Willie Watson

Country: England
Born: March 07, 1920, Bolton-on-Dearne, Yorkshire
Batting Style: Left hand Bat
Died: April 24, 2004, Johannesburg, South Africa, (aged 84y 48d)

Willie Watson Bio

Willie Watson, born on March 7, 1920, in Bolton-on-Dearne, Yorkshire, was a renowned English cricket player and footballer. Known for his graceful and correct left-handed batting style, Watson enjoyed a successful career in both sports.

Watson began his cricket journey in 1939, making his debut for Yorkshire. However, his early career was disrupted by his service in the army during World War II. After being released from the army, Watson established himself as a dependable and attractive middle-order batsman. He was also known for his exceptional fielding skills at a time when fielding standards were not at their peak.

In 1949, Watson gained recognition for his football skills and played for Sunderland as a wing-half. His talent in football earned him four caps for the England national team in 1949, and he was also included in the English squad for the World Cup in 1950. Although he didn’t play in any match during the tournament, Watson marveled at the footwork and artistry displayed by the South American footballers.

Despite being initially known for his football abilities, it was Watson’s cricketing talent that earned him a place in the history books. His most memorable performance came in the 1953 Lord’s Test against Australia. In that match, Watson scored a match-saving century, a remarkable 109, and formed a crucial partnership with Trevor Bailey. Their partnership bailed England out of what seemed to be an inevitable defeat. Watson’s four-hour stand at the crease garnered him widespread acclaim and solidified his status as a legend in cricket.

Although Watson’s contributions to English cricket were significant, his international career was marred by the presence of other distinguished batsmen such as Len Hutton, Denis Compton, Bill Edrich, and Peter May. Despite some notable performances, Watson struggled to establish himself as a regular member of the England team.

Watson played his final Tests in 1958-59 during the tour of Australasia. He retired from international cricket with 879 runs in 23 Tests, at an average of 25.85. Watson continued playing county cricket for Leicestershire until 1964. Throughout his career, he accumulated an impressive total of 25,670 runs at an average of 39.86, including 55 centuries. One of his most notable innings was an unbeaten 257 for MCC against British Guiana in 1953-54.

After his playing career, Watson served as a test selector from 1962 to 1965. In 1968, he emigrated to South Africa and took up the position of coach and administrator for the Wanderers Cricket Club in Johannesburg. Despite facing financial difficulties in his later years, Watson remained passionate about cricket and cherished reunions with former England players.

Willie Watson’s legacy as a sportsman will always be remembered. He was a versatile athlete who excelled in both cricket and football and left an indelible mark on the sporting world. His grace, skill, and contributions to the game will forever be cherished by fans and fellow cricketers alike.

Willie Watson Career Stats

Willie Watson Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 23 37 3 879 116 25.85 - - 2 3 - 2 8 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 468 753 109 25670 257 39.86 - - 55 132 - - 295 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Willie Watson Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 23 - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 468 - 194 127 0 - - - 3.92 - 0 0 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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