Norwich City top 100 appearances: Dave Watson (34)

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 15 January 2020

Dave Watson lifts the Milk Cup at Wembley in 1985. Picture: Archant

Dave Watson lifts the Milk Cup at Wembley in 1985. Picture: Archant

Archant

34 Dave Watson

Chris Woods celebrates the Milk Cup success with, from left, Dave Watson, Paul Haylock and Steve Bruce.
 Picture: ArchantChris Woods celebrates the Milk Cup success with, from left, Dave Watson, Paul Haylock and Steve Bruce. Picture: Archant

256 appearances/15 goals

Everyone loves a bargain - and many like a gamble as well.

Ken Brown dabbled in a bit of both when he signed Dave Watson for Norwich City.

Brown hadn't seen the raw 19-year-old centre-half play: not many had, given his only appearances were for Liverpool Reserves. But he took the advice of Dave Stringer and Doug Livermore and persuaded the club to part with £50,000 in November 1980.

City's Division Two champions with their trophy in 1986. Back, from left , Dale Gordon, David Williams, Paul Clayton, Mike Phelan, Chris Woods, Steve Bruce, Ian Culverhouse, Garry Brooke.; Front, Dennis Van Wyk, Dave Watson, John Deehan, Kevin Drinkell. Picture: ArchantCity's Division Two champions with their trophy in 1986. Back, from left , Dale Gordon, David Williams, Paul Clayton, Mike Phelan, Chris Woods, Steve Bruce, Ian Culverhouse, Garry Brooke.; Front, Dennis Van Wyk, Dave Watson, John Deehan, Kevin Drinkell. Picture: Archant

And as if to prove the art of the double bluff, Brown then gave him his debut in a match against Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Boxing Day, 1980 - which City lost 2-0.

The rest, as they say, is history. Rarely can £50,000 have been better spent.

Watson went from a boy to a man - and one worthy of legendary status.

A few months after joining, City were back in the Second Division, but Watson soon became a rock at the heart of the defence and helped the Canaries back into the top flight in 1982.

Dave Watson celebrating against Birmingham in 1984. Picture: ArchantDave Watson celebrating against Birmingham in 1984. Picture: Archant

Three years later, as club captain, he lifted the Milk Cup trophy - City's first major silverware - then endured relegation at the end of the season, followed by promotion as champions a year later.

It was a roller-coaster ride, which would take him to Everton for a seven-figure fee in 1986.

When Howard Kendall made his move, Brown said that selling his defender would be akin to "cutting off my right arm" - but money and ambition talk.

Watson won more honours at Goodison to sit alongside his 12 England caps - six of which were won whilst a Norwich City player. Watson played into his late 30s, took over as Everton boss in March 1997 following the resignation of Joe Royle, but reverted to playing duties in June 1997 when Kendall was appointed manager for the third time.

He finally announced his retirement as a player at the age of 39, and went on to manage Tranmere, but was sacked after one season. A spell as Wigan's youth team coach followed in April 2008 and in 2015 Watson joined John Carver's backroom team at Newcastle for the latter stages of the 2014/15 season. He is currently the Magpies U18s coach.

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