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13 Interesting Ollie Watkins Facts From Childhood In Devon

Updated: May 21

Full Name: Oliver George Arthur Watkins

Date of Birth: 30 December 1995

Place of Birth: Torquay, England

Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)

Position(s): Striker

Current Club: Aston Villa

Jersey Number: 11

13 Interesting Ollie Watkins Facts From Childhood In Devon
13 Interesting Ollie Watkins Facts From Childhood In Devon

Ollie Watkins has carved out an impressive career path, emerging as one of the most exciting talents in the English top flight. He is known for his goal-scoring ability and versatility as evident in the 2023-24 Premier League season, where he notched 19 goals, registered 13 assists, boasted a shooting accuracy of 44%, and earned the Castrol Playmaker of the Season award.

From his humble beginnings in Devon to breaking records at Aston Villa, it is evident Watkins persevered and is dedicated to his craft. In this piece, we have gone back in time to discover the key milestones and achievements that have defined his career so far.

Here are 13 Interesting Ollie Watkins Facts From Childhood In Devon to Premier League Stardom

1. He Joined Exeter City’s Academy at Age 11 After A Failed Trail Two Years Earlier

At age 11, Watkins joined Exeter City's academy after an unsuccessful trial with the club at age 9. He signed a scholarship deal with the club in 2012 and quickly made an impact as he progressed through the ranks. His talent became evident, and he went on to score an impressive 30 goals for Exeter City's U18 team in the 2013–14 season.

Recognising his potential, Exeter City rewarded him with a two-year professional contract in April 2014. It marked the start of his journey from the academy to the senior team. He debuted in the final League Two match of the 2013–14 season and scored his first senior goal in a Football League Trophy match against Coventry City on 7 October 2014.

2. He was Born in Torquay, Devon and Childhood in Newton Abbot

Ollie took his first breath on December 30, 1995, at Torbay Hospital in Torquay, Devon. He spent his childhood in the nearby picturesque town of Newton Abbot. There, he attended South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton, where his love for football began to take shape alongside his academic pursuits.

3. He Won the Football League Young Player and PFA Fans' Player of the Month Awards

In March 2016, the Englishman won the Football League Young Player of the Month and PFA Fans' Player of the Month awards. Despite facing initial challenges, including a loan spell at Weston-super-Mare from December 2014 to the end of the 2014–15 season, where he demonstrated his talent by scoring 10 goals in 25 appearances, Watkins made his way into Exeter City's first-team squad in October 2015. He quickly made an impact, scoring his first goal of the 2015–16 season in an FA Cup match against Port Vale.

4. His Goal was Voted Exeter's Goal of the 2015-16 Season

In a thrilling Devon derby against Plymouth Argyle, Ollie Watkins' late brace sealed a crucial 2–1 victory for Exeter City, with one of his goals later voted as the club's Goal of the Season. His stellar performance was emblematic of his impact throughout the 2015–16 season, during which he tallied 10 goals in 22 appearances, a goal ratio of 0.45 goals per appearance. The following season, Watkins continued to shine, making 52 appearances, scoring 16 goals, and contributing 13 assists, solidifying his status as a top player for The Grecians.

5. His First Career Hat-trick was Against Newport County

Ollie Watkins made history on 31 December 2016, netting his first career hat-trick in an unforgettable match against Newport County. This impressive milestone marked a significant phase in his burgeoning career. As he continued to hone his skills and make his mark in professional football, Watkins' talent became increasingly evident, setting the stage for further achievements.

6. He was the EFL Young Player of the Year in 2017

In January 2017, Ollie Watkins received recognition for his exceptional talent, winning the League Two Player of the Month award. This was just the beginning of his unique journey, as he went on to be honoured with the prestigious EFL Young Player of the Year award on 9 April 2017. These accolades solidified his status as one of the brightest young talents in English football, paving the way for a promising future in the sport.

7. His Excellent Displays at Exeter Led Him To Brentford

Watkins’ outstanding performances at Exeter City caught the attention of scouts across the country, ultimately leading to his move to Brentford. On 18 July 2017, he officially joined Brentford, signing a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee, widely reported to be £1.8 million. His impact was immediate, scoring his debut goal for the west London club on 8 August 2017 in an EFL Cup match against AFC Wimbledon. Acknowledging his value over time, Watkins extended his stay at Brentford by signing a new four-year contract in August 2019.   

8. His First Brentford Hat-trick was Against Barnsley in the Championship

Ollie Watkins showcased his goal-scoring prowess for Brentford, delivering an everlasting performance in a Championship match against Barnsley on 29 September 2019, where he netted his first hat-trick for the club. His achievement further strengthened his status as a prolific striker. As the 2019–20 season progressed, Watkins continued to shine, making 50 appearances and scoring 26 goals across all competitions. His exceptional form caught the attention of several sides, including Aston Villa, who were eager to secure his signature.

9. He Joined Aston Villa For A Record Fee in 2020

Watkins made a significant move to Aston Villa on 9 September 2020, commanding a then club-record fee of £28 million, with the potential to rise to £33 million. This high-profile transfer highlighted Villa's confidence in his abilities and their commitment to securing his talents. His impact was immediate, scoring on his debut for Aston Villa in an EFL Cup match against Burton Albion on 15 September 2020. Just days later, Watkins made his Premier League debut for Aston Villa on 21 September 2020.

10. He is the First Aston Villa Player to Score in 5 Premier League Games On the Bounce

The Devon-born lad etched his name in Aston Villa's history books by becoming the first player to score in five consecutive Premier League matches. This impressive streak began after his stellar performance in a 7–2 victory over Liverpool on 4 October 2020, where he netted a perfect hat-trick. Throughout the 2020–21 season, Watkins continued to showcase his scoring prowess, finishing as Aston Villa's top scorer with 14 goals. His consistency and skill were further highlighted by his exceptional run of form in February 2023, reaffirming his status as a key player for the club.

11. His First Aston Villa Hat-trick was in A UEFA Europa Conference League

Ollie Watkins marked his debut hat-trick for Aston Villa in memorable fashion, netting three goals in a UEFA Europa Conference League play-off round match against Hibernian on 23 August 2023. His stellar performance showcased his ability to deliver on the European stage and set the tone for further success. A month later, Watkins secured his second hat-trick of the 2023–24 season in a thrilling match against Brighton & Hove Albion on 30 September 2023. His exceptional contributions earned him a new contract with Aston Villa on 6 October 2023, confirming his commitment to the West Midlands club until 2028.

12. He Became the Joint-top Scorer for Aston Villa in 2024

Ollie Watkins broke new ground on 14 April 2024, becoming the joint-top scorer for Aston Villa in a single Premier League season with 19 goals, equaling Christian Benteke’s record. His exceptional form won him the prestigious Supporters' and Players' Player of the Season awards on 14 May 2024, highlighting his significant contributions to Aston Villa's success under Unai Emery and his status as a fan favourite.

13. He is an Arsenal fan and Idolises Thierry Henry

The talented England star revealed his allegiance to Arsenal and admiration for Thierry Henry in a recent interview with YouTube personality Chunkz. Watkins expressed his passion for the club by declaring, "I'm a big Arsenal fan." He also praised Henry as the greatest player in Premier League history, highlighting Henry's exceptional versatility and skill set. This revelation provides insight into Watkins' footballing inspiration and the profound impact Henry's legacy has had on his career.

Bonus - His International Career Started in 2021

Watkins' international journey began with his England debut on 25 March 2021, scoring against San Marino. Despite missing the UEFA Euro 2020 squad, Watkins continued to impress. He started for England on 29 March 2022, scoring in a friendly against the Ivory Coast. After an 18-month absence, Watkins was recalled to the squad in October 2023, marking his return with a goal against Australia on 13 October 2023.

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