Ollie Watkins

One of Our Own | Exhibition Images

Now a Premier League superstar who scores hat-tricks against reigning champions, Ollie Watkins began his career in slightly differently circumstances, coming off the bench at Hartlepool United for Matt Gill in 2014. While he also scored 30 goals for the under-18s that season, it wouldn’t be for a few more years until Ollie would be a first team player. Despite scoring his first goal just a few months later in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Ollie struggled to nail down a starting spot in the Grecians’ first team and he was subsequently loaned to Weston-Super-Mare, scoring 10 goals in half a season. Still, that wasn’t enough to earn an automatic starting spot, but his hard work in training could not be ignored and a first league start in the Devon Derby at Plymouth’s Home Park followed, and Ollie didn’t disappoint, assisting the second goal in a 2-1 win. A goal the following week against Port Vale secured Ollie’s name on the team sheet, and he went on to light up City’s campaign with the highlight being a wonderful last-minute curler against Argyle to beat them 2-1 in the reverse match at St James Park. Ollie continued this form in 2016/17, scoring 16 goals – including two crucial strikes in the play-off semi-finals – and earning a move to Championship Brentford. An incredible 26 goals in the 2019/20 season won Ollie the Championship Player of the Season and he got his move to the Premier League, joining Aston Villa where he’s been terrorising defences ever since.