May 6, 1915
We regret to announce the death of Mr. Tom Watson, secretary of the Liverpool Football Club, which occurred at his residence, Priory-road, Liverpool, early this afternoon.
Mr. Watson was present at the match between South Liverpool and Liverpool last Thursday, and was in town on Friday, but later he was taken ill, suffering from pharisy.
He was at once attended to Dr James Ferguson but his condition became very serious and despite all attention he was some come as stated.
Mr. Watson was one of the best known football secretaries in the country and was a most popular figure in England and Scotland, a favourite with everybody, player and official alike who were greatly attached to him.
His geniality has been known to secure players for his club where others have failed simply because the players could not refuse him. He made host of friends and in happy smile will be sadly missing from many sporting circles.
Mr. Watson had spent his lifetime in the interest of football and it may be said that he was one of the pioneer of the professional game. A native of the Tyne district he was appointed secretary of the Newcastle West End Club in 1886 when there were no league, and no £1,000 transfer fees, but he succeeded in bringing severe internationals from Scotland.
From West End he went to the East End but later the two were amalgamed and became Newcastle United. Mr. Watson migrated to Sunderland as a paid secretary and all enthusiasts knows how he raised the club to the best pinnacle of fame. Though they had but three pros when he joined, he later obtained what was known as “the team of all the talents.”
After a most successful career with Sunderland Mr. Watson was induced to join the Liverpool club as its secretary and he took up his duties under Alderman John Houlding in 1896.
Since that time he had held the reins off the Anfield club, and though it has passed through troubled waters he never stopped trying and along with the directors worked hard to enable the club to secure its present magnificent ground, and prior to the war the club was in a sounder position than it had ever been before.
This was undoubtedly largely due to the fine work of Mr. Watson, who gave the directors the fullest benefit of his long experience.
During the course of his career with the Anfielders Mr. Watson has seen the club champions of the First League on two occasions and they created a record by finishing on top of the Second Division one season and at the top of the first the following year.
The club experienced many ups and downs but Mr. Watson used to say that Liverpool was the most attractive club in the League simply because you never knew what they were going to do next.
Mr. Watson was very proud of the team’s in reaching the final of the cup last year, and though naturally disappointed at the defeat in the final – it was his first final – he was nevertheless pleased with the previous successes.
He was very fond of bowls and on local greens was a familiar figure.
A member of the Anfield club, he was also ex-president of the Liverpool and District Boxing Association and chairman of the Liverpool Parks and Garden League.
(Evening Express: May 6, 1915)