Sunderland's most successful manager was born in Newcastle.
Tom Watson took charge the year before Sunderland joined the Football League, and during the six seasons from 1889–96 he led the club to three league championships (1891–92, 1892–93 and 1894–95).
Watson was a believer in fitness and methodical preparation, introducing rules regarding training, diet and lifestyle that modern players would find far from rigorous.
In the summer of 1896 Watson joined Liverpool for a £300 a year salary that was double what he earned at Sunderland.
He led Liverpool for 742 games up until his death in 1915 at the age of 56. Under him Liverpool were First Division champions in 1901 and 1906 and Second Division champions in 1905.
If there was one man who had the supreme gift of creating esprit de corps on a football team of eleven men, then that man, was the same Tom who beat, and hammered, and forged to perfection the steel-tempered football machine that was in his day the "irresistible" Sunderland team...
Victor Hall, Liverpool Echo 1924.