John was educated at Maylands State School along with another football legend Graham Farmer.
Like John, his father was a policeman and great gag teller.
At age 19 he followed the family tradition and joined the Police Force in 1956.
John started playing football at a young age with the Bayswater Junior Football Club.
After playing a few reserves matches, Watts debuted for the Royals on a half back flank against Subiaco at the age of 17 in 1954. Watts played 166 games as East Perth’s fullback from 1954-1962, and he was a three-time premiership player.
After the 1962 season, John received good offers from St Kilda, Essendon, and Geelong.
In 1963 Watts was selected to play for the VFL for Geelong Football Club along with lifelong friend Farmer. He played 52 Games for Geelong, the most memorable being Geelong’s Premiership Team winning the 1963 VFL Grand Final.
Watts wrote the Royals theme song as well as the Geelong and Swan Districts songs. After making the move to play for Geelong in the VFL, the Cats theme song was first played after the club’s 1963 Grand Final win which Watts played in.
In 1966, Watts moved to Tasmania to Captain/Coach the Hobart Football Club. In his first year he led them to a premiership, before retiring at the top of his game in 1968.
Watts went on to make a name for himself in the WA media, and forged a successful career as a sports presenter on Channel Seven. There was a two minute segment on Channel 7 every Friday night previewing the weekend games and giving his tips. He later moved into radio, and is said to have unintentionally created one of Perth radio’s best breakfast programs.
The Watts and Martin Breakfast Show was a hit with its politically incorrect and controversial humour, and will be remembered for its irreverent take on sports news.
He was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer in 2011, after previously having prostate cancer.
John Watts is survived by his wife Lorraine, his two sons Jon and Luke and three daughters Joanna, Donna and Vanessa.