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Tony Coton
Season 2012/13

City v Watford: 10 connections

  • 04 January 2013 11:27
  • Posted by Mark Booth/David Clayton

Ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie, we look at ten connections between City and Watford...

Ron Saunders

Birkenhead-born centre forward turned manager Ron Saunders enjoyed a potent 1964/65 season at Watford in an Indian summer to his career.

The hard-shooting striker weighed in with 18 goals in 34 appearances for the Hornets but his playing days will probably be best remembered for his 236 games for Portsmouth.

His managerial career was equally as successfu, though he had less than a full season in charge of City, leading the Blues to the 1974 League Cup final where City were beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers along the way before being dismissed.

David James

David James began his career at Watford, coming up through the youth ranks and making 89 appearances for the club before joining Liverpool.

There, he earned the somewhat unfair nickname “Calamity James” for a few high profile blunders but James managed to rehabilitate his career during subsequent spells at Aston Villa, West Ham and Manchester City to become England’s No.1.

James spent three seasons at the City of Manchester Stadium and became the oldest ever World Cup debutant at the age of 39 years and 321 days when he kept a clean sheet against Algeria in South Africa 2010.

David James Season 0506

Fred Fayers

Tough-tackling defender Fred Fayers began his career at the sublimely named Northern Nomads before joining Watford in 1908.

He made 62 appearances for the Hornets and moved on to represent Huddersfield Town and England Amateurs between 1910 and 1915.

World War I interrupted his promising career but when he made his return to the professional game, he made it at Maine Road, turning out 73 times for the Blues before retiring in 1923.

Eric Steele

Born and bred Geordie Eric Steele enjoyed a long and distinguished career between the sticks which took him all across the world.

Steele won five promotions in 12 years with Brighton and Hove Albion, Derby County and Watford before taking the time honoured footballer’s retirement to run a country pub.

Perhaps tavern life wasn’t for Eric as he was soon back in the game, providing goalkeeping coaching to a myriad of clubs, including Blackburn, Aston Villa and Manchester City before joining Man United's coaching staff.

FA Cup fourth round 1996/97

The last time City met Watford in the FA Cup was back on 5 February 1997 at Maine Road.

On that occasion, goals from Neil Heaney, Nick Summerbee and Uwe Rosler propelled Frank Clark’s City side into the fifth round of the competition where they crashed out to Middlesbrough with a 1-0 defeat at Maine Road. The teams also met in a 1987 League Cup tie at Maine Road with the Blues winning 3-1.

Tony Coton

Tony Coton – ‘TC’ - (main picture) became synonymous with City in his six years at Maine Road, playing more than 160 games for the Blues.

Before all that, the moustachioed Tamworth-born stopper kept goal for Watford and racked up more than 233 appearances for the Hornets, winning Player of the Season on three occasions in six years.

Howard Kendall paid £1m for Coton’s signature before the start of the 1990/91 season, making him one of the most expensive goalkeepers ever at the time.

Arthur Daniels

In the Official Centenary History of Watford FC, Daniels was described as a “shrewd and speedy winger,” and the Lancashire-born player began his professional career for City in March 1923.

Although City lost to Tottenham on that occasion, Daniels did make an immediate impression, putting in the cross for City’s only goal of the day.

Unable to hold down a place in the City side, Arthur moved to a Watford team playing in the Third Division South and became an important player for the club, making 136 appearances in a four-year spell.

Bobby McDonald

With City leading 1-0 against leaders Watford thanks to Dennis Tueart’s third-minute goal, Joe Corrigan landed awkwardly after making a save and dislocated his shoulder. That meant City had to play without a recognised keeper for the remaining 81 minutes with only one sub allowed and no keeper on the bench.

Step forward full-back Bobby McDonald who took over in goals and performed heroics to ensure the Blues held on to their one-goal advantage and win the game, against all odds, by 1-0.

Kenny Jackett

Watford legend Kenny Jackett spent a decade at Vicarage Road and made more than 400 appearances for the Hornets – the only club he played for. He briefly managed Watford in 1996/97 and spent another decade on the backroom staff at the club before moving on in 2001.

He spent six months at City as reserve team boss and was highly regarded during his time with the Blues but he moved on to pursue management when a chance to coach Millwall came up in 2007.

2006/2007 season

The last time these two sides met was during Watford’s last season in the top tier of English football.

At the City of Manchester Stadium, both sides drew blanks in a dour 0-0 draw and there was nothing between the teams when they met at Vicarage Road on 21 April 2007 when Darius Vassell cancelled out Tamas Priskin’s opener to consign the Hornets to relegation back to the Championship.

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