At Everton, Steve Watson wasn’t necessarily known for his goalscoring antics.
But on September 28, 2003, David Moyes decided to move Watson into midfield, relegating teenage superstar Wayne Rooney to the bench.
Watson surprised the Goodison Park faithful by netting an ice-cold hat-trick within 57 minutes against Leeds United.
Everton thrashed the visitors 4-0 in the end, but Watson’s performance was a massive departure from what the Merseyside club’s fans were accustomed to.
In his 125 league appearances for Everton, Watson bagged 14 times, with three coming on that afternoon against Leeds.
Watson scored his first by lashing the ball into the roof of Paul Robinson’s net. His second came 10 minutes later, when he coolly dinked over Robinson after the goalkeeper’s scuffed clearance.
Duncan Ferguson netted Everton’s third, with a bullet header at the back post, and then Watson scored his hat-trick goal.
After silky skills from James McFadden on the left, David Unsworth swung the ball into the penalty area, where the new-found fox in the box Watson was waiting. He brought the ball down and then lifted it over the onrushing Robinson from a tight angle.
With the game over, Watson was substituted for Rooney. I suppose Moyes needed to protect his goalscoring midfielder for the games to come.
It’s not every Premier League week that you see a player wearing the No 2 shirt net a hat-trick Sergio Aguero would be proud of.
Steve Watson, we salute you.