Ace Tommy was the first
The sale of George Boyd to Peterborough brings back memories of another former Stevenage player who moved in the same direction 42 years ago. Tommy Watson was a speedy, impish winger and full of grit with an eye for goal. Born in the village of Lesmahagow
The sale of George Boyd to Peterborough brings back memories of another former Stevenage player who moved in the same direction 42 years ago.
Tommy Watson was a speedy, impish winger and full of grit with an eye for goal.
Born in the village of Lesmahagow in Strathclyde, he had been plucked from obscurity by then Stevenage Town manager George Curtis as his team fought for supremacy in the old Southern League.
Watson soon attracted the attention of Peterborough and in May 1965, he made the move to London Road for what was then a massive fee for a non-league club of £10,000.
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Watson made 75 appearances for the Posh scoring 20 goals before being transferred to Walsall in 1967 where he played 84 games, scoring 17 times.
His last League club was Gillingham whom he joined in 1970 where he made 52 appearances scoring seven goals. He then moved to Maidstone United at the start of the 1971-72 season.
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Another former Stevenage Town player who had a distinguished League career was Colin 'Paddy' Powell.
Powell was a product of the youth team at Stevenage, during which time he also broke a leg.
He moved from Broadhall Way to Barnet along with tough tackling defender Delvin Stevens, a builder who now lives in Graveley, when Town broke up after going into liquidation at the end of the 1960s.
Powell eventually joined Charlton Athletic in a £35,000 deal in 1972 after coming to prominence during Barnet's FA Cup run and playing a blinder against QPR at Loftus Road.
He stayed at Charlton until 1980 and was a popular winger at The Valley before joining Gillingham in 1981 where he spent two seasons.
Powell is now the head groundsman at The Valley.
Other more recent graduates from the Boro ranks into League football are Phil Simpson, Barry Hayles and Efe Sodje. Hayles and Sodje are currently playing at Plymouth Argyle and Southend United respectively.
The likes of DJ Campbell and Sam Sodje have subsequently appeared in the League after moving from Boro to other non-league clubs.
Sodje is at Premiership new boys Reading, while Campbell is with Championship side Birmingham.
Leon Cort, who played nine times for Boro on loan, is at another Championship team, Crystal Palace.
Other players from Comet country to make the grade in recent times include Kevin Phillips, Matt Oakley, Karl Duguid, Dave Kitson, Jason Shackell and current England under-21 international Ashley Young from Stevenage.
Young plays at Watford and is being touted for a big money move to another Premiership club during the January transfer window.