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Monday, 27 July 2015 (3068643)
2005 triumph was special says former Yellows boss Watson ahead of reunion
by Ron Ellis

FORMER Southport manager Liam Watson says leading the club to the 2005 Conference North championship remains one of the proudest moments of his career.

Watson returns to the Merseyrail Community Stadium this coming Sunday, along with the players he led to glory, for the ten-year reunion of the Sandgrounders’ title-winning team.

Southport won the league on the final day of a dramatic season a decade ago and Watson believes the special bond between fans and players was key to their success.

“I’ve won four championships as a manager but the two at Southport are the most special because Southport is my club,” said Watson.

“Winning the league again with Southport in 2010 was just as good but your first is always special. In 2005 there was a fantastic relationship between the supporters and players, which I think was created by the fans seeing an honest bunch of good players who all worked incredibly hard for one another.

“Team spirit can get you so far, but to win a league, not only do you need that in abundance, you also need top players and the squad we put together had everything.”

As a season full of twists and turns reached its climax, the Sandgrounders clinched the title in memorable fashion with a final-day win at Harrogate Town.

“The build up to the Harrogate game was fantastic,” said Watson.

“Our chairman did a deal with Harrogate to subsidise tickets for our fans. The atmosphere that day was fabulous and it just seemed like it was all Southport fans.

“My team-talk before that game was the easiest I had ever done. I just told them we were the best team in the league by a country mile so go out and prove it which they did in some fashion.”

Watson’s interview features in a special souvenir programme produced for the reunion which looks back at the title-winning season and also includes contributions from, among others, Earl Davis, Terry Fearns, Geoff Wilde, Jonathan O’Byrne and Haydn Preece.

The Reunion, hosted by Trust in Yellow, starts on Sunday with a match between the squad from 2005 and a team of supporters, kick-off 2pm at the Merseyrail Community Stadium. Entry to the game is £2 at the turnstile and all supporters are welcome to attend.

The Reunion continues after the match with an event in the Grandstand Bar which has sold out.


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