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Tom Watson (football manager)

Tom Watson (April 1859 – 6 May 1915) was an English football manager who managed Sunderland and Liverpool around the turn of the 20th century.[1] In winning the league title with both clubs he was the first manager to do so with two clubs. Watson remains Liverpool's longest-serving manager, spending a total of nineteen years at the Merseyside club.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson - football manager.jpg
Tom Watson
Personal information
Date of birth April 1859
Place of birth Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Date of death 6 May 1915 (aged 56)
Place of death Liverpool, England
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Teams managed
Newcastle West End
Newcastle East End
1888–1896 Sunderland
1896–1915 Liverpool
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early careerEdit

In 1881, Watson formed Newcastle upon Tyne-based club Rosehill.[2] Being involved in local football, Watson played for local clubs Woodbine, Rosewood and Heaton.[3] Prior to joining Sunderland, Watson was involved in a secretarial capacity at hometown clubs Newcastle West End and Newcastle East End.[4] Acting as a general manager for both clubs, Watson helped Newcastle West End secure a lease of St James' Park, before resigning in December 1887 due to a crush at a game between Shankhouse, who had been loaned St James' Park, and Aston Villa. Watson later joined Newcastle East End in time for the 1888–89 season, where he continued to recruit Scottish international players, a tactic he had employed at West End.[5]


Watson was in charge at Sunderland for six seasons from 1889–96. During this time, he led the club into the Football League. Under his guidance, Sunderland won three league championships in 1891–92, 1892–93 and 1894–95, making him the most successful manager in their history. Watson's Sunderland were declared the "Team of All Talents" by William McGregor,[6] the founder of the league, after a 7–2 win against Aston Villa.[6]


Watson moved to Liverpool in 1896, and enjoyed further success there until his death in 1915. During his time at Liverpool, he won the league on a further two occasions, in 1900–01 and 1905–06. Those were the first two champion titles in Liverpool history. He therefore became the first manager to lead two different clubs to the League Championship. There have been only three others since; Herbert Chapman, Brian Clough and Sir Kenny Dalglish. Watson also took Liverpool to their first FA Cup Final in 1914, which they lost 1–0 to Burnley.


As managerEdit

Sunderland (1889–96)Edit

Liverpool (1896–1915)Edit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Statistics. "A timeline for Liverpool Football Club". Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  2. ^ John Williams. Reds: Liverpool Football Club - The Biography. Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Mainstream Digital.
  3. ^ "Newcastle East End". They wore the Newcastle shirt. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Tom Watson". LFC History. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  5. ^ Neil Carter (2006). The Football Manager: A History. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  6. ^ a b Days, p 21.

External linksEdit