Blue Kipper: Did Dave realise as he lifted the FA Cup just how gutted Prince Charles and his lads were that Everton had won and exactly what is it you shouted as you lifted the cup?
Dave Watson: Yeah, I was totally aware that they were gutted that we won the FA cup. It was well publicised that they were going to be at the game and that the boys were Man Utd supporters along with Charles. I could see the disappointment in their faces as he handed me the cup, I said "cheers Charlie"! I just turned round to the crowd and said "yes".
It was no surprise when we won the cup. Once you get to Wembley, anything can happen. Big Joe really wound all our lads up and everyone was up for it. Joe told us that the Man Utd fans were in for a shock.
Blue Kipper: What is the best Everton back 4? (which you have played with or would like to be a part of)
Dave Watson: Stevens with Pat Van den Hauwe at left back. Kevin Ratcliffe beside me but I would also mention Snods because he was a great right back when he slotted into that position.
Blue Kipper: Did you prepare for derby games any differently than the other games?
Dave Watson: No, my preparation was always the same. The only difference is that you think of the supporters more on Derby Day and want to get straight out and stuck into them. You can't wind people up any more than most of them already are on Derby Day. You have to be half level headed but know that when you go out there, you're going to smash them one in the first few minutes. That's just the way it is.
From 1.45 to 2.30 I'm alright, I'm nice and quiet. Then it's getting my mind on the game, talking to the lads, wishing them all the best, making sure they're getting their minds on the game as well. Some players you'll need to go and have a chat to, and tell them how important the day is. Come 2.45 to 2.50, everyone's up for it. Walking round the dressing room with all your mad shouts, then you're ready to go then. On Derby Day, it was Peter Reid, Kevin Ratcliffe and Gary Stevens any of the local lads all really wound up for it. It was a good buzz on everyone else. When you walked out on that pitch, you always felt you were going to win.
Blue Kipper: What happened at Tranmere? Why were you forced out? Politics?
Dave Watson: Politics! Ha ha ha! My experience at Tranmere was good. It was good from a footballing point of view. A good learning curve for me. I learnt an awful lot in 10 months which will stand me in good stead if I get a chance again. The only chance to get to find out about management is to be thrown in. And that's what I wanted. That's the way it happened.
My Tranmere highlights were getting to the 5th round of the FA cup. Had a 16 game unbeaten run, which got us into the play off positions and we had lots of good kids coming through. So there were a lot of good points during my time there. In management there are a lot of things that can affect results, injuries, suspensions, and when you haven't got a big squad, that's what happens. But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Blue Kipper: Gary Speed......shit house or what?
Dave Watson: I never had a problem with Gary Speed and lots of people ask this - it was just circumstances at the time and a story that I honestly don't know the answer too. You'll have to dig a little deeper and if you find out, can you give me a ring and let me know what went on!!
Blue Kipper: What was your proudest moment in an Everton shirt?
Dave Watson: Obviously the cup final springs to mind against Utd. Lifting the cup was unbelievable, I was 34 at the time and was wondering if this would be my last chance to pick up something as captain of the club. But also wearing the Everton shirt while I was actually managing the club, it was hard enough being a player but when you're managing the club, there's so much going on in your head. That was an extremely proud moment for me. Also scoring against the shite was something to be proud of and I scored a few times against them.
Blue Kipper: Dave, you played for Everton through two decades, do you think you could name your top 11 Everton players plus manager of that era?
Dave Watson: That's impossible to answer, but straight away, certain players stand out, people like Neville; you'd have Reidy in the midfield; Sharpy up front; Trevor Steven has got to come into it; I wished I'd have played with Rooney, cos he'd have definitely got into it. Left sided players have never jumped out at me with the exception of Kevin Sheedy. We know an awful lot about his left foot. Paul Bracewell, really we're going back to that successful team. I know that when I played against them at Norwich they give you the works! Other players that came were not great players but did a great job, people like Joe Parkinson and Barry Horne. I'd also throw John Ebbrell in there as well. These were the workers that really gave their all. We haven't really had players of this type for a long time and the team is screaming out for them. I know when Duncan came, it really gave everyone a lift and he became a hero, but that's sort of drifted away a little bit now. That's why it's back again now with Wayne Rooney, we've got what could be a legend, and everyone appears to be hanging on to that just now. There's no doubt about the Manager, that would be Howard.
Blue Kipper: What did you feel when you lifted the FA Cup as Everton captain, following in the foot steps of greats such as Kevin Ratcliffe and Brian Labone?
Dave Watson: There is a history of Everton and the FA cup and it's great when the clips of the FA cup comes up - it's great to see yourself picking up the cup as it's such a great feeling. To be put in the same bracket as Labby and Kevin is an honour. It's great when the clips of the FA cup comes up - it's great to see yourself picking up the cup as it's such a great feeling.
Blue Kipper: Dave, what was it like becoming caretaker manager of the blues, and have you got your sites on a more permanent role back at Goodison in the future?
Dave Watson: It was something that just happened, I was down at Norwich at the time. I got a phone call on the Sunday saying they wanted to speak to me. Big Joe had left then and they told me you're the man to take over. Without even sitting down and thinking about it, I said you're bloody right there la!! Then after I put the phone down I sat back and thought 'friggin ell' what if we get relegated! I never even give that a second thought beforehand, then when I sat down and thought about it a little deeper, I thought yes, you don't often get a chance like that. I loved it, I loved the involvement, and everything about it. It was a great experience.
Blue Kipper: Dave who was the player you looked up to when you started out as a player?
Dave Watson: When I started off, I was at Liverpool. Being honest it would be players like Tommy Smith and Phil Thompson. I might have looked up to them, but I'm glad I didn't end up looking like them!
Blue Kipper: How did the move from Liverpool come about, was it like the Steve McMahon situation were you had to move to another club before you could move to the team across the Park?
Dave Watson: I suppose you could say that. I only played a few games for Liverpool in all the years I was there. It wasn't really working out, so when I'd only played a handful of games, I moved to Norwich. I had 5 years at Norwich then one day, Howard got on the phone and tapped me to come back to Everton, and I never had any second thoughts about it, and the rest is history.
Blue Kipper: There's a story about "something" being found in the FA Cup at the celebration party in 95. Allegedly, it had your initials on it. True?
Dave Watson: I don't know what was found in the FA cup, there's been quite a few things in it! What was it supposed to be? I don't know what he's getting at there.
Blue Kipper: What where the feelings in the dressing room on the last day of the season in 94 & 98. Which players really stood out for you?
Dave Watson: We were in the Grosvenor Hotel across the water and Mike Walker got everyone together in a room and told us how we were lucky lads. We started looking at one another thinking we're the lucky buggers? What if it all goes wrong! There was talk of the lads not even bringing their cars to the game because we couldn't walk out to the car park if we got relegated. You wouldn't know what would happen after the game. These were the type of things that were going through our heads, the fear of failing. It was a nerve wracking experience and then we heard that the Wimbledon coach had been set alight at their hotel. It was at that point you knew the passion and that we had to win the game. There were no thoughts of losing. Regarding the game itself, the atmosphere could have been better because there was just a board at the park end, it was a strange atmosphere. Then we went a goal down through Anders hand ball and we thought oh what's going on here? We started to get the strange feeling that we were going to get relegated. The silence when we went two nil down was scary. We pulled one back and Neville was geeing everyone up at half time. Then there was the Barry Horne goal. When has Barry Horne ever scored a goal like that? To come back and win the game was amazing. I say it now that the FA cup final in 95 and the Wimbledon game were the two games which I will remember forever. The players who stood out for me in that game was Snods, he was a rock at the back and Barry in the mid field. But that's all really, Barry and Snods would have died for the cause.
The Coventry one was a little bit different because a draw was enough so it was a bit more relaxed. We had the luxury of the penalty miss as well. It seemed like year after year, there was never a season were you could relax. The players were still a bag of nerves though, you could almost feel the nerves coming from the stands. You're playing for all the Evertonians in the world, so you're bound to be nervous aren't you? They're all relying on you so you've got to control your nerves and do something about it.
Blue Kipper: Which player do you hate the most?
Dave Watson: The foreign lads when they first come over, trying to be big. They thought they were better than everyone else. People like Madar never had a good word to say about anyone. Wherever you go, you need a good work ethic and they didn't seem to understand that, but with working with them day in and day out, I can't say I hated or disliked them. I wasn't keen on them, but you've got to work with them. With regard to opponents, there was Billy Whitehurst, he was crazy, he wanted to fight you. There was one occasion at Oxford, he clashed with Neville and Neville was hurt on the floor. I waded in and Billy was pushed to the floor, he turned round and thought it was Kevin Rat, this was just before half time - as we were walking off the pitch, Billy walked up behind Kevin, put his arms under Kevin's and lifted him off the pitch! He'd be looking for you in the players' lounge and would want to see you outside! He was a bit of a lunatic unlike Mick Harford who was just a really hard player who could look after himself. You would feel the wind from Mick Harford's elbow as it whizzed past your ear! He caught me a few times as well! Then there was John Fashanu from the crazy gang! They'd come up to you and tell you they were looking for a fight.
Blue Kipper: Dave, it has come to the attention of a few hardened Evertonians, that you have a secret passion for cheese. Could you confirm or deny this? and secondly what is your favourite, a Gorganzola, Dutch Edam or as is mine a good traditional English Cheddar. Thanks for some wonderful times Waggy!
Dave Watson: I don't know where this lad has got the cheese rumour from! I do like a bit of cheese, but I wouldn't say I've got a passion for it. I think it's the lad who's got a passion for it, I think I smelt it on him that night at the Adelphi!!
Blue Kipper: What was the atmosphere in the Everton dressing room like just before a Mersey Derby and who were the nutters trying to wind everyone up and the quiet ones?"
Dave Watson: Kevin Rat and Sharpy, Peter Reid, Andy Gray and Barry Horne all spring to mind. The quiet ones were the likes of John Ebbrell, Tony Cottee, Pat Nevin, the ones who you'd probably know were quiet just by looking at them. The pranksters were Wardy, Bails and Gazza of course! Tying the sleeves of your shirt in knots so you couldn't get it on after the game! He was always driving you mad.
Blue Kipper: What was said by you and others at half time during the Wimbeldon 3-2 game. I need to know know because I was in a Gwladys Street toilet at the time spewing up.
Dave Watson: You might have been spewing up but we were on the up having scored. You couldn't knock anybody, you just had to be positive and think about winning whilst deep down thinking "fucking hell, what if?" We knew that in the 2nd half we were kicking into the Street End so we always had a chance.
Blue Kipper: The 4-4 game against the shite was brilliant but the replay was better because we won. Did you think we were going to win after the 1st game draw? What was it like scoring against the shite?
Dave Watson: The first game was a brilliant game, full of highs and lows. We were always coming back in the first game then we won the toss and Dagleish resigned so we were confident from the start in the replay. When I did lash it in, I was delighted. I just felt I might of scored too early, but we held out.
Blue Kipper: Dogs of War was a Joe Royle saying. Did you think it was harsh ? How did he rate Joe Parkinson?
Dave Watson: This was Joe's humour. It was not a harsh statement, we were a workman like side, and teams did not like playing against us. However, Joe Parkinson and John Ebbrell could both pass the ball as well as tackle. It was great to play against a bunch of fannys who did not like being tackled!
Blue Kipper: I knew we were going to win the FA Cup in 95 especially when Parky put Ince on his arse in the first 5 minutes. Did you ever go out with a plan to sort someone out?
Dave Watson: Parky's tackle was a good one, I never went out to hurt anyone. I always wanted to get a tackle in early doors, because quite often, if you did they don't come back!
Blue Kipper: Why didn't you give anyone the cup to have a dance with?
Dave Watson: I didn't realise that I hadn't. Does this mean at Wembley or at the celebration. The cup went everywhere with me - even to bed with the Missus! At Wembley it was my last chance in a cup final and I was euphoric and probably kept hold of it until we were half way around the pitch.
Blue Kipper: What was The Rat like to play with? What did it feel like when you took over the Captains armband from him in Jan 1992
Dave Watson: To take over from the greatest captain in Everton's history was an honour. And following the Rat I was very, very proud.
Blue Kipper: "What is it about our great club that gives it its status of 'the peoples club', and keeps the fans so HOOKED on Everton, bearing in mind the lack of silverwear in recent years, and the relentless support from bluenoses throughout the land?"
Dave Watson: It's just a feeling of togetherness. I can't explain it - can you? Everyone is willing each other to succeed, fans and players alike. Having experienced success in the past, we just want more and the support through the 90's speaks volumes.
Blue Kipper: Although you had a stormer for Hong Kong against England in the build up to Euro '96 did you have any regrets at agreeing to play once you knew you'd be wearing a pink kit? It made 'salmon and navy' look respectable!
Dave Watson: (Dave laughs) It was after the cup final, I went out there to train for a while and the game just came about. I didn't know much about the kit, I just walked into the dressing room on the day and saw this shocking pink outfit hanging up and I said "you're having a laugh aren't you!?" They couldn't understand me, I said, "you can't wear that!" In the end we did, but after the game I tried to swap shirts and no-one would have it - I've still got it in our house!!
bluekipper.com would like to thank Waggy for the opportunity for this interview and wish him all the best in the future, which hopefully will be, in some capacity, with the Toffeemen.
Email Bluekipper at email@example.com