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Anniversaries

  • Jan 1  1986 … Ipswich Town 0, Watford 0 – the first clean sheet in an away League match since another goalless draw at Ipswich 38 away games earlier.
  • Jan 2  1977 … Birth of Gavin Mahon, stalwart midfield anchorman and respected captain who made 215 competitive appearances for the club.
  • Jan 3  1970 … A third-round FA Cup away win against Bolton Wanderers began the club’s first-ever run to the competition’s semi-final stage.
  • Jan 4  1890 … Birth of legendary goalkeeper ‘Skilly’ Williams.
  • Jan 5  1924 … Watford 8, Newport County 2 – and Eddie Mummery scored five.
  • Jan 6  1996 … The Holdsworth twins were in direct opposition as centre-half and centre-forward in an FA Cup tie against Wimbledon.
  • Jan 7  1922 … A 2-1 away win against 2nd Division Blackpool, the club’s best FA Cup result to date.
  • Jan 8  1977 … Northwich Victoria was the last non-League club to knock Watford out of the FA Cup.
  • Jan 9  1909 … Billy Biggar’s 100th consecutive Southern League appearance, a milestone reached in that competition by no other Watford player.
  • Jan 10  1965 …. Birth of Martin Kuhl, valued at £125,000 when signed by Steve Harrison, who discarded him after four games.
  • Jan 11  1989 … Death of Len Dunderdale, rampaging centre-forward sold for a club-record fee.
  • Jan 12  1929 … Ernest Cottrell died – uniquely – at Vicarage Road.
  • Jan 13  1889 … Birth of Charlie White – modest, stylish, long-serving and revered inside-forward.
  • Jan 14  2004 … Death of Tommy Eggleston, by a long way the longest-serving of the Leicester City five.
  • Jan 15  1983 … Birth of Jermaine Pennant, one of the fine crop of 21st-century loan signings.
  • Jan 16  1909 … Fred Cleaver’s FA Cup goal against Leicester Fosse was the club’s first against a top-flight club in a competitive match.
  • Jan 17  1948 …  A 3-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers was the last match under manager Jack Bray.
  • Jan 18  1908 … A sixth successive match away from home – the sequence began with three in four days over Christmas.
  • Jan 19  1957 … Death of Peter Kyle, a serial transgressor in the matter of off-the-field discipline.
  • Jan 20  2011 … Death of Phil Nolan, loyal and enthusiastic centre-half and accomplished golfer.
  • Jan 21  1882 … The club’s first known fixture, and a 2-0 win against Nascot.
  • Jan 22  2001 … Death of Johnny Hartburn, small winger with a eye for goal, and two Division 3 (South) championships.
  • Jan 23  1904 … Goalkeeper Bert Higgins scored from open play in a one-sided Southern League fixture against Chesham Town, but fog caused the match to be abandoned.
  • Jan 24  1912 … Wolverhampton Wanderers 10, Watford 0 – the club’s record FA Cup defeat.
  • Jan 25  1870 … Birth of Fred Spiksley, an outstanding international winger whose brief Watford career included a hat-trick against Northampton Town.
  • Jan 26  1929 … The only time Watford have scored four away goals in the FA Cup against Football League opposition … but they lost 6-4 to Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic.
  • Jan 27  1997 … Death of Tommy Harris. The 10 years and 156 days which separated his third and fourth peacetime Football League outings is the longest gap between appearances in the competitition by any player in continuous service with the same club. 
  • Jan 28  1939 … Watford won 4-1 for the fifth time in a sequence of six home games.
  • Jan 29  1966 … Birth of Keith Dublin, one of a small list of Watford players who made a hundred consecutive appearances.
  • Jan 30  1897 … Micky Wood scored the club’s first hat-trick in league football.
  • Jan 31  1948 … At 40 years and 362 days, Joe Calvert was the club’s oldest Football League débutant.
  • Feb 1  1958 … Birth of Luther Blissett.
  • Feb 2  1960 … Watford 1, Southampton 0, FA Cup 4th Round – and it was not Holton or Uphill, but the third member of that memorable inside-forward trio, Barry Hartle, who scored in front of a full house, with many locked out.
  • Feb 3  1938 … Birth of Mike Benning, pacy part-time right-winger in the 1959/60 promotion team.
  • Feb 4  1956 … The last occasion when brothers (the Batemans, in a 4-0 home defeat) played together in the starting line-up of a competitive first-team game.
  • Feb 5  1946 … Death of Jack Foster, the subject of an astonishing transfer fee in 1907.
  • Feb 6  1954 … Death of Harry Barton, scorer of ten goals in his first three Southern League appearances.
  • Feb 7  2007 … Death of Dennis Uphill, unglamorous but prolific goalscorer alongside the charismatic Cliff Holton.
  • Feb 8  1957 … Death of Haydn Green, who at 65 years of age was the club’s oldest manager at the time of his last match in charge.
  • Feb 9  2011 …  At 18 years and 134 days Adam Thompson superseded Pat Jennings as the youngest player on Watford’s books to win a Full international cap.
  • Feb 10  1927 … Birth of Ben Marden, one of a pair who scored in the same match in 1955 when making their Watford débuts, a double distinction not repeated until 56 years later.
  • Feb 11  1956 … The first match of Len Goulden’s second spell as manager brought a 2-1 victory at Exeter.
  • Feb 12  1921 … The first Full international appearance by a player on Watford’s books – by Frank Hoddinott, for Wales against Scotland.
  • Feb 13  1909 … The club suffered a ninth consecutive away defeat while in the course of playing 23 successive home games without being beaten.
  • Feb 14  1888 …  Birth of Val Gregory. He and his brother Fred made more appearances for the club than any other pair of siblings.
  • Feb 15  1964 … Birth of Neil Price, an FA Cup Finalist after only nine League appearances.
  • Feb 16  1973 … Keith Mercer’s début as the youngest player to represent the club in a competitive match.
  • Feb 17  1900 … Birth of Bill Findlay – 15 years at Vicarage Road, first as player, then manager.
  • Feb 18  1959 … Birth of Jan Lohman, the first foreigner to be signed from an overseas club.
  • Feb 19  1972 … The final appearance of the least successful Watford career – Brian Rowan’s 13 matches consisted of 12 defeats and a draw. Charlie Miller’s later winless career was a bit longer (17 games, 3 draws), but with a lower ratio of defeats.
  • Feb 20  1909 … Goalkeeper Billy Biggar both scored from and saved a penalty against Coventry City.
  • Feb 21  1970 … Barry Endean’s spectacular header against Liverpool sent the club into its first FA Cup Semi-final.
  • Feb 22  1997 … Wycombe Wanderers 0, Watford 0 – the club’s ninth consecutive Football League away draw, an all-time record in the competition.
  • Feb 23  1924 … Newcastle United’s FA Cup visit attracted the club’s first 20,000+ home attendance.
  • Feb 24  1900 … Watford 11, Maidenhead 0 – the club’s biggest-ever victory in the Southern League/Football League/FA Premier League.
  • Feb 25  1908 … Birth of goalkeeper Arthur Slater, who was taken off injured in both his last two games for the club.
  • Feb 26  2005 … Death of centre-forward Charlie Livesey, notable for a season of cavalier performances.
  • Feb 27  1907 … Birth of Bill Brown. His career total of 249 first-team appearances without a goal is a club record for an outfield player.
  • Feb 28  1948 … Watford 0, Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 3 – Eddie Hapgood’s first match in charge.
  • Feb 29  1908 … Southern League Division 1: Watford 1, Norwich City 0 – the club’s only competitive home match on the leap-year date in its entire history.
  • Mar 1  1997 … A 3-0 defeat of Bristol City was the 22nd consecutive league match without defeat, the longest such sequence in the club’s history.
  • Mar 2  1898 … Birth of George Prior, scorer of three FA Cup goals but none at all in 174 Football League appearances.
  • Mar 3  1990 … Without a league win since Boxing Day, Steve Harrison’s side took on table-toppers Leeds United and beat them 1-0.
  • Mar 4  1997 … Peterborough United 2, Watford 1 – and Aidy Boothroyd scored the winner from the penalty spot.
  • Mar 5  1961 … Birth of David Byrne, who was confined to long-term oblivion after scoring a spectacular and crucially important last-minute winner with his final kick on first-team duty.
  • Mar 6  1966 … Birth of Gary Porter, talented long-serving midfielder and scorer of the most dramatic hat-trick in Watford’s history.
  • Mar 7  1962 … Death of Freddie Pagnam, a major Watford figure of the 1920s as goalscorer and manager.
  • Mar 8  1904 … Birth of Jimmy Armstrong, commanding centre-half in the seasons leading up to, and into, the Second World War.
  • Mar 9  1985 … A third FA Cup meeting with Luton Town in six days ended in defeat by one goal to nil.
  • Mar 10  1984 … Birmingham City 1, Watford 3. Graham Taylor’s team overcame rugged opposition to reach the FA Cup Semi-finals.
  • Mar 11  1972 … A seventh consecutive failure to score at home in the league created a club record.
  • Mar 12  1962 … Roger Day was the last amateur to represent the club in a Football League fixture before the distinction was abolished in 1974.
  • Mar 13  1920 … The five goals by George Edmonds at Merthyr Town were  the club’s best-ever individual tally in a competitive fixture away from home.
  • Mar 14  1889 … Birth of Bob Barnshaw, a centre-half at Cassio Road either side of the Great War.
  • Mar 15  1969 … Birth of Kevin Miller, an automatic choice in goal for three seasons.
  • Mar 16  1929 … Frank McPherson scored in a club-record seventh consecutive league game.
  • Mar 17  1947 … Birth of Dennis Bond, a creative midfield talent whose pure class was evident from a very young age.
  • Mar 18  1871 … Birth of Johnny Hill, one of the very best of the club’s early professionals.
  • Mar 19  2005 … A 2-0 home defeat by Preston North End was Ray Lewington’s last game as Watford’s manager.
  • Mar 20  1982 … Birth of Tomasz Kuszczak, an international goalkeeper who served the club well after a howler at the very start of his loan spell.
  • Mar 21  1967 … Birth of Malcolm Allen, whose first two Football League goals were scored on consecutive days, and both of them against Arsenal.
  • Mar 22  1949 … Death of Henry Grover – long, long forgotten as the club’s founder.
  • Mar 23  1889 … Winners of the Herts County Cup for the first time.
  • Mar 24  2007 … Death of Ken Nicholas, who made over 200 first-team appearances at left-back: exuberant off the field, but neat and thoughtful on it.
  • Mar 25  1921 … Luton Town’s Good Friday visit attracted Cassio Road’s highest attendance.
  • Mar 26  1947 … Birth of Johnny Williams,  left-back throughout the Furphy years, and beyond.
  • Mar 27  1971 … Death of Tom Davies, one of the influential Welsh contingent at Vicarage Road in the 1930s.
  • Mar 28  1902 … Good Friday, but not a good Friday for Watford, beaten 5-0 at home by Portsmouth.
  • Mar 29  1969 … A massively significant 1-0 victory at Swindon Town in front of over 29,000 spectators, with both sides chasing the 3rd Division championship.
  • Mar 30  1935 … Play-anywhere Vic O’Brien lined up at inside-forward for the Reserves and scored six times in a 9-1 defeat of Queens Park Rangers.
  • Mar 31  1964 … The Football League début of Eric Burgess, one of the club’s first two apprentices.
  • Apr 1  2008 … Death of left-winger Jack Barnes, aged 99 years and 339 days.
  • Apr 2  1985 …  West Ham United lost 5-0 in a top-flight game at Vicarage Road, but were unbeaten in their next eleven league visits.
  • Apr1983 … Birth of Ben Foster, England goalkeeper who won his first cap while on loan to Watford.
  • Apr1936 … Tom Walters became the fifth different player to score a hat-trick for the club in less than three months.
  • Apr1904 … A ninth successive Southern League victory was a club record in league football which still stands.
  • Apr1915 … Playing for the fourth time in five days, Watford lost 6-0 at Swindon Town (and Archie Bown scored all six), but won the next three games and clinched the Southern League championship in the second of them.
  • Apr 7  1951 … Birth of John Ward, who served as player and assistant-manager under Graham Taylor and went on to manage six Football League clubs, a total matched by only Ron Saunders among former Watford players.
  • Apr1876 … Birth of Sir Spencer Lister, the only Watford footballer to be knighted.
  • Apr2005 … Leeds United won 2-1 at Vicarage Road, making Adie Boothroyd the only Watford manager to lose his first three matches.
  • Apr 10  1954 … Jimmy Bowie and Roy Brown both scored against Swindon Town, the former’s goal making them the first pair to score 20 or more league goals for the club in the same season.
  • Apr 11  1961 … Watford 7, Coventry City 2 – and all five home forwards scored before half-time.
  • Apr 12  2009 … Death of Mike Keen, last of the Watford player-managers.
  • Apr 13  1963 … Birth of Maurice Johnston, controversial but talented goalscorer.
  • Apr 14  1972 … Birth of Paul Devlin, energetic and direct right-winger who won ten Scotland caps before reaching Vicarage Road.
  • Apr 15  1969 … One of Roy Sinclair’s rare goals secured a place in Division 2 for the first time in the club’s history.
  • Apr 16  1960 … Cliff Holton scored a second hat-trick in two days, one of only two such instances in Football League history.
  • Apr 17  1915 … Watford won at Gillingham after being two goals down and clinched the Southern League title.
  • Apr 18  1992 … Luther Blissett’s 412th league appearance took him past Duncan Welbourne as the club’s record-holder.
  • Apr 19  1969 … Micky Walker’s 23rd clean sheet of the season in the league, a total unmatched by any other Watford goalkeeper.
  • Apr 20  1928 … Birth of Johnny Gavin, outside-right with an outstanding career goalscoring record.
  • Apr 21  2002 … The one-season Luca Vialli regime ended with a home defeat by Gillingham.
  • Apr 22  1911 … Arthur Grimsdell, future England captain, made his Watford first-team début at the age of 17.
  • Apr 23  1988 … Birth of Prince Buaben, the only Ghanaian to play for the club.
  • Apr 24  1936 … Birth of Jack Smith, scorer of two goals against Notts County on his Watford début.
  • Apr 25  1908 … Harry Smith scored three times against Crystal Palace to register the club’s last hat-trick by a Watford-born player in a competitive first-team match in peacetime.
  • Apr 26  1975 … The last appearance on the field of a Watford player-manager – in a 17th consecutive away game without a victory.
  • Apr 27  1974 … Birth of Richard Johnson – strong, long-serving Australian midfielder with an explosive shot.
  • Apr 28  1956 … The final Division 3 (South) match of Len Goulden’s second spell as manager, six months after the last of his first spell.
  • Apr 29  1939 … Bill Findlay fielded the same eleven for a tenth consecutive League match – the only such instance in the club’s history.
  • Apr 30  1900 … Victory in a Test match against Sheppey United won the club its first league promotion.
  • May 1  1926 … Harry Kent, the club’s longest-serving manager, bowed out after 16 years with a 6-1 defeat at Exeter City.
  • May 2  1992 … Former Watford striker Wayne Allison was one of three Bristol City players sent off at Vicarage Road.
  • May 3  1960 … Cliff Holton’s 42nd Division 4 goal of the season, and 48th in League and FA Cup, set club records which remain well clear of all other tallies.
  • May 4  1982 … Two goals by Ross Jenkins secured both victory over Wrexham and promotion to the top tier of English football.
  • May 5  1996 … 20,089, Vicarage Road’s biggest attendance for eight years, watched an unsuccessful Watford attempt to stave off relegation, as Leicester City’s one goal took them into the Play-offs.
  • May 6  2001 … A 2-0 defeat at Turf Moor, Burnley, was the outcome of Graham Taylor’s 625th and final league match as Watford’s manager.
  • May 7  1932 … Harry Lowe got married and scored a goal against Swindon Town, but also failed from the penalty spot.
  • May 8  1993 … The club’s last defeat by Oxford United (1-0 at home) was Steve Perryman’s final game in charge.
  • May 9  1963 … Birth of Richard Jobson, whose 39th first-team appearance for the club came 16 years after his 38th.
  • May 10  1858 … Birth of Freddie Sargent, local superstar of the club’s first decade.
  • May 11  1875 … Birth of Robert Paten, the first of four players who scored in their only appearance in the Southern or Football League.
  • May 12  1939 … Death of Syd Beaumont, manager of Aberdare Athletic when they beat his old club Watford 8-1.
  • May 13  1963 … A Football League début against Queens Park Rangers at White City for goalkeeper Pat Jennings, destined for legendary status in the game.
  • May 14  1901 … Birth of Frank McPherson, prolific goalscorer between the two World Wars.
  • May 15  1960 … Birth of Gary Chivers, who had 17 seasons in the Football League, but was only briefly, and unluckily, at Vicarage Road when times were hard.
  • May 16  1937 … Birth of Tony Gregory, Luton-born and a member of the Hatters’ 1959 Cup Final side, who joined Watford ten months later.
  • May 17  1985 … A spectacular trio of victories in seven days to end the season was narrowly averted when Liverpool came from behind to win 4-3 at Anfield in the final game.
  • May 18  1963 … A 2-1 home defeat by Port Vale marked the end of the line for manager Ron Burgess with the club’s fortunes in decline.
  • May 19  1984 … The club’s one FA Cup Final appearance.
  • May 20 1999 … The latest finish to any Watford match, as Alec Chamberlain’s save at 10.44pm in the penalty shoot-out at St Andrews ensured a second visit to Wembley.
  • May 21  2006 … Leeds United were trounced at the Millennium Stadium, and Watford were back in the Premier League.
  • May 22  1954 … Birth of Brian Pollard, who in four consecutive seasons went from 2nd Division to 4th with York City and from 4th back to 2nd with Watford.
  • May 23  1954 … Birth of Gerry Armstrong, who along with Pat Rice and Les Taylor was a member of the most significant trio of mid-season signings in the club’s history.
  • May 24  1937 … Death of Fred Gregory, 15 years’ service as a loyal one-club man.
  • May 25  1873 … Birth of Don Lees – stalwart captain of Barnsley, boozer extraordinaire at Watford.
  • May 26  1994 … Paul Furlong sold to Chelsea for £2.3 million, which remained a club record until Ashley Young’s departure 13 years later.
  • May 27  1953 … Death of Arthur Squires, a Redbourn man whose left-wing  play earned him selection for the Southern League representative side.
  • May 28  1983 … John Barnes made his England début, the youngest player to do so for 24 years.
  • May 29  1935 … Birth of Dixie Hale, hardworking and canny little midfield man under Ken Furphy.
  • May 30  1996 … Death of Cliff Holton – suddenly, on holiday in Spain.
  • May 31  1999 … A first Wembley win on the latest date of a competitive Watford fixture in any peacetime season.
  • Jun 1  1983 … An attendance reported as 80,000 watched the club’s first appearance in the Far East. A Chinese National XI was beaten 3-1 in the People’s Stadium, Peking.
  • Jun 2  1960 … Birth of Joe McLaughlin, experienced Scottish centre-half who made 317 top-flight appearances either side of the border before reaching Vicarage Road.
  • Jun 3  1922 … Birth of Australian Frank Mitchell – strolling, commanding wing-half and captain.
  • Jun 4  2006 … Death of Ron Spelman, who was never able to replicate the quality of his outstanding Watford début.
  • Jun 5  1903 … Birth of Bill Pick, ex-Coventry City outside-left who lost the Watford number 11 shirt to another former Highfield Road man, Jack Barnes.
  • Jun 6  1977 … Birth of David Connolly, scorer of the only Watford hat-trick by a substitute.
  • Jun 7  1982 … Birth of Lee Williamson, one of two ex-Watford players (Darius Henderson the other) sent off for violent challenges in a two-minute spell at Vicarage Road.
  • Jun 8  1940 … A wartime 2-2 draw with Southend United took place on the latest end-of-season date of any campaign in the club’s history.
  • Jun 9  1880 … Birth of Jimmy Murray, first Watford player to be sent off in an FA Cup tie. There was not a second until 95 years later.
  • Jun 10  1984 … 18-year-old John Barnes scored a famous solo goal in England’s 2-0 win against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Jun 11  1932 … Birth of wing-half George Catleugh, long-serving workhorse in the Arthur Woodward tradition.
  • Jun 12  1945 … Birth of Pat Jennings, sold as a teenager for nearly double the previous club-record fee.
  • Jun 13  1930 … Birth of Tony Hapgood, the only son of a Watford manager to make a first-team appearance for the club.
  • Jun 14  1869 … Birth of Walter Coles – captain, prolific goalscorer, and the club’s first spot-kick man.
  • Jun 15  1915 …Death of George Badenoch, killed by a shell on the Western Front when serving with the 1st Battalion, Canadian Infantry.
  • Jun 16  1919 … Birth of Charlie Gallogly – not, as he claimed, in 1925.
  • Jun 17  1960 … Birth of Gary Williams, one of only two European Cup winners to play for Watford.
  • Jun 18  2010 … David James became oldest World Cup Finals débutant in the history of the competition.
  • Jun 19  1863 … Birth of John Goodall, great inside-forward who became Watford’s first manager.
  • Jun 20  1964 … Birth of Alec Chamberlain – nearly 300 Watford appearances after joining the club at the age of 32.
  • Jun 21  1909 … Birth of Jim Lewis, elder of the only brothers who played for the club in the 1930s.
  • Jun 22  1910 … Birth of Taffy Davies, for two full decades a Watford professional.
  • Jun 23  1847 … Birth of The Reverend John Kennedy, headmaster of Aldenham School and one of five players who have represented the club in peacetime competitive matches when in their fifth decade.
  • Jun 24  2012 … Death of Chris Adams, who as a Tottenham Hotspur winger scored on his Football League début for the reigning League champions.
  • Jun 25  1982 … Gerry Armstrong scored a dramatic winning goal for Northern Ireland in the World Cup Finals against the host nation, Spain. He was to receive an award as Best British Player of the tournament.
  • Jun 26  1980 … Death of Jimmy Carr, who at the age of 60 represented Great Britain in the 1954 Empire Games as a member of the bowls team.
  • Jun 27  1982 … Birth of Jerel Ifil, whose first Football League goal, in his 150th appearance, clinched promotion for Swindon Town in the final game of the 2006/07 season.
  • Jun 28  1971 … Birth of Sean Dyche, dedicated servant of the club in a variety of capacities from player to manager, who earned widespread sympathy when sacked by new club owners after one season in charge.
  • Jun 29  1988 … Birth of Troy Deeney, one of the first pair for 34 years to score at least 20 goals each for Watford in the same season.
  • Jun 30  1924 … Birth of Denis Cheney, ever-present on the left wing during his loan spell at Vicarage Road as one of the Leicester City package deal.
  • Jul 1  1990 … John Barnes was a member of the England side which beat Cameroon to reach the World Cup Semi-finals
  • Jul 2  1949 … Death of Jack McNee, classy and experienced inside-forward who suffered hardships from early in his life but survived well into his 88th year.
  • Jul 3  1997 … Death of Ron Wigg, striker who was restricted to a Lone Ranger role in a struggling Watford side.
  • Jul 4  1912 … Ivan Sharpe won Olympic gold as a member of the Great Britain football team in Stockholm.
  • Jul 5  1966 … Birth of Gianfranco Zola, the club’s second Italian manager.
  • Jul 6  1917 … Birth of Dave Thomas, heavyweight centre-forward and the club’s costliest player when he was signed.
  • Jul 7  1976 … Birth of Dominic Foley, striker with an extraordinarily fragmented career.
  • Jul 8  1944 … Birth of Roy Low. An international player when at Leggatts Way School, but he signed for Tottenham Hotspur before joining his home-town club.
  • Jul 9  1986 … Death of Tommy Barnett, who set appearance and goalscoring records which lasted for decades.
  • Jul 10  1957 … Birth of Keith Cassells, who performed duties at Vicarage Road as both footballer and policeman.
  • Jul 11  2002 … Ray Lewington was appointed as manager, to apply sanity in the wake of the Vialli regime.
  • Jul 12  1897 … Birth of Jim McLaren, physically imposing goalkeeper who was a first-team regular until the age of 41.
  • Jul 13  1953 … Birth of Ian Bolton, an influential figure throughout the rise from Division 4 to the heady heights of the Football League and the UEFA Cup.
  • Jul 14  1987 … Birth of Adam Johnson, one of several young loan players since the turn of the century who went on to win England caps.
  • Jul 15  1915 … Birth of Charlie Wipfler, who represented the club before, during and after the Second World War.
  • Jul 16  1932 … Birth of Sammy Chung, 245 first-team appearances and equally at home in the half-back line or any of the three inside-forward positions.
  • Jul 17  1993 … Glenn Roeder’s first match as Watford manager was a friendly in Cornwall. Saltash United were beaten 1-0.
  • Jul 18  1948 … Birth of Ray Lugg, who earned a mention in the leader column of a national daily when the club beat Liverpool to reach its first FA Cup Semi-final.
  • Jul 19  1953 … Birth of Malcolm Poskett, who specialized in cup-tie goals.
  • Jul 20  1947 … Death of Jim Kennedy, who took over the captaincy when Alex Stewart enlisted for war service in mid-season, and led the side which went on to win the 1914/15 Southern League championship.
  • Jul 21  2006 … Death of Bert Slater, a goalkeeper who enjoyed success in Scotland with Falkirk and Dundee, and was Watford’s regular No 1 for three years.
  • Jul 22  1909 … Watford Football Club was incorporated as a Limited Company.
  • Jul 23  1925 … When still on the club’s books as a player after 16 years, the revered Charlie White died after an operation in the Peace Memorial Hospital.
  • Jul 24  1961 … Birth of Kerry Dixon, scorer of  232 league goals, but none of them in his brief spell at Vicarage Road at the age of 34.
  • Jul 25  1973 … Birth of Kevin Phillips, even more league goals than Dixon, and the first 23 of them for Watford.
  • Jul 26  1997 … There was criticism of the physical approach of FC Rips in a pre-season friendly in Finland, but it was Watford’s very own convicted hooligan, Dai Thomas, who was sent off. The fact was hushed up.
  • Jul 27  1994 … Chelsea won by the only goal in a testimonial match for Gary Porter, attended by 7,079.
  • Jul 28  1975 … Birth of Chris Day, who as a veteran goalkeeper helped Stevenage to become Hertfordshire’s third Football League club.
  • Jul 29  1978 … The club’s first venture beyond Hadrian’s Wall. Morton won 5-1.
  • Jul 30  1949 … Birth of Tony Geidmintis, the first player sent off twice in a Watford shirt for nearly 80 years, only three weeks separating the two dismissals.
  • Jul 31  1973 … Birth of Alex Bonnot, a busy little midfielder.
  • Aug 1  1970 … Birth of David James, Watford product who went on to keep goal for England 53 times.
  • Aug 2  1982 … On a pre-season tour in Norway, Watford beat Kongsvinger 9-0.
  • Aug 3  1982 … Birth of Lee Cook, whose known allegiance to his local club, Queens Park Rangers, was a cause of some ill-feeling.
  • Aug 4  2000 … Death of Jimmy Bowie, typical of the old tradition of small, scheming Scottish inside-forwards.
  • Aug 5  1991 … Birth of Andi Weimann, a lively, scuttling young forward who was loaned twice from Aston Villa before going on to Full international status.
  • Aug 6  1994 … 14,021 spectators were at Vicarage Road for a pre-season friendly match v Tottenham Hotspur. No competitive home fixture in the ensuing season attracted a crowd of that size.
  • Aug 7  1871 …  Birth of Alf Burr, a Watford man who made a few pre-Southern League appearances for the football club but was more prominent in the town as a wines-and-spirits merchant.
  • Aug 8  1939 … Birth of Barry Hartle, lightweight schemer in the Holton/Uphill forward line.
  • Aug 9  1984 … Return of Luther Blissett from AC Milan to his spiritual home.
  • Aug 10  1947 … Death of Charlie Hare, goalscoring centre-forward with a good pedigree.
  • Aug 11  1908 … Birth of Tommy Jones, twice-capped Wales international who made more wartime appearances than any other Watford player.
  • Aug 12  1985 … Birth of Danny Graham, talented all-round striker whose 2010/11 goals tally was the club’s best for 28 years.
  • Aug 13  1977 … A 2-1 first-leg home League Cup tie against Reading – the initial competitive game of Graham Taylor’s first coming.
  • Aug 14  1961 … Birth of Paul Atkinson, the club’s FA Cup Final substitute.
  • Aug 15  1987 … The club with which he made his name provided the opposition when Dave Bassett tackled his first competitive fixture as Watford’s manager and emerged with a 1-0 victory.
  • Aug 16  1969 … Watford 0, Bolton Wanderers 0 – Vicarage Road’s first Division 2 fixture. There was no Watford goal in a League match, home or away, until the sixth game of the season.
  • Aug 17  1965 … Birth of Andy Hessenthaler, a player of boundless energy and stamina who built a remarkable Football League career after making his début at the age of 26.
  • Aug 18  1949 … Birth of Bobby Downes, a winger whom Graham Taylor inherited and used in two consecutive promotion seasons, and subsequently in various capacities with a succession of clubs when the player had retired.
  • Aug 19  2006 … Watford started the Premier League season at Everton, where both goalkeepers, Ben Foster and Tim Howard, were on loan from Manchester United.
  • Aug 20  1955 … Les Graham and Ben Marden both scored on their Watford début, the last pair to do so until 2011.
  • Aug 21  1994 … Death of Bobby Ross, the club’s first captain after the Second World War.
  • Aug 22  1977 … Birth of Heidar Helguson – courageous, crowd-pleasing centre-forward.
  • Aug 23  1947 … The club suffered a second successive League  defeat – both of them at home against Brighton & Hove Albion.
  • Aug 24  1957 … New signing and new captain, Charlie Billington was sent off in the opening game of the season.
  • Aug 25  1973 … Mike Keen began his player-manager career with a 1-1 home draw against Huddersfield Town.
  • Aug 26  1944 … This wartime season opened with a 9-0 defeat at Southampton.
  • Aug 27  1927 … Watford wore blue shirts for the first time and fielded five new players in the opening game of the season. Coventry City were beaten 3-1.
  • Aug 28  1920 … The Loftus Road gates were closed with 21,000 spectators inside to watch Watford and Queens Park Rangers contest their first Football League fixture. The visitors won 2-1.
  • Aug 29  1964 … Gifted 17-year-old Dennis Bond made his Football League début at Gillingham. The home side won 5-2.
  • Aug 30  1922 … In Vicarage Road’s first game the club was held to a goalless draw by Millwall.
  • Aug 31  1982 … Watford’s 4-1 win at Southampton was the biggest since 1890 by a club playing its first-ever away game in Division 1.
  • Sep 1  1972 … Birth of Neal Ardley, experienced and reliable performer up and down the right-hand touchline for three seasons.
  • Sep 2  1980 … The legendary 7-1 victory which overturned a four-goal first-leg deficit against Southampton. Six different Watford men scored for the first time since 1906.
  • Sep 3  1974 … Birth of Robert Page, long-serving centre-half who captained Wales at five levels up to and including Full.
  • Sep 4  1965 … Roger Hugo was the club’s first used substitute in a competitive match.
  • Sep 5  1903 … The club’s first competitive match with a manager. John Goodall was in the team himself, at inside-right.
  • Sep 6  1951 … Watford 1, Swindon Town 7. It was manager Haydn Green’s first match in charge, and also goalkeeper George Ephgrave’s début – against a former club.
  • Sep 7  1991 … Middlesbrough’s Paul Wilkinson and Willie Falconer both scored against Watford, the only such occurrence by a pair who had previously played for the club.
  • Sep 8  1970 … Birth of Mark Watson, capped 78 times by Canada, and the only Watford player who has represented that country.
  • Sep 9  1935 … The club’s first match on foreign soil, in which they beat Ajax 2-0 in Amsterdam.
  • Sep 10  1973 … Birth of Peter Kennedy, influential performer on the left-hand side of Watford’s 1997/98 and 1998/99 promotion teams.
  • Sep 11  1964 … Birth of David Bardsley, long-striding full-back of great pace. He was signed by Graham Taylor, who was his England Youth-team manager and much later capped him for the Full international side.
  • Sep 12  1962 … Birth of Nigel Callaghan, purveyor of consistently powerful and accurate shots and crosses.
  • Sep 13  1968 … Death of Frank Barson, powerful international centre-half who eventually became a victim of his rebellious reputation.
  • Sep 14  1907 … John Goodall’s final Watford appearance, at Bradford City, as the oldest player, at 44 years and 87 days, to turn out in a competitive match in peacetime.
  • Sep 15  1944 … Birth of Graham Taylor.
  • Sep 16  1967 …  17-year-old Tony Currie scored twice on his Football League début.
  • Sep 17  1949 … Notts County 1,  Watford 0, in front of 34,055 spectators, a routine attendance for Meadow Lane in the Tommy Lawton era, but the largest-ever crowd to see Watford in league action outside the top two divisions.
  • Sep 18  2010 … Six different players scored for Watford at Millwall – the only such instance away from home in the club’s history.
  • Sep 19  1896 … The club’s first Southern League fixture. Wycombe Wanderers, the Cassio Road visitors, were beaten 5-0.
  • Sep 20  2008 … A famous goal at Vicarage Road, awarded to Reading by blundering officials who decreed that the ball had crossed Watford’s goal-line between the posts when it had obviously done so wide of them.
  • Sep 21  1902 … Birth of Billy Chapman, for six years the right-wing partner of inside-forward Tommy Barnett.
  • Sep 22  1981 … Wrexham 0, Watford 1 – for the first time in the club’s history, five successive league wins had been achieved away from home.
  • Sep 23  1959 … A freak 8-1 defeat at Selhurst Park against the run of play. Six days later Watford won the return fixture 4-2.
  • Sep 24  1977 … Very early in Graham Taylor’s reign he took Bobby Svarc on loan, but a first-half injury on his début ended the player’s career. There were no further loans in the ten years of Taylor’s first spell as manager.
  • Sep 25  1982 … Seven matches into the club’s first top-flight season the football world was agog when Sunderland were beaten 8-0.
  • Sep 26  1903 … Harry Barton scored six times against Wycombe Wanderers, taking his tally to ten in his first three Southern League appearances.
  • Sep 27  1890 … The club lost 2-1 to A.T.B.Dunn’s XI in the first match at Cassio Road. The prolific Walter Coles scored for the Rovers.
  • Sep 28  1983 … In Vicarage Road’s first UEFA Cup game, Ian Richardson scored twice on his first-team début. 1FC Kaiserslautern were beaten 3-0 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.
  • Sep 29  1897 … In their first match after adopting professionalism the club defeated Bowes Park 4-0 in a friendly at Cassio Road. Ike Marsh, one of the first two paid men, scored three times.
  • Sep 30  1922 … After three failures to score at its last new home the club beats Exeter City by four clear goals, the first of them by Freddie Pagnam, who goes on to complete a hat-trick.
  • Oct 1  1968 … Birth of Paul Furlong, for two seasons an outstanding leader of the Watford attack.
  • Oct 2  1971 … Johnny Williams opened his goalscoring account in his 242nd Football League appearance and 275th in all competitions.
  • Oct 3  1891 … The club is awarded its first penalty-kick, which Walter Coles converts into a goal as part of a hat-trick which contributes to a 5-0 FA Cup defeat of Maidenhead.
  • Oct 4  1942 … Birth of Terry Mancini, whose first five years as a professional were spent at Vicarage Road, but who achieved much more in his thirties.
  • Oct 5  1946 … In a 3-2 win at Reading, Tommy Harris made his fourth peacetime Football League appearance more than ten years after his third.
  • Oct 6  1900 … Watford 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1. It was the clubs’ first Southern League meeting – there were another 13 to follow, but no second victory.
  • Oct 7  1995 … Three substitutes were used in a competitive match for the first time, but Millwall left Vicarage Road as 1-0 winners.
  • Oct 8  1971 … Birth of Neil Cox. Although unwanted and transfer-listed when Luca Vialli arrived, he outlasted the manager at Vicarage Road by three years.
  • Oct 9  1991 … Death of Freddie Bunce – galloping, goalscoring outside-left, and the club’s first youth international.
  • Oct 10 1970 … Birth of Roderick Thomas, schoolboy prodigy with a record number of England caps and goals at that level, and scorer of an FA Youth Cup Final winner.
  • Oct 11  1913 … ‘Skilly’ Williams made his first-team début at the advanced age of 23.
  • Oct 12  1990 … Birth of Henri Lansbury, product of the Arsenal youth system, and much-capped by England at levels up to and including Under-21, who spent nearly a full season on loan at Vicarage Road.
  • Oct 13  1982 … The club’s first Full England cap was won by Luther Blissett, against West Germany at Wembley Stadium.
  • Oct 14  1956 … Birth of Keith Mercer, a Football League débutant while still at school.
  • Oct 15  1927 … Joe Webster, the second of three goalkeepers who successively dominated the position for 22 years, died in hospital at the age of 42 following an appendix operation.
  • Oct 16  1897 … Dartford 8, West Herts 0. It was the first competitive match undertaken with professionals.
  • Oct 17  1998 … Tranmere Rovers 3, Watford 2 – the last of 165 Football League appearances for the club by Keith Millen in a career total which exceeded five hundred.
  • Oct 18  1967 … Birth of Tony Daley, devastatingly fast and direct winger whose career was blighted and eventually ended by injury. Under Graham Taylor he played for Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Watford and England.
  • Oct 19  1927 … Birth of Bedford Jezzard, who scored an FA Cup goal for Watford, but never for Fulham, for whom he hit 155 League goals and formed an illustrious international inside-forward trio with Bobby Robson and Johnny Haynes.
  • Oct 20  1913 … Birth of George Lewis, prolific goalscorer and prime example of a player whose best years were lost to the Second World War.
  • Oct 21  1989 … Blackburn Rovers 2, Watford 2. Saturday-afternoon traffic problems caused the Ewood Park kick-off to be delayed until 4 o’clock.
  • Oct 22  1879 … Birth of Harry Kent, longest-serving of all Watford managers, and “A good man and a sportsman all his life”, as his epitaph in Vicarage Road Cemetery declares.
  • Oct 23  1886 … The club’s first competitive fixture. Swindon Town won an FA Cup First Round tie at Rose & Crown Meadow by the only goal of the match.
  • Oct 24  1884 … Birth of Tommy Waterall, scorer of ten goals from the left wing in the Southern League championship win.
  • Oct 25  1930 … Bob White scored a hat-trick against Newport County on his first-team début, and was promptly dropped.
  • Oct 26  1968 … Brighton & Hove Albion 0, Watford 1 – with the visitors en route to the 3rd Division championship. Albion’s Charlie Livesey, once stirringly committed to the Watford cause, helped it on this occasion by failing from penalty spot.
  • Oct 27  1962 … Watford 4, Northampton Town 2. Over 19,000 turned up for Cliff Holton’s first reappearance at Vicarage Road. He had a quiet game, but hot-tempered Bobby Howfield and the Cobblers’ Alec Ashworth enlivened proceedings with a frantic punch-up and were sent off.
  • Oct 28  1903 … New Brompton were beaten 2-1 in a Cassio Road friendly. The referee subsequently reported to the club that Bert Banks had played in the match while drunk.
  • Oct 29  1898 … After playing its first 21 FA Cup ties without a draw, the club was indebted to Charlie Hare’s two goals at Luton Town for earning a Cassio Road replay, which the visitors won 1-0.
  • Oct 30  1993 … Andy Hessenthaler was shown the club’s seventh red card in the first 19 games of the season. Then in the remaining 34 matches there was not a single dismissal.
  • Oct 31  1984 … Leeds United were comprehensively removed from the League Cup at Elland Road. Watford youth-team products Nigel Callaghan (2), Jimmy Gilligan and Worrell Sterling scored the goals in a 4-0 victory.
  • Nov 1  1870 … Birth of Percy Coles, extremely versatile younger brother of Walter. He even once played in goal for the county.
  • Nov 2  1944 … Birth of Brian Owen, loyal servant of the club as a strong-running winger.
  • Nov 3  1979 … Birth of John Eustace, who recovered from serious injury to enjoy a good career as Watford’s captain.
  • Nov 4  1951 … Birth of Ross Jenkins, one of only four men to score more than a hundred league goals for the club.
  • Nov 5  1889 … Birth of Peter Ronald, Southern League championship-winner in his first Watford season, and scorer of the club’s first Football League goal.
  • Nov 6 1932 … Birth of Ron Saunders, scorer of a career total of 207 Football League goals – two of them on his Watford début.
  • Nov 7  2000 … Richard Jobson’s 39th Watford first-team appearance, 16 years after his 38th.
  • Nov 8  1968 … Birth of the Holdsworth twins – David the older by 40 minutes.
  • Nov 9  1933 … Death of Harold Bulling, one of a footballing family, and younger of the two brothers who played for Watford, although he died 35 years before Chris.
  • Nov 10  1891 … Birth of Jimmy Broad, much-travelled and prolific goalscorer with a history of indiscipline. He was sacked by Watford, having scored in his only League appearance.
  • Nov 11  1893 … Norwich Thorpe 2, West Herts 6 – the club’s FA Amateur Cup début. They took part in the competition in three compaigns, without distinction.
  • Nov 12  1904 … A change of colours – shirts with red, green and yellow hoops were worn for the first time.
  • Nov 13  1930 … Birth of Johnny Meadows, stylish wing-half or inside-forward in a ten-year, one-club Football League career.
  • Nov 14  1970 … The last of Duncan Welbourne’s 280 consecutive Football League appearances.
  • Nov 15   1895 … Birth of Neil McBain – Scotland international, Watford centre-half and twice manager, and the Football League’s oldest player.
  • Nov 16  1919 … Birth of Jimmy Jones, who won Amateur international recognition soon after a long illness had threatened his whole career, and later served Watford as a tough-as-teak full-back.
  • Nov 17  1945 … For the first time in five years, the club fielded an entire eleven of its own players.
  • Nov 18  1979 … Birth of Scott Fitzgerald, who top-scored when fresh out of non-League football, but his full-time career soon petered out.
  • Nov 19  1985 … Death of Charlie Billington. His Watford career began terribly and never really looked like improving.
  • Nov 20  1965 … Birth of Nigel Gibbs, a great Watford servant and one of only five players who have made over four hundred league appearances for the club.
  • Nov 21  1964 … Watford 1, Bristol Rovers 1. Ken Furphy’s appearance was the first by a Watford player-manager for 33 years.
  • Nov 22  1913 … Southampton 1, Watford 3. The club scored as many as three times at The Dell for the only time in its first 28 visits.
  • Nov 23  1991 … Watford 2, Portsmouth 1 – Luther Blissett both equalled and passed Tommy Barnett’s club record of 144 league goals.
  • Nov 24  1990 … Colin Lee’s last match in charge was a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United. His 28 League games had produced only five wins and he became the first manager to begin and end his incumbency in the same calendar year.
  • Nov 25  1892 … Birth of  Ted Hufton, who three weeks before his 40th birthday became the first international goalkeeper to play for Watford.
  • Nov 26  1894 … Birth of Frank Hoddinott, whose goalscoring for Watford won him international recognition and attracted a club-record fee, but was not replicated elsewhere.
  • Nov 27  1926 … Watford 10, Lowestoft Town 1 – the last competitive match in which the club ran up a double-figure score.
  • Nov 28  1959 … Gateshead 1, Watford 3. The visitors were awarded three penalty kicks; Dennis Uphill failed with the first and Cliff Holton scored with the other two. He kept the responsibility for spot-kicks, which enabled him to maintain his position as leading scorer.
  • Nov 29  1997 … The club met Wigan Athletic for the first time and beat them 2-1 at Vicarage Road.
  • Nov 30  1927 … Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion faced each other in the FA Cup for the fourth consecutive season, a sequence without parallel in the history of the competition.
  • Dec 1  1982 … Birth of Lloyd Doyley, dedicated and long-serving full-back whose long-awaited maiden goal was a spectacular diving header.
  • Dec 2  1967 … Ten years before Grimsby Town full-back Graham Taylor started a new job at Vicarage Road, Stewart Scullion ran rings round him in Watford’s 7-1 home victory.
  • Dec 3  1887 … Birth of Ted Bassett, a small outside-right whose scurrying trickery earned him popularity and the nickname ‘Rabbit’.
  • Dec 4  1948 … Leytonstone 2, Watford 1 – the club’s first FA Cup defeat by amateur opposition since the 19th century.
  • Dec 5  1981 … Watford 2, Charlton Athletic 2 – in which Jan Lohman, the club’s first foreign signing from an overseas club, enjoyed a scoring début.
  • Dec 6  1988 … Birth of Jonathan Hogg, hardworking and abrasive midfielder who earned his first full season in first-team football on leaving Villa Park for Vicarage Road.
  • Dec 7  1955 … Birth of John McClelland, international captain and one of the finest defenders in Watford’s history.
  • Dec 8  1906 … Stockton 0, Watford 2 – FA Cup 5th Qualifying Round. It was the club’s longest journey for any fixture before 1924.
  • Dec 9  1916 … Former full-back Fred Nidd played in goal in an emergency at the age of 47 and conceded eight goals at home to Fulham in a wartime London Combination fixture.
  • Dec 10  1898 … The club’s first sending-off in any match, Albie Sharp getting his marching orders in a home Southern League match against Chesham, who were beaten 7-1.
  • Dec 11  1953 … Birth of Alan Mayes, sharp and sprightly striker who scored 15 goals in the 1977/78 Division 4 championship campaign.
  • Dec 12  1976 … Death of George James, scorer of no fewer than 76 goals in 94 League and Cup appearances for the club.
  • Dec 13  1902 … Goalkeeper Bert Higgins, still an amateur at the time, made his first-team début in a difficult Southern League fixture at Southampton, and conceded eleven goals to a side destined to win that season’s championship.
  • Dec 14  1991 … Death of Tommy Paton, a Scottish former prisoner-of-war who was converted from inside-forward to wing-half after moving to Vicarage Road and became club captain.
  • Dec 15  1870 … Birth of Sid King, a Watford man from cradle to grave, who was ever-present in goal in the club’s first Southern League season.
  • Dec 16  1989 … In a 7-2 win against Bradford City, Gary Penrice set a club record in having scored in each of his first six Watford appearances.
  • Dec 17  1983 … Arsenal 3, Watford 1. The unjust sending-off of Neil Price in this match was just one of several notable aspects of a brief first-team career.
  • Dec 18  1897 … Warmley was a club which was soon to fold, but managed to fit in an 11-0 destruction of the visiting West Herts side on this day and finish the season with an extraordinary Southern League Division 2 goals record of 108 for and 15 against.
  • Dec 19  1876 … Birth of George Davenport, who missed only two Southern League matches in the club’s first two seasons in the competition, and was an early holder of the league-appearances record.
  • Dec 20  1933 … Two club records were established and remain unbeaten: the lowest Football League home attendance (1,309), and a quick-fire hat-trick by Billy Lane (“three minutes” was the reported time) in a 6-0 victory over Clapton Orient.
  • Dec 21  1951 … Birth of Steve Perryman, manager for two-and-a-half  seasons with a Football League return of 42 wins and 44 defeats.
  • Dec 22  1962 … Fog brought Millwall’s visit to a halt after 65 minutes with Watford 2-1 up, and there was another Vicarage Road abandonment only eleven weeks later, the waterlogged pitch bringing proceeding to a halt at half-time, Barnsley having scored the only goal.
  • Dec 23  1983 … Birth of Michael Chopra, who alone since 1919 has scored four away goals in a competitive peacetime match.
  • Dec 24  1957 … Birth of Kevin McCarthy, whose début at the age of 17 began an unbroken run of 27 Football League appearances – but that was followed only a smattering of further action before he was discarded.
  • Dec 25  1934 … Jim McLaren’s Christmas Day clean sheet was followed by five more in the next five games.
  • Dec 26  1952 … Birth of Steve Harrison, an extrovert character who excelled as a coach but was unhappy in the managerial role.
  • Dec 27  1994 … A 2-1 defeat at Millwall, which followed a 2-0 home win against Portsmouth, was the club’s last undertaking of fixtures on consecutive days.
  • Dec 28  1926 … Watford 2, Millwall 4 – a difficult début for Arthur Woodward, but he went on to long and popular service as a muck-and-nettles wing-half devoted to the Watford cause.
  • Dec 29  1973 … Pat Morrissey scored all the goals in a 3-0 victory in the snow at Oldham Athletic, who were destined to finish the season as Division 3 champions, and the match highlights were seen on Saturday-night TV.
  • Dec 30  2006 … The last abandonment of a Watford game, with the score at 1-1 in Wigan Athletic’s Premier League visit to Vicarage Road. The torrential downpour deprived Tamas Priskin of what began as his first league goal in English football.
  • Dec 31  2006 … Death of Maurice Cook, marauding, hard-running forward who was the club’s major player of the mid-1950s and left for a club-record fee.