Kenny Watson
Kenny Watson
Kenny Watson
● Kenny Watson, c1981 (HA)

born in Scotland

Kenneth George Watson was born on Thursday, 5th January, 1956, in Aberdeen.

The 6' 0 (12st 0lbs) midfielder signed for Bertie Auld's Thistle on Friday, 8th August, 1980, having most recently been with Rangers.

Aged 24, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 9th August, 1980, in a 3-2 win at home to Heart of Midlothian in the SFL Premier Division.

Kenny scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 30th August, 1980, in a 1-1 draw away to Queen's Park in the League Cup.

He scored the last of his 59 goals on Tuesday, 11th August, 1987, in a 2-2 draw at home to Airdrieonians in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Tuesday, 16th August, 1988, in a 2-0 defeat (aet) at home to Dundee United in the League Cup, having clocked up an impressive 322 appearances as a Jag.

Kenny's club-list included Sunnybank, Montrose, Rangers and Partick Thistle.

Bio Extra

Kenny began his career with Montrose before joining Rangers and then Thistle in 1980. An outstanding servant to the club, he began his time at Firhill in midfield, but as the years passed he moved further back to left-back and then to sweeper. His anticipation of play was excellent, while his left foot was extremely accurate. The time he spent at Firhill was the worst in recent history and Kenny held the side together. Without him the club would arguably have been relegated. He received numerous Player of the Year Awards, while the Thistle programme described him as the Player of the Decade. He played over 300 times for the club between signing and retiring due to injury.


Bio Extra

The 1980s were not a happy decade for Partick Thistle. True, the decade began with Thistle an established Premier League side but following relegation in 1982 it was a fairly rapid decline. A succession of managers failed to address that decline with a procession of barely adequate players coming and going through the dressing room door at Firhill. If the decade was marked by the poor quality of the players that represented Thistle there was one notable exception.

Kenny Watson began his career with Montrose before moving to Rangers in 1975. Although more a fringe player than anything at Ibrox he was twice capped for Scotland at under 21 level while a Rangers player and competed against the likes of PSV Eindhoven and Valencia in European competition. When Thistle's then manager Bertie Auld paid a reported £50,000 for Watson's services in the summer of 1980 it was considered as something of a coup for Thistle.

It took the newly arrived Watson a little time to win the Thistle fans over upon his arrival at Firhill but by the end of his first season as a Thistle player he had played a part in Thistle's Glasgow Cup triumph which was supposed to herald the start of a new successful era for the Club. That it didn't exactly turn out that way is an established fact. Following the relegation of 1982 there were a couple of near things with regard to promotion back to the Premier League but after failing the second time around to secure a place back in the Premier League the only change of division was likely to come in the opposite direction. That Thistle never actually dropped down to the Second was testament to Kenny's contribution, hugely significant in hindsight.

Whether playing in midfield or defence Kenny was rarely anything other than excellent and was the one Thistle player that was coveted by other First division teams. As injury limited his contribution in the latter years of his Thistle career his absence became more and more pronounced as Thistle struggled on the pitch. His final appearance in a Thistle jersey came in August 1988 before injury finally signalled an end to his career. It was cruel in the extreme that with the John Lambie era shortly to begin that Watson, after holding many a poor Thistle team together, didn't get to play a part in Thistle's revival.

There are many players that that have made higher profile contributions to the Thistle cause than Kenny Watson did. However, perhaps because of the troubled times that he represented Thistle through, his contribution deserves every bit as big, if not more, recognition.


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