The Hornets were ready to let the 16-year-old hopeful go because they reckoned he did not have the build for the rough and tumble of football.
But youth development officer Chris Cummins persuaded the club's hierarchy to keep faith with the lad.
He told The Sun: "Ashley came to Watford as a lad of eight and worked his way through the system.
"His attitude was first class. He never missed a training session and from a very early age you could see how bright he was as a footballer.
"When he got to 16 there was a school of thought at Watford that he wasn't strong enough.
"As a result he wasn't offered a scholarship but he stayed on as a non-contract boy, training twice a week at night after school. I really felt there was something there.
"He listened, took the knocks and proved people wrong. He has proved his character and his ability and I couldn't be more pleased for him."
Cummins, who has an England shirt signed by Young, said: "As a youth coach you always want to produce your first million-pound player.
"I admit I've shed the odd tear when I see how well Ashley's done for himself and his family.
"Ashley's kept his feet on the ground but I still have to buy the coffee when we meet up before England games at their hotel. He's still a bit tight!"