Ben Watson started with Brighton and initially arrived at St James’ Park on loan from Grays Athletic. Although he played relatively few games in an injury-disrupted stay, Ben was part of the City team which returned to the Football League in 2008. He later worked for the Exeter City Community Trust in a number of capacities alongside managing in local non-league football.
After beginning his career as a scholar/trainee at Brighton and Hove Albion, Ben enjoyed success as leading goalscorer at Bognor Regis Town before signing for Grays Athletic of the Conference. Having represented the England non-league team, Ben was featuring regularly for Grays when - in March 2008 - he joined Exeter City initially on loan.
Making his debut in the defeat at Weymouth on 24 March 2008 Ben was involved in nine regular season games scoring once against Stafford Rangers. He then played in all three play-off games, including a substitute appearance in the Wembley final against Cambridge, and converted a penalty in the 4-1 semi-final victory over Torquay United.
Ben signed permanently in May 2008 but injury was to sideline him for long periods of his time with the Grecians as he took the field on just fourteen occasions in 2008/09 and only once in 2009/10. Then, after injury had scuppered an earlier deal, Ben saw out his City career on loan at Forest Green Rovers followed by a similar stint at Bath City.
Released by Exeter City in May 2011, having played his final game for the club against Stockport County on 20 February 2010, Ben briefly returned to Sussex to play for Eastbourne Borough before moving back to the Exeter area. He then appeared for a number of clubs - including Dorchester Town, Truro City and Bideford - alongside building a career with the Exeter City Community Trust with whom, as of 2023, he was working as school sport and coach development officer.
After finishing playing with Elmore and St Martin’s (Exminster), Ben became player-manager of Topsham Town before his appointment as manager of Crediton United in August 2022 where former City youth player Jack Furzer was his assistant. The pair later took charge of Barnstaple Town in November 2023.
League 25 (play-offs 3); Cups 2 (27)