West Ham great: Vic Watson

West Ham FC

Vic Watson joined West Ham from Wellingborough in 1920 for a fee of around £25-£50 depending on different sources. This was to prove the best £25-£50 West Ham United was to ever spend. Vic Watson was bought by West Ham to act as cover for local hero Syd Puddefoot. The following season Puddefoot was to score 29 times for West Ham and Watson was to score only nine, But Syd King the West Ham manager at the time was mainly playing Watson on the wing instead of his favoured centre forward position.

In February 1922 Syd King made the decision to sell Syd Puddefoot to Falkirk in the Scottish League for a British record fee of £5,000 which would open the door for Vic Watson to take his favoured centre forward position and give him his chance to shine. It was said that when Watson was playing in the centre forward role that he held the line impeccably and was unselfish in his distribution of the ball; he was a speedy intelligent player who could always sense an opening, this would always create the chance of scoring goals and that was one thing Watson knew how to do well.

What is more shocking is that Vic Watson only managed to cap England on five occasions, in which Watson managed to score four times. Two of those goals came against Scotland in the 1930 British Home Championship.

Vic Watson was to spend 15 years at West Ham United, between 1920 and 1935, in which he played a total of 505 games and scored 326 goals. In 13 out of his 15 seasons at West Ham, Watson managed to get into double figures and on nine occasions he managed to score 20+ goals, also he scored six goals against Leeds in a West Ham 8-2 win in 1929. He scored four goals in one game on three separate occasions and in total had 13 hat tricks at West Ham. Watson moved to Southampton in 1935 in what was to be his last season as a full time player, during this season he played 36 times and scored 14 goals.

What Vic Watson achieved at West Ham is nothing more than superhuman and it is unlikely to be beaten or even matched by any modern day footballer. Vic Watson will go down in West Ham history as the clubs record goal scorer.

Vic Watson was described at the time as a “dashing centre forward whose tactic was to persistently harass the opposing defence” and harass the opposing defences he did, with great ease!

If only we had a Vic Watson now!! The goals would be flooding in. As a West Ham fan I can only hope and wish that we will be graced with another striker who possesses half the ability of scoring goals that Vic Watson did.

Sadly Vic Watson passed away in August 1988 at the grand age on 90; in 2010 a plaque was unveiled honouring Watson in his hometown of Girton.

Sadly as a West Ham fan I have spoken about players such as Watson to the younger generation who don’t know his name or anything about him. It is my job and our job as fans to keep the history and names such as Vic Watson alive. To me Vic Watson is King Watson a West Ham Great that should never be forgotten.

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