watson
Position:
DF
D.o.B: 20/11/1961
Birthplace: Liverpool
Appearances: 522 (6)
Goals: 37
Profile
Stats
Millennium Giant - 1990-99

Most Everton legends can point to the number of great matches they have produced in Royal Blue, as a testament to their status. It is no exaggeration to suggest that Dave Watson can point to the number of great seasons he enjoyed at Goodison.

Following his signing from Norwich City in 1986, Watson proved a rugged and reliable figure at the heart of Everton's defence a well as an inspirational and exemplary captain.

His performance levels rarely dropped anything below excellent, and he was a unanimous choice as Everton's Millennium Giant of the 1990s.When Howard Kendall agreed to pay Norwich City £1m in August 1986 for his services - a club record at the time for the Blues - the Canaries' boss Ken Brown wailed: "Losing Dave Watson is like having my right-arm cut off." Perceived at the time as managerial hyberbole, it soon transpired that the Norwich boss was understating Watson's contribution to a football club. In his first season at Everton, Watson made 35 League appearances as Everton regained the League Championship they had loaned to Liverpool the previous season.

Strangely, it took the player a little time to win his way into the affections of the discerning Everton supporters.

But central defensive partner Kevin Ratcliffe had no doubts. When Watson took over as captain from the most successful player ever to wear the skipper's armband at Goodison, Ratcliffe described his successor as: "the best centre-half I've ever played with." More than 20-other central defenders, who came andwent during Watson's 13 years of service at Everton, would also surely agree. He won the first of his 12 England caps in the Maracana Stadium against Brazil in 1984 - when England celebrated a rare triumph in South America. The last of his international call-ups came in 1988, but there are plenty of reasons to believe that a succession of England managers dismissed his talents too swiftly.

In the build-up to Euro '96, Watson led a Hong-Kong Select XI against Terry Venables European Championship bound side. The Select XI was comprised of a hotch-potch of Hong Kong club players and veteran Premiership stars - and were supposed to give England a morale-boosting send-off by conceding a glut of goals. Watson, however, has never accepted defeat easily in his life and the Select XI severely embarrassed England's best. That was the summer after Watson proudly ascended the Wembley steps to raise aloft the last major trophy collected by an Everton captain - the FA Cup. Led in typically inspirational fashion by Watson, the Blues ensured Manchester United ended the 1994-95 campaign empty-handed with an against the odds victory at Wembley.

Watson displayed his knack of scoring significant goals along that Wembley trail - with a quarter-final match-winner against Newcastle United. He also hammered the winning Goodison goal against Liverpool in 1991, in the fifth round of the same competition, and few who witnessed it will forget a 25- yard exocet past the England goalkeeper David Seaman at Highbury in 1995 - with his left foot!

Goals, however, were a bonus from a player whose defensive excellence earned him respect from everybody who played with and against him.

Career Stats - Dave Watson (First team)

League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Season App. Gls. App. Gls. App. Gls. App. Gls. App. Gls.
1986 1987 35 3 3 0 2 0 0 0 42 3
1987 1988 37 4 8 1 7 1 0 0 54 6
1988 1989 32 3 7 0 4 1 0 0 47 4
1989 1990 28 (1) 1 4 0 3 0 0 0 35 (1) 1
1990 1991 32 2 6 2 3 0 0 0 46 6
1991 1992 35 3 2 0 4 0 0 0 43 4
1992 1993 40 1 2 1 6 0 0 0 48 2
1993 1994 27 (1) 1 0 0 3 3 0 0 30 (1) 4
1994 1995 38 2 6 1 2 1 0 0 46 4
1995 1996 34 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 41 (1) 1
1996 1997 29 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 31 1
1997 1998 25 (1) 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 28 (1) 0
1998 1999 22 0 3 0 1 1 0 0 26 1
1999 2000 5 (1) 0 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 5 (2) 0
Total 419 (4) 22 47 (1) 5 39 7 0 0 522 (6) 37
Please note, not all competitions are listed on this page. In some cases, this may result in a discrepancy between the displayed totals for appearances and goals.

Club From To App. Gls.
Everton 23/08/1986 15/01/2000 522 (6) 37

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