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On of our highly suggested object is The Family Encloure/Terrace, but it was Orlander Yard’s email of his memories of the North-East of Vicarage Road that gave us the perfect reasons to put it into the list:
Strikers get all the glory when they’re banging in the goals, so it’s only right that a big chunk of credit for this defensive run goes to Kevin Miller. Don’t get me wrong, Colin Foster and Keith Millen performed admirably that season. But Miller was showing us early signs as to why Crystal Palace would end up paying £1.5million for a Division Two goalie in 1997. In fact, then in the Premier League, Palace were the last of the sides unable to breach Miller’s defences, during a 0-0 draw in the Fifth Round of the F.A. Cup at Vicarage Road. Not satisfied with that effort, after the disappointing Sunderland result, it took Palace all the way into extra time, before they eventually broke the duck at Selhurst Park in the replay.
As you do when you meet another Hornet you discuss the hot topic – Danny Graham’s transfer to Swansea at that point – I mentioned this list and he told me about how a Knight on horse back invaded the Vicarage Road back in 1952. The Knight was promoting the new Elizabeth Taylor film ‘Ivanhoe’. He told me that back then it cost exactly the same to go to the local cinema as it did to watch Watford play (how times have changed) and it had been a close decision that day as to which centre of entertainment he would go to. He chose Watford and enjoyed a very memorable piece of half time entertainment. He couldn’t remember who Watford were playing or what the result .
I think my pre-1977 rattle deserves a place in the ‘Watford in 100 objects’, if not in the Watford Museum. It was hand-painted lovingly by me, whilst my mother looked on in horror.
It was my pride and joy and I took it to all home games, where, standing by the railings below the Shrodells Stand, I would proudly make as much noise as possible, without a thought of Health and Safety Regulations. Regretably those same regulations now deem my rattle as a dangerous weapon, so it is consigned to my cupboard, alongside my Vuvuzela.
Aged 49 3/4
The history of the pond dates back to before 1800, and the Friends of Watford pond website tells use that it’s a “natural and unique Pond dates back to before the 1800’s. First used by the Victorians for watering horses and livestock brought to Watford’s Tuesday markets and later by troops during the Great War.” They have an interesting gallery of pictures of the pond through out it’s history.
Watford fans didn’t let that get in the way of a comedy chant.
Steve was one of the early graduates of Tom Wally’s youth team of the late 70’s and the 1980’s. He signed as an apprentice in 1979, playing centre defence, and broke into the first team under Graham Taylo as Watford rose through the Football League in the early 80’s. Steve ended up player 160 games as a hornet and netted 14 goals before he left for Hull City in 1988. We spoke to Steve in Podcast 2.7 back in February 2012 and he gave us his story behind the headband.
I have a selection dilemma already. Three goalkeepers spring immediately to mind. Eric Steele, Steve Sherwood and Tony Coton. But I think I’ll plump for Steve Sherwood. The way he used to protect his ‘tache by saving with his legs wherever possible, was most admirable. The other two used to be more conventional and used their hands to protect the Hornets net, thus risking mud splatters and such entering the facial forest which couldn’t be good for it.
Full backs are pretty straightforward. Mick Henderson used to wear a very tidy looking number at right back. And Steve Harrison’s mischievous looking moustache suited his playful personality.
At centre back I’ve gone for the complementary pairing of the thick bushy ‘tache of Steve Sims and the slightly more trimmed Ian Bolton. In Podcast 2.7, when we inducted Steve Sims mustache into the Watford in 100 Objects list, we gave the deciding vote to former defender Steve Terry. Terry declared Sims moustache as the best at Watford FC due to the “thickness of it”. Steve revealed his namesake is now clean shaven and is “half the man without it”.
I’m opting for a 4-3-3 formation and in the midfield I am going to start with two gents of similar stature and hairstyle! Les Taylor, to this day, is the only man to captain a Watford side at the F.A.Cup final. Like you need reminding! The other curly haired midfielder to grace my XI with his hairy slug is Ray Train. I did consider Kevin Richardson for the midfield spot, but he was too wispy for my liking. Having said that, my third choice in midfield is Micah Hyde. He never wore anything full on under his nose, but this was the late nineties and his pencil ‘tache was a thing of style.
Up front, Luther also sported something akin to a pencil moustache back in the seventies, but there are three clear candidates for me. Gary Penrice didn’t get the nickname Porno for his acting qualities. That was a proper moustache. I was gutted when Jon told me he spotted him at Bristol Rovers earlier this season at the Carling Cup tie, minus face furniture. His partner up front is Gerry Armstrong. He always looked like he needed a haircut, yet the moustache was well manicured. Good on you Gerry! And Paul Wilkinson’s moustache was so prominent that it was constantly getting caught offside. In this XI, that’s a good thing! Worthy of a mention here (unusual for all time Watford XIs) is Devon White. He used to have a thin effort of a ‘tache that looked like he wanted to grow a modern handlebar, without having the balls to drop it below the lower lip. Nice try Devon, but not for the first time, not quite good enough.
We need a manager now don’t we. Well, goatees are not permitted in this line up, but this man certainly kept his moustache separate from his beard ensemble at some point during his WFC reign. And whilst he didn’t quite cut it as a manager at the second level of English football, he certainly cuts a dash style wise. So I look to Gianluca Vialli to lead our team. It’s quite a good looking line up, but even if they struggle, I’m sure we can rely on Steve Sherwood to pull off some blinding shaves
One of our most suggested items for the Watford in 100 Object list was a “Benskins Commemorative Ale” for Watford trip to the 1984 FA Cup final. We had so many email about the Benskins that if we collected them all we would probably have quite a drunken night on our hands. I’m just not sure the quality of the beer would be as high with them being well over 25 years old now.The picture above was sent to us by Nick Corble. Here’s his email: