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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Lee Miller leads tributes to legendary Carlisle United scout

Lee Miller today led Carlisle United’s tributes to legendary scout Jack Watson, who has died at the age of 90.

Jack Watson photo
Jack Watson

The Blues striker scored twice against Bury in a game which Watson – United’s honorary vice-president – was planning to attend.

The Middlesbrough scouting co-ordinator, who had also held various roles on the backroom staff at Brunton Park, died in hospital on Saturday morning after a short illness.

Miller, who Watson recommended to Carlisle before his August transfer from the Teesside club, said: “I came into contact with Jack a few times at Middlesbrough and he was a lovely man.

“What you saw is what you got with him. He had a lot to do with Carlisle and Middlesbrough and every time I came in contact with him he was lovely.

“I had a good few chats with him and he had something to do with me coming here, so I owe him a lot.

“He was a total football man, a lovely gentleman and it’s sad to see him go.”

Watson was a regular visitor to Brunton Park and was still working full-time at Boro’s Rockliffe Park training ground until his death.

The former policeman and talented north-east cricketer was Bob Stokoe’s chief scout at Carlisle and Watson also ran the club’s centre of excellence, coached United’s goalkeepers and deputised as physio.

He also spotted Carlisle-born star Grant Holt whilst working for Sheffield Wednesday, when Holt was playing for Barrow.

Other top finds from his scouting career include the ex-Carlisle heroes Ian Bishop and Mally Poskett.

Carlisle chairman Andrew Jenkins, a close friend, said: “Jack was a wonderful servant to our club and it was an honour to be able to present him with a life long vice presidency last year.

“He was a man of great talent.”

Middlesbrough held a minute’s applause in memory of Watson before yesterday’s Championship 2-0 defeat to Leeds.

Boro manager Tony Mowbray described Watson’s death as a “devastating blow” but added: “He was a remarkable man doing the job he loved almost right up to the day he died and while we’re all very sad, we’re consoled by the fact that he had no long illness or suffering.”

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