OLLIE WATKINS paid his dues at Weston-super-Mare — and helped fund an end-of-season boys’ trip to Spain.
But his ten goals on loan from Exeter at Weston during the 2014-15 season helped keep the club in the Conference South.
But the teenage striker had a weakness — timekeeping.
His former boss Ryan Northmore revealed: “He was often late because he was usually travelling up from Exeter.
“The boys didn’t give him any leeway. He’d say, ‘There was traffic on the so-and-so’, but it was, ‘Don’t care, £5 in the pot’.
“He’d have items of kit missing. Because he would then try to defend himself, the boys would have a kangaroo court and fine him double.
“By the end of the season, there was enough money in there to get a trip to Spain and Ollie went with them.
“He ended up paying for about four of them to go!
“For an 18-year-old to come in as our No 9 was a big responsibility but he was right up for it.”
After leaving Exeter in 2017 Watkins joined Brentford and spent three years with the West London side.
He signed for Aston Villa in 2020 and has since made 149 appearances.
The forward also has nine England caps and three international goals.