Motherwell stalwarts Bobby Watson and Brian Heron back in touch after 45 years

Former team-mates Bobby Watson (left) and Brian Heron have been reunited for the first time in 45 years (Submitted pic)
Former team-mates Bobby Watson (left) and Brian Heron have been reunited for the first time in 45 years (Submitted pic)

Former Motherwell and Rangers team-mates Bobby Watson and Brian Heron recently met up for the first time in 45 years.

The pair had been team-mates at Ibrox in the late 1960s before they were both transferred to Motherwell on the same day in March 1970.

Fast forward nearly half a century from that day and the duo were put back in touch with each other.

Watson said: “It was nice to meet again after over 40 years and we shared some memories about our old football times at Rangers and Motherwell.

“I reminded him of the story of our transfer that it was reported goalkeeper Peter McCloy had gone to Rangers in exchange for a Heron and a Haddy! He found that amusing but the old ones are still the best.”

Heron suffered a massive stroke 10 years ago and is paralysed down his right hand side, and as result lives in a nursing home in Longton just outside Preston.

He and Watson were both part of the deal in that took McCloy to Ibrox and saw the mates team up again at ’Well.

They both made their debuts against Raith Rovers on March 13 over 47 years ago, in a 2-1 defeat at Fir Park.

Heron was a flying winger with an eye for goal thanks to his powerful left foot, while Watson was a more cultured player who could either play at centre back or as the playmaker in midfield.

They both played a key role in the club’s first run in the Texaco Cup in 1970/71, both scoring in the 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Fir Park with Heron scoring the opener on the night and Watson bagging the winner.

Heron eventually left for Dumbarton in December 1972 after making a total of 109 appearances for the club.

Another of his highlights was a hat-trick in a 5-3 win over Hearts at Fir Park, one of the goals coming from a direct free kick which showcased the power in his left foot.

After two years at Dumbarton he moved to Oxford where he suffered two serious leg breaks that almost ended his career.

He did make a return to the game with Scunthorpe but the two injuries had taken their toll and he was never the same again.

Watson played on and retired from playing in 1976 having played 256 times for the ’Well.

He had spells managing Airdrie, Motherwell and Partick Thistle before concentrating on his steel business Watson Towers.