David Watson (born 20 November 1961) is an English football manager and former professional player.

Dave Watson
Personal information
Full name David Watson
Date of birth (1961-11-20) 20 November 1961 (age 61)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Position(s) Centre-back
Youth career
1978–1980 Liverpool
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1986 Norwich City 212 (11)
1986–2001 Everton 425 (23)
Total 631 (34)
International career
1983–1984 England U21 7 (1)
1984–1988 England 12 (0)
Managerial career
1997 Everton (caretaker)
2001–2002 Tranmere Rovers
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

As a player, he was a centre-back from 1980 to 2001. He played his entire career for Norwich City and Everton. With the Toffees he played in the Premier League and was part of their victorious FA Cup winning team of 1995. He was capped 12 appearances for the England national team.

In 1997, Watson had a spell in caretaker charge of Everton although he would not retire for another four years, in which he moved into coaching and was appointed first team manager at Tranmere Rovers for the 2001–2002 season. He later spent time coaching in Wigan Athletic's youth academy before taking up a similar role with Newcastle United.

Club careerEdit

Norwich CityEdit

Watson played for the Liverpool reserves before joining Norwich City for £50,000 on 29 November 1980. He made his league debut in the local derby against Ipswich Town on Boxing Day that year. He played 18 league games in the 1980–81 First Division campaign and scored three goals, but was unable to prevent the Canaries from sliding into the Second Division.

Over the next five years, Watson was rarely absent from the Norwich side and helped them win promotion from the Second Division in the 1981–82 season. He eventually made 256 appearances for Norwich, and as club captain lifted the League Cup in 1985. They were demoted to the Second Division that year, but won promotion the following year as champions.


Watson moved on to play for Everton for £900,000 on 22 August 1986 after six years at Norwich.[1] He remained at Goodison Park for 15 years, his first game for them coming on 23 August 1986 when they won 2–0 at home to Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the league season. He helped them win the league title in their first season, and also helped them reach the FA Cup final in 1989, where they lost 3–2 to local rivals Liverpool in extra time.[1]

Watson was an integral part of the Everton side throughout the 1990s, and following the departure of goalkeeper Neville Southall in 1998 he became the club's oldest and longest serving player. However, the 1990s were a generally unsuccessful decade for Everton after the glories of the 1980s. They did finish sixth in 1990 after topping the table earlier in 1990–91, but then endured four seasons of mid table finishes, and avoided relegation in 1994 on the last day of the season. Watson got his hands on some silverware for one final time in 1995 when he captained Everton to a surprise 1–0 win over Manchester United in the FA Cup final – by now he was one of the last players remaining from Everton's last major trophy win (the league title) eight years earlier. He was man of the match for that game.[2]

Watson captained Everton to sixth place in 1996, but the following season they were struggling again and manager Joe Royle resigned in March 1997, with Watson taking over as manager for the final few weeks of the season and overseeing Everton's Premier League survival as they finished 15th. Howard Kendall then took over as manager for the third time, though his return to Goodison Park lasted just one season before he was replaced by Walter Smith.

Even at the age of 37, Watson was a regular in the Everton side as captain, playing 22 times in the 1998–99 season though by 1999–2000 it was obvious that he was nearing the end of his playing career as he played just seven times all season, before calling time on 15 years at Everton and becoming manager of Tranmere Rovers on 4 May 2001.[3] His final game for Everton was a 2–2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on 15 January 2000.[4]

International careerEdit

Watson was capped 12 times at senior level for England. His first cap came on 10 June 1984 in a 2–0 friendly win over Brazil. By the time of his transfer from Norwich to Everton two years later, he had been capped six times for England. He won a further six England caps, bringing his tally to 12 by the time he made his final England appearance on 18 June 1988 in England's 3–1 European Championship defeat by the Soviet Union in 1988.[5]

Coaching & management careerEdit

Watson was appointed Everton manager in March 1997 for the remainder of the 1996–97 season following the resignation of Joe Royle, but reverted to his playing duties in June 1997 when Howard Kendall was appointed manager for the third and final time. Watson's first-team opportunities gradually faded, but he made one appearance for Everton during the 2000–01 season, before finally announcing his retirement as a player at the age of 39, and moving into management with Tranmere Rovers. His key objective at Tranmere was to regain their Division One status which had just been lost, but he failed to achieve that goal and was sacked after just one season at the helm. He later became a scout for Birmingham City before joining Wigan Athletic as their youth-team coach on 23 April 2008.

In 2002, Watson was voted into the Norwich City F.C. Hall of Fame. Watson was appointed as Under 18 Coach at Newcastle United on 7 November 2011.[6]

On 28 January 2015, Watson was brought into John Carver's backroom team at Newcastle United for the remaining 16 games of the 2014–15 season.


Norwich City



Managerial statisticsEdit

Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Everton 1 April 1997 31 May 1997 7 1 3 3 014.29
Tranmere Rovers 4 May 2001 1 August 2002 55 22 15 18 040.00
Career Total 62 23 18 21 037.10


  1. ^ a b "Football photographic encyclopedia, footballer, world cup, champions league, football championship, olympic games & hero images by sporting-heroes.net".
  2. ^ "FA Cup Final 1995". Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
  3. ^ "RTÉ Sport: Watson appointed new Tranmere boss". RTÉ.ie. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Games played by Dave Watson in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Watson, Dave (1961) - English Caps 1984-88 - England".
  6. ^ "Dave Watson named new youth coach". ChronicleLive. ncjMedia. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Player of the Season 1967–2007". canaries.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2007.
  8. ^ "Canary stats – Norwich City Hall of Fame". Eastern Daily Press. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2007.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by Everton captain
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Gary Speed
Everton captain
Succeeded by