Lot 377 (Fine Art, 4th December 2012)
Sold for £6,800
A collection of football medals awarded to Frank George Watt, Secretary of Newcastle United from 1895-1932, comprising: The Football Association Challenge cup runners-up medal, 1904-5, 9ct. gold, 16.4grms, in original red leather box with velvet lining; The Football Association Charity Shield winners' medal, 1909, yellow metal, 26grms, in red leather box dated 1911; The Northampton Hospital Football Competition winners' medal, 1911, 15ct. gold and enamel, 12.4grms, in associated red leather box; The Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary Cup Competition winners' medal, 1920-21 9ct. gold and enamel. 18.8grms, in original red leather box; The Northumberland Football Association Senior Cup winners' medal, 1911-1912, 9ct. gold and enamel, 14.2grms, in green leather box marked 'The Newcastle & Sunderland Hospital Cup'; The Football Association Challenge Cup runners-up medal, 1911, yellow metal, 21grms, in red leather box marked 'Newcastle United F.C. League Champions 1904-5'; The Football League Champions Division winners' medal, 1926-27, 9ct. gold, 26grms, in original blue leather box; The Tyneside League Challenge Shields runners-up medal, 1925-26, 9ct. gold and enamel, 9.6grms, in original box; and The English League Championship winners' medal, 1906-7, 18ct. gold and enamel, 22grms, in original red leather box. Although officially known as the Club Secretary, Frank Watt was effectively the unofficial manager of Newcastle United from 1895-1935 and had a major say over the team selection and influence with the owning committee in the days before managers as we know them today. Known as 'Guv'nor', he was a much respected football administrator who turned around the fortunes of the ailing club and was instrumental in taking them through what in many ways may be regarded as the club's finest era. He was born in Edinburgh in 1854 and his first involvement in football came with the Edinburgh Cadets and occasional appearances for the Edinburgh Rifles FC and Hearts. He became Edinburgh FA Secretary in 1876 and Dundee Secretary in 1895. He joined Newcastle United later that year and continued there until his death in 1932. Frank was a noted referee during his early days and he was employed to advise and oversee the work of the club committee. He had great ambitions for Newcastle and upon his arrival he declared ''We are going to be the best team in the country''. Within a relatively short period of time he had achieved that ambition and the Edwardian Newcastle side dominated the league with a side assembled entirely by Watt who amongst many notable club players went on to sign, Hughie Gallacher, Colin Veitch and Stan Seymour. With Newcastle, Watt won the league four times, in 1905, 1907, 1909 and 1927. His team reached six FA Cup Finals. They won two (in 1910 and 1924) and came runners up on four occasions (1905, 1906, 1908 and 1911). See illustration
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