7 October 2007

Peter Watson

Name: Peter Watson
Born: 3 March 1944, Coventry (England)
Height: 5.09 ft
Weight: 11.07 st
Position: Winger/Forward

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 1 Full Cap (1971); Irish League: 4 Caps / 1 Goal (1965-1967).
Club Honours: (with Glenavon) Irish Cup Runner-Up 1964/65; City Cup Winner 1965/66; Ulster Cup Winner 1962/63; (with Distillery) Irish Cup Winner 1970/71; (with Dundalk) Leinster Senior Cup Winner 1973/74.

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Europe
Other
Bessbrook Wanderers
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Newry Town
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Aston Villa
60/61-61/62
-61
£1,500
0(0)/ 0
-
-
-
-
Glenavon
-
-62
-
-
-
-
-
-
Glentoran
68/69-69/70
Nov-68
-
19(0)/ 3
-
-
-
-
Distillery
69/70-72/73
Dec-69
-
*146(-)/61
-
-
2(0)/0
-
Dundalk
73/74-74/75
Aug-73
-
43(3)/ 0
4(0)/1
9(0)/4
-
3(1)/0
Portadown
-
c/s-75
-
-
-
-
-
-
Dungannon Swifts
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
£1,500
206(3)/64
4(0)/1
9(0)/4
2(0)/0
3(1)/0

Biography:

The 1970/71 season marked a high-point in Peter Watson’s long and varied football career. He featured in a Distillery forward-line alongside a young star-in-the-making, Martin O’Neill, finished as the club’s topscorer and received an Irish Cup winner’s medal. The campaign culminated with inclusion in the Northern Ireland squad, and he made his international debut as an 88th minute substitute in a 5-0 European Championship win over Cyprus. That proved to be his only cap and thus Watson’s two-minute international career is the shortest on record!

Watson first made waves as a teenager with ‘B’ Division Newry Town in the early sixties, earning a move to Aston Villa. He spent a little-over a year at Villa Park but failed to make an impact before returning ‘home’ due to home sickness, joining Glenavon. Although the great Lurgan Blues’ side of the late-fifties had largely broken up, they were still a force to be reckoned with and the young Watson starred as a nippy outside-right in Ulster Cup and City Cup successes. He also featured in the 1965 Irish Cup Final defeat by Coleraine and played four times for the Irish League.

Unable to achieve his dream of a second chance in English football, Watson moved to Glentoran in November 1968. Although he got off to a bright start at the Oval, scoring the winner in an early return to Mourneview, Watson was unable to retain a place in the starting eleven. In December 1969, having failed to feature for Glens from the start of the season, Watson was used as a makeweight in the transfer deal that took Gerry McCaffery from Distillery to Glentoran.

With Distillery Watson began to re-establish himself as one of the Irish League’s leading stars. Now playing mainly at inside-right, he scored a total of 27 goals in a season which brought a 3-0 Irish Cup Final success over Derry City, but also saw the final games played at Grosvenor Park. The following campaign brought further good form for Watson and he finished as the Irish League’s equal topscorer with fifteen goals. He also played in the home and away legs of the Whites’ Cup Winners’ Cup meeting with Baracelona. 1972/73 proved to be Watson’s last with Distillery, and he managed twelve goals for the virtually crippled club.

In August 1973 Watson joined Dundalk, where he found himself employed largely in defence. At the time the club was failing to live up to their fans’ expectations following the successes of the ‘sixties, and a sole Leinster Cup success was scant consolation. Early in the 1974/75 season manager John Smith left Oriel Park and Watson stepped-in as caretaker-player-manager. It proved a brief introduction to management as Jim McLaughlin was appointed as permanent player-manager in November. Watson left Dundalk at the end of the season, returning to the Irish League with Portadown.

Through the past three decades Watson has served as player-manager at Dungannon Swifts, coach at Rathfriland Rangers, reserve team manager with Portadown, coach then assistant-manager under Alan Fraser at Glenavon and, from January 1994, as manager back at Newry Town. Since his resignation as Newry manager in February 1996 he has managed Banbridge Town, Rathfriland Rangers and Lurgan Celtic. In 2008 he was appointed as Chief Scout at Glenavon. He is currently (2015/16) on the committee at Banbridge Town, where his son Ryan is manager.


35 yeares after the Cyprus match it was revealed that Watson had never actually received his international cap. It was only thanks to a campaign led by Distillery and Malcolm Brodie that the cap was forthcoming and the Irish FA made the award in a ceremony at New Grosvenor.

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
21-04-1971 Cyprus H W 5-0 ECQ sub

Summary: 0(1)/0. Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 0.

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