Tom Watson: 3 June 1889 - 17 August 1896
Tom Watson was Sunderland’s first manager and he proved to be one of the club’s most successful as he steered the ‘The Team of All the Talents’ to three League titles in the 1890s.
The Newcastle-born manager made several trips to Scotland to secure the services of talented players such as Johnny Campbell, David Hannah and John Harvey, and the team won 34 of their 47 games in Watson’s first season.
After election to the Football League in 1890, Watson further strengthened the team with the signings of Hugh Wilson, Jimmy Millar and Ned Doig.
The Lads reached the semi-final of the FA Cup in their first season before they were later crowned champions in 1891-92 with two games to go when they beat Blackburn Rovers 6-1.
It was an impressive year for Watson and the Lads as they won all 13 home games, an achievement which remains a club record to this day.
Sunderland retained the championship the following year with a healthy 11-point margin and 100 goals scored. In the 1893-94 season they were knocked off the top spot and forced to settle for runners-up before they responded a year later as they were crowned champions.
Watson’s tenure as manager came to an end on 25 July 1896 when he decided to take charge of Liverpool.
During his time on Merseyside he went on to manage two more title-winning teams in 1901 and 1906.