Vic Watson is best known for being West Ham United’s alltime leading goalscorer with 326 goals, but here are five facts you may not have known about the centre forward.
1) Watson won his first two international caps for England in 1923, the year the Hammers contested the prestigious White Horse FA Cup Final, but he had to wait another seven years before winning another three caps. Watson did not make another international appearance, despite scoring four goals in his five appearances in an England shirt. Two of those goals came against Scotland in the 1930 British Home Championship, a competition that England went on to win that year.
2) Of Watson’s 326 goals, 298 came in league fixtures. The other 28 came in the FA Cup competition. This achievement is all the more impressive when you consider that he played 505 games in claret and blue. Of those appearances, 462 came in the league, meaning that the Cambridgeshire-born striker scored more than one goal every other game.
3) The Hammers secured a real bargain when they signed Watson, as he only came at a cost of £50. Watson joined from Wellingborough Town, who are a Northamptonshire side that now competes in the United Counties League Premier Division. The club was, however, reformed in 2004 after the previous club folded. They now bear the name Wellingborough Town 2004. Amazingly, Watson was originally only brought in as cover for Syd Puddefoot.
4) Vic Watson hammered home six goals against Leeds United on February 9, 1929. West Ham would go on to win the match 8-2. Watson also scored four goals on three different occasions while at the Boleyn Ground and he also chalked up an astonishing 13 hat-tricks in claret and blue.
5) Following a hugely successful 15 years in East London, Watson decided to end his career on the south coast with Southampton. His formidable form in front of goal continued there as he scored 14 goals in 36 league appearances for the Saints. In his one season with Southampton, he finished as the club’s top goalscorer. At the end of the 1935/36 season, Watson hung up his boots, having scored 312 goals in only 498 league appearances. This record is unlikely to be surpassed by any West Ham player in years to come.