Waters had to endure a lengthy clearance wrangle to move from VFA club Dandenong.
He joined the Magpies as a forward, but didn’t set the world on fire in attack after a promising start even though he headed the club’s goalkicking in his first two years. He would be replaced as full-forward by Peter McKenna.
After a couple of years Waters established a reputation for being one of the best marks in the game and unlike many others he could also mark just as well in the wet.
He played in the forward pocket in the losing 1964 grand final side and by the 1966 grand final he was in defence where he was Collingwood’s best player in the loss to St Kilda, the club he had signed with as a youngster (his parents had torn up the Form Four).
Waters suffered another loss in the 1970 grand final as captain.
Waters was appointed skipper when Des Tuddenham was dumped from the captaincy at the start of 1970, but only held the post until early the following season.
He won the club’s best and fairest in 1966, played for Victoria eight times, and was an All-Australian player in 1969.