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Watford F.C.

Watford F.C.

Full name Nickname(s) Founded Ground

Watford Football Club The Hornets, The Golden Boys, Yellow Army, The Horns 1881 Vicarage Road Watford England (Capacity: 17,000 (expanding to 23,500)(east stand temp closed)) Giacomo (Jimmy) Russo Brendan Rodgers The Championship The Championship, 13th

Chairman Manager League 2008–09

Watford Football Club is an English professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. They play in the Championship. The club was founded in 1881, first playing at Cassio Road ground, before moving to Vicarage Road in 1922, where they remain to this day.[1] Since 1997, they have shared the ground with Saracens Rugby Club. The club has the nickame of The Hornets due to its yellow and black strip. Watford have a longstanding rivalry with Luton Town. The club is best known for its two spells under the management of former England manager Graham Taylor. The first lasting from 1977 to 1987, when the club rose to the old Division One from old Division Four, also reaching the FA Cup final in 1984[2] and competing in the UEFA Cup. The second lasting from 1997 to 2001, when Taylor took the club from new Division Two to the Premiership in successive seasons. During both of these eras the club was owned by Sir Elton John, who has continued a long association with the club. He was made the club’s honorary life president,[3] a position he resigned in November 2008 and which he re-assumed in late March 2009.[4]

The birth of Watford Football Club (1881-1920)
Watford Football Club were formed in 1881 as Watford Rovers, who played their home games at a pitch in Cassiobury Park. They later played at Vicarage Meadow and then at the Rose and Crown Pitch on Market Street. They first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886-87 season and in 1889 they won the County Cup. In 1893, Watford Rovers became West Hertfordshire and joined the Southern Football League in 1896, becoming professional a year later. In 1898, West Hertfordshire merged with Watford St Mary’s to become Watford Football Club. In 1898 they moved on to a ground in Cassio Road owned by Lady Essex who was

Away colours Home colours


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dubious about giving support to the game. Pressure from her to move eventually forced the manager, Harry Kent, to look for a new permanent ground which he found in 1914 at Vicarage Road , the clubs home today. They did not however move in until 1922.[5] They remained in the Southern League until 1920, when they became founder members of the southern section of the Football League Third Division. In the early years the club was sponsored by Ralph Thorpe , chairman of Wells Brewery and Benskins brewery sponsored the purchase of Vicarage Road earning the team the nickname of "The Brewers". Another early nickname was "the Wasps" because of their shirts which bore coloured hoops.[5][6]

Watford F.C.

Decline (1972-1977)
Watford failed to make an impact in the Third Division, and in 1975 were relegated to the Fourth Division. However, they were adopted by pop star Elton John in 1973 first as president and from 1976 as chairman. He had a declared ambition to take Watford into the First Division.[6]

The Graham Taylor era (1977–1987)
When 32-year-old Graham Taylor was named as Watford’s new manager at the start of the 1976-77 season, the club had just been purchased by world famous pop star Elton John (a lifelong fan of the club) and were an unremarkable Fourth Division side.[7] In 1977 the greyhound track that encircled the pitch was removed as it was seen to lower the clubs professional reputation by the manager Graham Taylor.[5] Thanks to the efforts of chairman, manager and playing staff, Watford had reached the First Division by the start of the 1982–83 season.[7] Players like John Barnes, Ross Jenkins and Luther Blissett were some of the most respected players in the English game during the 1980s. Watford finished their first top flight season as runners-up behind champions Liverpool. The club competed in the UEFA cup the following season and an FA Cup final appearance followed in 1984, although Watford lost to Everton.[2] After guiding Watford to a ninth-place finish in 1986-87, Taylor was lured away to Aston Villa.[7]

The Third Division South years (1920-1958)
From 1921-22, the third tier of the Football League consisted of two parallel sections of 22 clubs, fighting both for promotion to the Second Division and also battling to hold on to their hard-won league status. There was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election in favour of the champions of the Northern League and Southern League. Watford remained in the Third Division South for 38 years, and when the league was restructured into four national divisions for the 1958-59, Watford were placed in the new Fourth Division. Up until 1950 the team was known as "The Blues".[5][6]

Success at last (1958-1972)
Watford spent two seasons in the Fourth Division before they gained promotion to the Third Division in 1960. Nine years later, they reached the Second Division for the first time in their history by winning the Third Division championship, and a year later they reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time, building up hopes that they could soon be playing First Division football. However, they fell back into the Third Division in 1972.[6] In 1966 the player manager Ken Furphy game the club its current nickname of "The Hornets".[5]

Life after Graham Taylor: Outside the top division (1987–1998)
After Graham Taylor left, Dave Bassett was placed in charge. The Hornets suffered a terrible start to the 1987-88 season, and Dave Bassett was let go after a short stint of only eight months. Watford were relegated from the First Division at the end of that season. The next season, 1988-89, Watford failed to return to the First Division after they lost Second Division playoffs. Over the next few seasons, Watford never seriously challenged for promotion. Their highest finish was a Craig Ramage-inspired seventh in Division One at the end of the 1994-95 season, but they were relegated the following year.


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The club did win the FA Youth Cup in the 1988-89 season, beating Man City 2-1 after extra time; David James was in goal for the Hornets.

Watford F.C.
long-time backroom staff such as Kenny Jackett and Luther Blissett, replacing them with ex-Chelsea staff he had brought with him. Vialli made several high-profile signings, and wage bills at the club soared, with Vialli himself earning almost a million pounds a year. However, the season was mediocre, with the club finishing a lowly 14th in the division, and Vialli was sacked after only one season, having refused to resign.[10] He was replaced by Ray Lewington, who had come to the club the previous summer as Vialli’s reserve team manager.

The return of Graham Taylor (1998–2001)

Ray Lewington (2002–2005)
Lewington took charge of Watford for the 2002-03 season. Over the summer many of the Vialli’s signings left the club. Lewington had few funds to strengthen the side and was only able to bring in two players, the experienced Neal Ardley and Sean Dyche. The extent of Watford’s financial difficulties was exposed in the autumn, along with many League clubs, following the collapse of ITV Digital.[11] The club was facing administration when the players and staff agreed a 12% wage deferral.[12] Exacerbating the club’s difficulties were the large payoffs they had had to make to Vialli and several players on terminating their contracts, and Vialli’s decision to sue the club early in 2003.[13] The club started the season well, however, despite the players having to agree to a pay-cut during October, and finished in mid-table. An unexpected run to the FA Cup semi-final, where Watford lost to Premiership Southampton,[14] also generated vital cash.[15] The ongoing financial difficulties saw a large number of players released that summer, including record signing Allan Nielsen and strikers Tommy Smith and Gifton NoelWilliams. There was a degree of hope around the new strike-force. Danny Webber - who had previously impressed on loan - was signed in a deal financed by several directors, along with Manchester United youngster Jimmy Davis, on loan for the season, and former star Bruce Dyer. Tragically, however, Davis was killed in a car-crash on the opening day of the campaign. This had a huge effect on the team’s form at the beginning of the season, and notably on Webber, who was one of his closest friends. Hovering above the relegation zone,

Watford v Coventry at Vicarage Road, Watford, Herfordshire, UK, of the last day of the Football Cup season, 14 May, 2000 Graham Taylor returned to Watford as Director of Football in February 1996,[7] with former player Kenny Jackett as head coach, but was unable to stop the club from sliding into Division Two. After a mid-table finish in Division Two at the end of 1996-97, Jackett was demoted to the position of assistant manager and Taylor returned his old role as manager. The transition proved a success and Watford secured the Division Two championship in 1997-98, beating Bristol City into second place after a season-long struggle. A second successive promotion followed in 1998-99, thanks to a playoff final victory over Bolton which secured the club’s promotion to the Premiership. The Premiership season started brightly with an early surprising victory over Liverpool, but soon faded away, and Watford were relegated after finishing bottom. Graham Taylor retired at the end of the 2000-01 season (although just months later he returned to football management at Aston Villa),[7] and was replaced in a surprise move by Gianluca Vialli,[8] who had recently been sacked by Chelsea F.C..[9]

Watford under Vialli (2001–2002)
Vialli’s time at the club was short and unhappy. In an unpopular move he replaced


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the team struggled on through the winter. Terrace hero Paul Robinson was sold for the relatively small sum of £250,000, after a bid from West Brom. Non-league signing Scott Fitzgerald scoring many of the team’s goals in a make-shift attack, with Gavin Mahon, who had a poor 2002-03, made a significant contribution in the centre of midfield. A strong finish to the season, led by winger Lee Cook, saw the club finish in mid-table. The 2004-05 season saw a continuation of the good form of the end of the previous season, with the club well in the upper half of the Championship at the end of September. However, a long run of poor form subsequently saw the club drop steadily towards the relegation zone. Another good cup run further eased the club’s financial position, with the team reaching the semi-final of the League Cup, soundly beating Premiership sides Portsmouth and Southampton on the way, before losing narrowly to Liverpool. The club’s poor league form, however, came to a head in March, with a run of terrible performances and Lewington was sacked on the 22nd. His sacking was controversial, and many fans were unhappy at the loss of a man who had led the club to two cup semi finals in three seasons, enduring considerable financial hardships.

Watford F.C.

Main Stand , 2007 ensure survival with two games to go in the season. Fan dissent continued throughout the summer of 2005, and increased due to the sacking of Nigel Gibbs as coach after more than twenty years of service and the departure of a large number of fan favourite players. Among those to go were star striker Heiðar Helguson and Danny Webber leaving the club with only one recognised striker. In a flurry of late-August activity in 2005, Boothroyd signed strikers Darius Henderson and Marlon King (initially on a season-long loan), central defenders Clarke Carlisle and Malky Mackay, midfielder Matthew Spring and goalkeeper Ben Foster (also on a seasonlong loan), assuaging many fans’ doubts about the depth of the squad. Carlisle and Spring had both worked with Boothroyd at Leeds United the previous season. Although Watford lost the opening match of the season 2-1 at home to Preston North End, Boothroyd’s first full season at the club subsequently saw strong performances from the team to take them into the top half of the Championship, with the side consistently maintaining a third place position. A strong run of form in early 2006, including an impressive 4-1 win at second-placed Sheffield United saw Watford threatening to take second place and an automatic promotion spot. A subsequent down-turn in form rendered this impossible, but a draw at home against Luton Town on 9 April secured Watford a play-off spot. Following a 3-0 away victory at Crystal Palace and a subsequent 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road in the semi-finals Watford reached the playoff final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Watford then beat Leeds 3-0 in the

Aidy Boothroyd (2005–2008)

Rookery Stand , 2007 At the age of 34, Aidy Boothroyd was appointed manager of Watford after serving at Leeds United as a coach; 70-year-old Keith Burkinshaw was recruited as his assistant. Boothroyd’s inexperience raised concerns among fans, who worried that he would not be able to keep the side in the Championship. However, Watford secured enough points to


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Watford F.C.
Crystal Palace for £1.75 million and in a new record signing Nathan Ellington moved from West Brom for a fee of £3.25 million which may rise to £4.25 million.[16][23]. This move was partially funded by the £3 million departure of Hameur Bouazza to Fulham. Also Watford would see the loan deal of young left footed winger Adam Johnson from Middlesbrough. Watford made a good start to the 2007–08 season. With Darius Henderson and Marlon King scoring regularly, they built a lead at the top of the Championship. During this good run of form, Adam Johnson was subsequently brought back to Middlesbrough and in November and December they had a poor run of form, particularly at home, which led to their closest competitor, West Bromwich Albion, overtaking them in early January. Watford assured themselves a play-off place on the final day of the season after a fortunate draw at Blackpool. On 25 January 2008 Marlon King made a surprise move to Wigan Athletic when he had been linked numerous times to Fulham. Reports claimed that King failed a medical at Fulham which prompted Wigan boss Steve Bruce to step in and sign the Jamaican international.[24] On the same day 22 year old Fulham striker Collins John made a loan move to Watford which ended following an injury to the player.[25] Watford also loaned in West Ham United defender Calum Davenport, who broke his neck during his first match for the club. In the play-offs, Watford’s wretched form continued with Hull City winning 2-0 at Vicarage Road and despite Watford taking the lead at the KC Stadium, Hull ran out 4-1 winners (6-1 on aggregate) to condemn Watford to another season in the Championship. In the pre-season of 2008, Watford were rumoured to have financial problems, and sold a number of key players. Jordan Stewart and record signing Nathan Ellington were both sold to Derby County[26] and last season’s top scorer Darius Henderson was signed by Sheffield United for £2 million.[27] Danny Shittu was also sold to Premier League Bolton.[28] However, Boothroyd did manage to sign Jon Harley from Burnley and Grzegorz Rasiak on loan from Southampton.[29] After a disappointing start to the 2008/09 season, Boothroyd left the club "by mutual consent" on 3 November 2008, with Watford

Championship Play-off final 2006. (Leeds United vs. Watford) which gained Watford promotion to the Premier League. final to gain promotion to the Premier League and an estimated £41m as a result (all 13,000 available season tickets were quickly sold out). This money was spent on several players in the 2006 pre-season, including three players who represent their country at the international level; central midfielder Damien Francis, centre-back Danny Shittu and Hungarian striker Tamás Priskin and securing the re-signing of Ben Foster (on another season-long loan) and Tommy Smith. The Hornets secured their first Premiership point of the season with a draw against West Ham in their second game of the season. However, they had to wait until 4 November 2006 to record their first league win of the season, against Middlesbrough. The January transfer window was busy, with the sale of Ashley Young to Aston Villa for a fee rising to £9.65 million - a record transfer fee for the club.[16][17] Watford also brought in 8 new signings. Watford only recorded five wins in the Premiership, and sat at the bottom of the league table. However, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they lost to Manchester United.[18] Despite drawing 1–1 draw with Manchester City, Watford were relegated on 21 April 2007. Nonetheless Boothroyd’s contract was renewed until 2010.[19][20] The team wasted no time in bringing in new players. As soon as the season finished, veteran centre back Matt Jackson joined from Wigan after his contract expired[21] and goalkeeper Mart Poom joined from Arsenal for an undisclosed fee,[22] Jobi McAnuff moved from


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languishing 21st in the Championship table.[30] Reserve team manager and former Watford player Malky Mackay took temporary charge of the managerial affairs at Watford following Boothroyd’s departure.[31] On 5 November 2008 Sir Elton John ended his formal involvement with the club by resigning as honorary Life President.[4] but in late March 2009 he re-assumed the position as Honorary Life President, holding out the prospect of a summer 2009 fundraising concert at Vicarage Road.[4]

Watford F.C.

Watford fans maintain a rivalry with those of Luton Town. The two sides met regularly in the Southern and Football Leagues from 1900 to 1937, but Luton’s promotion meant that aside from a Southern Cup meeting the two sides did not meet again until 1964. Throughout the sixties and seventies the two sides met sporadically, and the rivalry gradually grew in significance, bringing with it trouble in the ground and outside of it. The two sides were promoted to the First Division in the 1981–82 season, with Luton taking the championship ahead of Watford. The two sides were also relegated together from the new Division 1 in 1995–96. Watford’s promotion from Division 2 in 1997–98 meant that the two sides did not meet again in the League until the 2005–06 season, when Luton were promoted into the Championship. Clashes in the nineties had seen a decrease in violence, but a one-off League Cup tie in the 2002–03 season was marred by violence inside Vicarage Road.[36] The clubs’ first League meeting in eight years, on 2 January 2006, passed largely without incident with Watford winning 2–1 at Kenilworth Road. Later in the season, the sides met at Vicarage Road with the game ending in a 1–1 draw.

Brendan (Buck) Rodgers (2008–present)
35 year old former Chelsea Reserve Team Manager Brendan Rodgers (popularly known as Buck - [1]although he has stated publicly that he does not like that name) and was confirmed as Watford manager on 24 November 2008.[32] Frank Lampard Snr moved with Rogers to the football coaching team as Football Consultant.[33]Rodgers’ first move in the transfer market was to bring Chelsea Reserve team captain Liam Bridcutt to Vicarage Road on a one month loan, subsequently extended by a further month.[34] Futher loan signings of Gavin Hoyte (brother of Middlesbrough’s Justin), Jack Cork (son of former Wimbledon player, Alan), Aleksandrs Cauna and Danny Rose gave Watford strength in their team as the season neared an end. As Watford slowly came futher away from the relegation area, Tamas Priskin went on his best goalscoring record. Other players such as Jobi McAnuff, Adrian Mariappa and Lloyd Doyley showed much improved form once Rodgers took over as manager. Within a week of Rodgers’ appointment, Chairman Graham Simpson resigned from his position at the club’s holding company (Watford Leisure) Extraordinary General Meeting held on 1 December 2008[35]. This was shortly followed by director Mark Ashton’s resignation on 12 December 2008 and then by Watford’s second consecutive win under Rodgers over Coventry, pulling them clear of the relegation zone. Rodgers eventually secured Watford’s position in the league with one game to go, and the ’Ornes eventually finished a creditable 13th.

Current squad
No. 3 6 Position Player DF Mat Sadler DF Jay DeMerit (captain) MF Don Cowie MF FW MF DF GK MF John Eustace Tamás Priskin Jobi McAnuff Lloyd Doyley Scott Loach Lee Williamson No. 22 23 24 25 27 31 32 33 34

7 8 9 11 12 13 14



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15 DF Jon Harley 35

Watford F.C.

in MF Watford’s 1959–60 Division Four promoRoss tion season, when he scored 48 goals in 52 Jenkins 16 GK Richard appearances. In Division Three Holton aver36 DF Eddie Lee aged a goal every other game. He left the Oshodi 17 GK Stuart club in 1961, but returned for a period in the 38 DF Rob Searle 1965–66 season. Kiernan 18 FW Theo • 40 DFOne of Andrei Robinson the finest goalkeepers ever, Jennings 20 MF Al started Stepanov at Watford, making 52 aphis career 41 DFpearances in his single season at the club. Lee Bangura Hodson • 21 FW Tommy An uncompromising right-back, Welbourne –– FW Nathan Smith made 457 appearances for the club, including Ellington a record 280 in succession. He was everpresent in Watford’s 1968–69 promotion Out on loan season. No. Position Player • 5 DF Leigh Bromby (at A talented winger, the 19 year old Scullion Sheffield United until was brought to Watford as a make-weight in the end of the 2008–09 the deal that took Cliff Holton to Charlton. season) He was a key player in the 1968–69 promotion season, and scored the goal in Watford’s 26 MF John-Joe O’Toole (at 1-1 cup draw with the giants Manchester UnSheffield United until ited at Old Trafford. the end of the 2008–09 • season) A passionate midfielder, Walley was instru29 DF Cédric Avinel (at mental in the 1968–69 promotion season. Gueugnon until the Walley was a fixture in Watford’s side for end of the 2008–09 much of the seventies. After retirement he season) became a coach at the club and worked alongside Graham Taylor during his two successful spells at the club. • • Brendan Rodgers An extremely athletic goalkeeper, Rankin • Dean Austin was Watford’s keeper for most of the seven• Malky Mackay ties. With 329 appearances, only Skilly Willi• Frank Lampard, Sr ams has made more appearances in goal for • Martyn Pert Watford. • Alec Chamberlain • • Mark Warburton Jenkins joined Watford in 1972, and formed a • Sean Dyche formidable partnership with Luther Blissett in Watford’s ascent through the Divisions. He left Watford in 1983, with the club in the top flight. He had played for Watford when they • were both top of the old first division (1st in A centre-forward before he came to Watford, the Football League) and bottom of the old Williams played as goalkeeper when he Fourth Division (92nd in the Football moved to the Cassio Road, making 341 apLeague), making him the first, and so far pearances in 13 years at the club. only, player to do so. He scored 142 goals in • 398 games. A two-footed forward, Davies is one of the • few League players to spend 20 years at a An aggressive and ball winning central midsingle club. fielder, Joslyn was instrumental in Watford’s • successive promotions from 1977–1979. The most prolific striker Watford ever had. • Signed in 1958, Holton’s "golden year" was

Coaching staff

Notable players


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Making his debut in 1976, Blissett played for Watford throughout their ascent from Division Four to Division One. He was the first Watford player to be capped for England. He had three spells at Watford in total, and holds the club records for highest all-time goalscorer and most appearances. Blissett had a spell as coach at Watford from 1996–2001 • Called the "best signing I ever made" by Graham Taylor, Bolton was another player who played for Watford throughout their Division Four to Division One ascent. Despite being a centre-half, Bolton had a talent for both passing and shooting. Able to turn defence into attack in an instant with a telling long pass. • A long serving and loyal goal-keeper, Sherwood played for Watford throughout the Taylor heyday of 1977–1987. He started in first game under Taylor’s reign and finished the last. During his time at the club Sherwood was frequently out of the side, but over the course of three seasons, 1981–1982 (promotion to Division One), 1982–1983 (record high 2nd place finish) and 1983–84 (Europe and the FA Cup Final), he missed just six games. • Bought as a left-winger in 1979, Rostron was moved to left-back in 1982 and automatically excelled there. He became captain of Watford’s successful eighties side, although he missed the FA Cup Final through suspension. He won the Player of the Season award several times. • When he signed for Watford at the end of the 1978–79 he was the most expensive Division Three player ever, costing £175,000. A high quality but injury-prone central defender, Sims played for Watford for six years, in two spells. • A flamboyant right-winger, Callaghan was a frequent assist-maker and scorer of some spectacular long-range goals in the Watford side of the 1980s. Also played for England Under-21s. • A cultured creative central midfielder, Welsh international Jackett was a fixture in the Watford side in their heyday of the 1980s. After retiring at 28 due to injury in 1990, Jackett

Watford F.C.
took a coaching position at the club, and worked in a variety of positions - including manager in 1996–97 - until 2001. • A hard-working central midfielder, Taylor was the Player of the Season in Watford’s most successful season ever, when they finished second in Division One in 1982–83. With Rostron absent, Taylor captained Watford for their single FA Cup final appearance in 1984.[2] • Perhaps the most talented player ever to play for Watford, Barnes made his debut for the club aged 17 in 1981. Usually deployed on the left wing in Watford’s attacking 4-2-4 of the era, terrorising full backs and defenders at will and delivering lethal crosses. He played for the club for 6 years, during which he appeared in the FA Cup final side, and represented England 31 times. Scored an unforgettable goal dribbling through the Brazilian defence at the Maracana in 1984. • Gibbs made his Watford debut in a UEFA Cup tie in the autumn of 1983, at the age of 17. He served Watford as a player for 20 years, making his final appearance for the club in April 2002. A dependable and loyal rightback, Gibbs suffered a career-threatening injury in 1993 and was released in 1996, but stayed with the club, joining them for preseason training and regaining a contract. After retiring, Gibbs served Watford as a coach for three years. He was sacked in the summer of 2006, to much protest from fans. • One of Watford’s longest serving players, Porter made 464 appearances for Watford in his 13 years at the club. He once scored a second half hat-trick against Bolton. Watford were 0-3 down with 20 minutes to play, went on to win the game 4-3 • Nippy striker whose prolific scoring in partnership with big George Reilly helped lead Watford to the F.A. Cup final and made his Scotland debut whilst playing at Vicarage Road. • Arriving in 1984, Coton was Watford’s number 1 for the rest of the 1980s. A strong and occasionally controversial ’keeper, Coton was a crowd favorite. •


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A deceptively quick central defender, McClelland marshaled Watford’s defence for the second half of the eighties, captaining it for some time. • The future England number one started his career at Watford, making 98 appearances for the club in two seasons. • A central midfielder whose partnership with Micah Hyde was central in Watford’s double promotion seasons of 1997/98 and 1998/99. While he will be remembered for his spectacular goals and often crunching challenges, it was his vision and raking passes that marked him out as one of the greatest midfielders to play for the club. • The captain of the Watford side during its late 1990s success period, Page is the only Watford player to lift a trophy at Wembley, and was the Player of the Season in the 1999/ 00 Premiership season. • A passionate and determined player, Mooney was instrumental in Watford’s successive promotions in 1997–1998 and 1998–1999. A forward by trade, Mooney played at the back during 1997–1998, but returned to the forward line in 1998–1999 where an end of season goal-run pushed Watford into the play-offs. In his final season at the club, he became the first player since Paul Furlong to score 20 goals in a season. • Partner of Page in 1998–99 play-off final, Palmer also played every single game of the club’s 1999–2000 Premiership campaign. A dedicated utility player, Palmer has the distinction of being the only player to have worn every shirt number from 1-14 in a single season, for Watford in the 1997–98 season. • A striker and product of the club’s youth system Noel-Williams was top-scorer in 1998–99 promotion season. Considered a prodigious talent before being injured by Paul Butler in 1999. Noel-Williams never fully recovered and was eventually sold, he remains one of the great ’what-ifs?’ of Watford F.C. and today is still a cult hero amongst Watford fans. • A goalkeeper who has proved to be a bargain after joining from Sunderland for just £40,000 and played an instrumental role in

Watford F.C.
Watford double promotion in ’98 to Division One and ’99 to the Premiership. He has since been 2nd choice keeper for most of the time and taken a coaching role at the club but has also signed a contact extension making him the Premiership’s oldest player in 2006-07. • A left-back who came through the ranks at Watford, he made his debut against archrivals Luton in 1997. A member of the 1998–99 play-off side, Robinson’s passion made him become a favourite of the terraces. • A locally-born striker who came through the academy to make 149 appearances (scoring 33 goals) in his first spell for Watford. After three years away at Sunderland and Derby, he was re-signed by Aidy Boothroyd on summer deadline day 2006. Recrafted as a right midfielder, he turned out several impressive performances in the Premiership 2006-07 season, helping the Golden Boys to the FA cup semi-final.[18]. Smith was Watford’s Top Scorer with 17 goals in 2008/09 and acchieved the rare feat of being Player of the Season, 2 seasons running. • Principal forward in the 2000s, the Icelandic international moved from Lillestrom midway through the 1999–2000 season. He was loved by the crowds for his enthusiasm and commitment. The powerful and fiery centre-forward was the first player to win the Display of the Season, Goal of the Season and Player of the Season awards in a single season (2004–2005). • A forward (Winger/Striker) who came through the youth academy at Watford. He was instrumental in Watford’s 2005–06 promotion to the Premiership. In January 2007 he moved to Aston Villa for a club record transfer fee of £8,000,000 (with add-ons this may raise to £9,650,000).[16][17] The previous record fee being £2,300,000 for Paul Furlong to Chelsea in May 1994 . • The first player since Luther Blissett to score 20 League goals in a season for Watford, he finished as the top scorer in the 2005–06 Championship season with 22 goals as he inspired the Hornets to promotion. He was voted the club’s Player of the Season, but was injured against Arsenal in October 2006 and missed most of the 2006–07 season. He returned as a surprise substitute against


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Manchester United in the FA Cup Semi-final in April 2007.[18] After 11 league goals in the 2007–08 Championship season, King moved to Wigan F.C. in the January transfer window for a potential fee of £4 million.

Watford F.C.

Watford have had a total of 26 managers. Two, Len Goulden and Neil McBain had two spells, one, Graham Taylor had three. The statistics in the following table account for the league games of each manager.

The clubs Vicarage road ground is just south of Watford town center and is a four stand all-seater stadium, with a capacity of 19,920. Earlier historic grounds were:• 1883:Vicarage Meadow • 1883–1889:Colney Butts • 1889–1922:Cassio Road • 1922–:Vicarage Road

League history
• 1920: Original member of Division 3 • 1921 – 1958: Division 3 (South) • 1958 – 1960: Division 4 • 1960 – 1969: Division 3 • 1969 – 1972: Division 2 • 1972 – 1975: Division 3 • 1975 – 1978: Division 4 • 1978 – 1979: Division 3 • 1979 – 1982: Division 2 • 1982 – 1988: Division 1 • 1988 – 1992: Division 2 • 1992 – 1996: Division 1 (now 2nd Tier) • 1996 – 1998: Division 2 • 1998 – 1999: Division 1 • 1999 – 2000: Premier League (now 1st Tier) • 2000 – 2004: Division 1 • 2004 – 2006: Championship (now 2nd Tier) • 2006 – 2007: Premier League • 2007 – 2008; Championship • 2008 –Championship

Ben Foster - A fans favourite • The Manchester United goalkeeper was sent out on loan to Watford where he had two years of progress which saw him earn his first England cap. His imposing stature, confidence at set-pieces and excellent shot-stopping ability made him a firm favourite with the fans. • Although starting his Watford career poorly Priskin enjoyed a fairly successful 2008/09 campaign. He finished 15th top scorer in the Championship with 14 goals in all competitions, including memorable strikes against Premiership clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the League Cup and FA Cup respectively. Many Watford fans who had doubted his abilities were won over by his improved performances from November onwards under new manager Brendan Rodgers - during this time he scored most of his goals, established himself in the side, and became known for his skill, pace, and deadly finishing. Players in order of debut; spells as coach not included in time at club.

• • : • • : • : • • : 1982–83 1984 1970, 1987, 2003, 2007 1979, 2005

Division 3(Old)Champions 1968/69


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Name John Goodall Harry Kent Fred Pagnam Neil McBain Bill Findlay Jack Bray Eddie Hapgood Ron Gray Haydn Green Len Goulden Johnny Paton Len Goulden Neil McBain Ron Burgess Bill McGarry Ken Furphy George Kirby Mike Keen Graham Taylor Dave Bassett Steve Harrison Colin Lee Steve Perryman Glenn Roeder Graham Taylor Kenny Jackett Graham Taylor Gianluca Vialli Ray Lewington Nationality From May 1903 May 1910 May 1926 May 1929 To May 1910 May 1926 May 1929 P W D 63 28 25 7 27 15 11 39 6 3 33 45 17 L 93 53 39 17 32 28 27 45 7 7 47 75 14 F

Watford F.C.
A Win %

246 90 126 45 114 50 11 29 13 16

347 358 36.59% 204 239 35.71% 179 152 43.86% 45 66 31.42%

484 187 121 176 661 663 38.64% 128 591 516 40.77%

August 1937 336 137 71

August 1937 February 1947 March 1947 February 1948 March 1950 March 1950

January 1948 35 88

102 107 32.95% 63 70 93 95 23.21% 29.63%

August 1951 56 54

August 1951 October 1952 November 1952 October 1955 February 1956 October 1955 February 1956 July 1956

136 52 15 16 2 6

210 198 38.24% 16 17 28 23 13.34% 37.50%

August 1956 February 1959 February 1959 July 1963 November 1964 June 1973 June 1977 May 1987 March 1990 November 1990 July 1993 February 1996 June 1996 June 1997 May 2001 June 2002 May 1963 October 1964 July 1971

122 42 200 80 57 26

187 203 34.43% 347 326 40.00% 97 81 45.61%

295 115 79 88 17 26 48 6 29 9 35 32 8 19 45 11 37

101 388 331 38.98% 45 63 13 35 14 44 49 5 11 60 19 52 67 123 19.32%

August 1971 May 1973 April 1977 May 1987

178 67 4 36 5

237 236 37.64% 15 31 31 45 17.39% 17.86%

428 191 105 132 692 544 44.63% 80 28 127 111 45.00%

January 1988 23 November 1990 July 1993 February 1996 June 1996 June 1997 May 2001 June 2002 March 2005

January 1988 March 1990

121 42 120 39 18 46 46 5 16 16

140 151 34.71% 148 166 32.50% 31 45 62 30 38 56 27.78% 34.78% 34.78%

176 71 131 42

243 241 40.34% 155 189 32.06%


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aidy Boothroyd[38] Brendan Rodgers March 2005 November 2008 November 2008 Present 176 65 28 11 51 6 60 11

Watford F.C.
200 206 36.93% 40 43 37.50%

• Most league appearances: Luther Blissett, 415 league (503 all competitions), 1976–1992[16] • Highest all-time goal-scorer: Luther Blissett, 148 league goals (186 all competitions), 1976–1992[16] • Most goals in a season: Cliff Holton, 42, 1959–1960[16] • Most capped player: John Barnes, England, 31 caps • Best win: 10-1 vs Lowestoft Town, 27 November 1926, FA Cup Round 1[16] • Best league win: 8-0 vs Sunderland, 25 September 1982, Division 1[16] • Most wins in one season: 30, 1977–78 • Most draws in one season: 19, 1996–97 • Highest league finish: 2nd, Division One, 1982–83[16] • Fewest defeats in one season: 0, 1903–1904 • Worst loss: 0-10 vs Wolverhampton Wanderers, 24 January 1912, FA Cup Round 1 Replay • Highest transfer fee paid: £3,250,000 for Nathan Ellington from West Brom, August 2007. (Fee may rise to 4,250,000.)[16][23] • Highest transfer fee received: £8,000,000 for Ashley Young to Aston Villa, January 2007. (Fee may rise to 9,650,000.)[16][17] • Highest attendance: 34,099 vs Manchester United, 3 February 1969, FA Cup Round 4[16] • Highest average attendance: 18,840 FA Premier League 2006–07

[1] History of Watford FC - Grounds [2] ^ Classic Cup Finals: 1984 The FA [3] History of Watford FC - Notable people [4] ^ Elton John resigns as Honorary Life President [5] ^ Notes from a lecture on the clubs history given by Edmund Coan, former club press officer, to the Kings Langley Historical Society on 21 January 2009.

Reported in the Hemel Gazette 25 February 2009. [6] ^ Hornet History :A History of Watford FC [7] ^ Graham Taylor profile BBC [8] Vialli unveiled as new Watford manager Telegraph [9] Vialli sacked by Chelsea Telegraph [10] Vialli sacked BBC [11] Watford in financial peril BBC [12] BBC: Watford players agree pay cut [13] BBC: Vialli sues Watford [14] Watford 1-2 Southampton BBC 3CR [15] BBC: Hornets eye stadium repurchase [16] ^ History of Watford FC - Club Records [17] ^ BBC: Young completes £9.65m Villa move [18] ^ FA Cup Semi Final: Watford vs Manchester Utd The FA [19] New contract for Boothroyd Premier League Website [20] BBC: Boothroyd signs new Watford deal [21] Jackson leaves Wigan for Watford BBC [22] BBC: Arsenal keeper Poom joins Hornets [23] ^ BBC: Watford sign Ellington for £3.25m [24] BBC: Striker King makes Wigan switch [25] BBC: Injured John sent back to Fulham [26] Rams sign Ellington and Stewart BBC [27] Henderson makes switch to Blades BBC [28] Shittu secures switch to Bolton BBC [29] Rasiak signs for Watford [30] Boothroyd leaves Watford position BBC [31] MacKay takes temporary charge [32] Watford Appoints Rodgers [33] Lampard joins Rodgers’ team [34] Watford land Chelseas Bridcutt BBC [35] Watford chairman Simpson resignsBBC On 10th December Watford recorded their first win under Rodgers against Norwich City 2-1 [36] Joint probe launched into trouble BBC [37] "Profiles". Watford F.C.. page/ProfilesDetail/0,,10400,00.html. Retrieved on 2009-04-16.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[38] Adrian Boothroyd’s managerial career

Watford F.C.
• Watford on BBC Sport: Club News – Recent results – Upcoming fixtures – Club stats • Soccerbase - a large amount of Watford data at Soccerbase • Interviews with former Watford players • Hornet History:History of Watford Football Club from 1940s • History of Watford Kits • AIM: WFC

See also
• Watford L.F.C., the affiliated women’s team. • Harry the Hornet, club mascot

External links
• Watford FC official homepage

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