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Vale John K Watts

Sunday, June 4, 2017 - 12:12 PM
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John K Watts has passed aged 80.

‘Wattsy’ was a three-time premiership player with East Perth in a career spanning 166 games. Watts then moved to Geelong to play with his long-time friend Polly Farmer, playing in the 1963 Premiership. 

John was a talented backman. He was the 1959 Simpson Medallist against South Australia,is named at Full Back in our Team of the Century (1945-2005), was a Life Member and is a member of the East Perth and WA Football Hall of Fame's, however his talents were not limited to field.

Watts wrote our club song East Perth Forever. Whilst on an interstate trip to Shepparton and Melbourne, Eric Sweet and ‘Knocker’ Bruce suggested a new theme song be created. Watts took on the role as he played the piano and spent a lot of time writing.

After a few weeks, one night after training JK hopped on the piano in the old clubrooms and started singing what we now know as East Perth Forever. Watts also wrote the theme song of Geelong Football Club (We are Geelong) following the club's 1963 premiership.

When asked when his favourite rendition was, JK simply said when the 1956 team led by Jack Sheedy defeated South Fremantle in the grand final.  

Known as an entertainer, JK was a policeman in his East Perth playing days, then moved into the media after his playing career where he had a long, successful career on radio and TV.

Watts’ son Jon Watts posted an emotional Facebook tribute to the father he called his “best mate.”

“I am in absolute shock by it all as he was more than just a regular dad, he was my confidant, friend, accomplice, drinking buddy, singing partner, comedian, and so much more,” he posted.

“Words cannot express my deep sadness and I am sincerely at a loss as to what to do. Sleep well mate - and thanks for all the memories. I love you so very much and I have no idea really how to go on from here.”

He was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer in 2011, after previously having prostate cancer.