We were deeply saddened to learn that our former goalkeeper, Ron Watson, passed away on January 22nd at the age of 84.
Ron began his football career at Loxwood where, as a teenager, he actually played as a winger before donning the goalkeeping gloves, and turned out for Blackpool Reserves whilst serving in the RAF during his National Service. He spent three years at Alfold before joining Horsham in 1958, initially for the reserves and then the seniors when, as a 23 year old, he made his debut against Crawley in an FA Amateur Cup tie, replacing the injured Tony Winkworth. So impressive were Ron’s performances that he instantly became the first choice goalkeeper for the club, playing in all-bar one of the remaining matches in 1958/59 and was an ever-present during 1959/60, making a total of 79 appearances.
During his Horsham career, Ron reached the semi-finals of the Sussex Senior Cup and Corinthian League Memorial Shield and was a member of the party that underwent end of season tours to Belgium and Holland.
After leaving Queen Street in the summer of 1960, Ron went on to enjoy a long career with his local side Cranleigh through to the early 1980s and continued playing Sunday League football until the age of 50! In his retirement, he combined his love for both football and his family by watching his grandsons play on a Saturday morning before taking in a local non-league match that afternoon. Wherever there was a game to be watched, said his son Neil, he would be there!
Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Ron’s friends and family at this very sad time.
Picture: Ron Watson in goal for Horsham during an FA Cup 4th qualifying round tie in 1958