Duncan Welbourne, who once played for the Hornets, died on January 14th. He was 78.
He won a Division Three championship medal; a fourth-place FA Cup medal but his most treasured possession was a testimonial present of a gold disc awarded for the song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, presented by Elton, then director, with the inscription: “To Duncan: something to keep you close to Watford and myself.”
Born in Scunthorpe in 1940, Welbourne began his career by playing for the Brumby Seniors.
At just 17 years old, he signed a professional contract with the Mariners, starting off as a wing-half before being converted to a full-back. He would stay at Blundell Park for six years, making 129 league starts and aiding them to promotion from the old second division.
After illness impacted his fitness, Duncan was transferred to Watford in November 1963 for £1,750. It was here that he would make his name and become a key member of the side for the next decade. He set a club record for consecutive appearances, 457 in total and 280 in the Football League.
Following ten years at the club, he was rewarded with a testimonial with Elton singing at his do and presenting him with his aforementioned gold disc.
Following his playing career, Welbourne retired to the Southport area and was inducted into Watford’s Hall of Fame at the end of the 2010-11 campaign.