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Trivia

  • WATFORD’s results on the occasion of Vicarage Road’s highest attendance figure for each of the eleven seasons 2006/07 to 2016/17, inclusive, have been four draws and seven defeats.
  • THREE Watford players – Joe Calvert, Kevin Phillips and Chris Powell – made Football League appearances for Leicester City at the age of 40, and another Leicester man, Jim McLaren, kept goal for Watford at the age of 41.
  • WHEN the Play-off Semi-final at Birmingham City on 20 May 1999 was decided by a penalty-kick shoot-out, Alec Chamberlain made the concluding save at 10.44 pm – the latest-ever finish to any Watford match.
  • CENTRE-forward Ross Jenkins made appearances for the club when they were in both the 1st and 92nd positions in the Football League.
  • IN their respective Watford débuts, Charlie Hare scored six goals (in a friendly), Charlie Billington, Alexander Merkel and Miguel Britos were sent off, Bob White scored a Football League hat-trick, Bill Hastings and Tommy Niblo both failed with penalty-kicks, George Waller saved one, goalkeeper Bert Higgins conceded 11 goals (as did Guthrie Baker in his second appearance), five weeks after the Higgins nightmare a trialist goalkeeper named Walmesley was beaten seven times at Cassio Road, and a later custodian, George Ephgrave, also conceded seven at home – and against the club with which he began his League career.
  • AGAINST Shrewsbury Town on 22 August 1953 Jimmy Bowie scored a hat-trick which remains the only one for a beaten Watford side in a league match.
  • NONE of the club’s first 22 FA Cup matches ended in a draw.
  • ALEC Farrall, whose Football League career ended at Watford, began it at Everton, for whom his bizarre first-team career consisted of one appearance in each of five consecutive seasons.
  • IN the final pre-Play-offs fixture of 2012/13, in which Watford failed to achieve the win which would have earned them automatic promotion to the FA Premier League, the first half was extended by 17 minutes and 27 seconds of added time, and the second half by a further 6 minutes and 1 second – a total for the match of 23 minutes and 28 seconds.
  • WHEN Queens Park Rangers beat Hull City 5-1 in a Football League Cup tie in October 1991, they owed all five goals to past or future Watford scorers (Dennis Bailey 2, Garry Thompson 2, David Bardsley 1).
  • TONY Coton was ever-present in 1988/89 & 1989/90 league matches, becoming the first Watford goalkeeper for 82 years to achieve this distinction in consecutive seasons.
  • AIDY Boothroyd is the only Watford manager to have suffered defeat in each of his first three league matches.
  • FRANK McPherson scored twice in each of his first two appearances for Watford, but was on the losing side in both matches. He began the following season by scoring 22 of the club’s first 29 goals.
  • JOHNNY Paton (born 2/4/1923, died 2/10/2015) is the only Watford manager whose life extended into a tenth decade. Bill Findlay’s life (born 17/2/1900, died 11/6/1949) was the shortest.
  • IN June 2015 Quique Sánchez Flores became the club’s fifth manager in just over nine months.
  • THE only two players to have won Full England caps while on Watford’s books (John Barnes & Luther Blissett) were born in Jamaica, and the only five to have represented Jamaica (Lloyd Doyley, Micah Hyde, Marlon King, Adrian Mariappa & Nyron Nosworthy) were born in England.
  • IN a four-week spell in 1935/36 four different Watford players scored hat-tricks: Tommy Barnett, Bill Devan, Len Fletcher – and Frank McPherson, whose treble is believed to have been the first for a losing side in the history of the FA Cup Proper. A couple of months after this sequence a fifth man, Tom Walters, weighed in with two hat-tricks in the space of five games.
  • BOTH Gary Plumley (in 1987) and Costel Pantilimon (in 2016) kept goal for Watford in an FA Cup Semi-final before ever having played for the club in a league match.
  • FOR all but three of the club’s 50 League and Cup fixtures in 1954/55 the left-back position was occupied by Billy Cooke (aged 35), Lionel Smith (34) or Dave Bewley (34).
  • FUTURE Middlesex and England cricketers Mike Gatting and Mark Ramprakash were both registered by the club on schoolboys forms; a third, Fred Titmus, had earlier been on the Vicarage Road groundstaff; Nottinghamshire’s Test match opening batsman Walter Keeton played for the Reserves in October 1925; and Reg Sinfield of Gloucestershire and England was registered on amateur forms in 1921/22.
  • IN a sequence of ten matches starting on 19 October 2013 the club lost five times at home and drew five times away.
  • PAUL Wilkinson and Willie Falconer were the first former Watford players to score against the club in the same league match (for Middlesbrough in September 1991), although Neil Williams and Alex Dyer had done so for Hull City in the FA Cup. After the aforementioned Middlesbrough game, the next goal conceded by Watford was scored by Lee Richardson, another former Vicarage Road man, for Blackburn Rovers. Two future Watford players, Harry Anstiss and Alf Moule, each scored two goals against the club for Millwall in the same game in September 1922.
  • FRED Pagnam’s three Football League hat-tricks in five games in 1922/23 included two against Gillingham in successive matches.
  • THE attendance at Watford’s 2-1 defeat at Wimbledon in 1987/88 was the smallest for an FA Cup Quarter-final since the Second World War.
  • BROTHERS George and Vic Furr both played for the club in league matches, but their appearances were separated by 16 years.
  • ON 20 February 1909 goalkeeper Billy Biggar scored from a penalty kick and also saved one in the same Southern League game.
  • OPPOSING players scored hat-tricks for three consecutive visiting sides which won 5-2, 4-1 and 4-1 at Vicarage Road in 1962/63: Mark Lazarus (Queens Park Rangers), Brian Clark (Bristol City) and Cliff Holton (Crystal Palace).
  • GOALKEEPER David James scored with a drop-kick for the Youth team in a 5-0 South East Counties League win at Cambridge United on 10 October 1987, having narrowly missed the goal with a similar effort earlier in the match.
  • MAKING his 100th Football League appearance on the last day of the 1985/86 season, in Watford’s 5-1 away win against Chelsea, substitute David Bardsley scored the first two goals of his League career.
  • WATFORD and Brighton & Hove Albion met in the FA Cup in four consecutive seasons in the 1920s – an occurrence unique in the competition’s history.
  • THE following players represented Watford in the Football League as amateurs: L.E.Adams, R.A.Day, W.B.Armstrong, C.Barnard, G.H.Barnes, R.J.Beament, W.T.Coles, W.J.Coutanche, J.R.Crussell, L.F.Dewick, C.J.Foster (1925), V.R.Furr, F.A.Gibson, I.R.Harper, S.Hopkinson, R.J.S.Kirby, R.W.J.Lacey, D.Maskell, H.E.J.Miller, R.B.Miller, P.Nolan, P.R.Storer, H.J.Vanner, G.G.Wilkinson & A.Wright. (Also, before the amateur/professional distinction was abolished in 1974, K.Mercer made a League appearance for the club while still at school.)
  • JOHN Barnes climaxed a run with the ball from his own half by scoring in the 1st Division home match against Liverpool on 6 December 1986, and 14 weeks later Luther Blissett did the same thing at Arsenal in an FA Cup Quarter-final. Both games were won: 2-0 and 3-1, respectively.
  • GOALKEEPERS Tony Coton (1961), Manuel Almunia (1977) and Jonathan Bond (1993) were all born on the 19th of May.
  • FOR the only time in the club’s history, goals were conceded by three different goalkeepers in the same game, which Reading won 6-1 on 14 September 1955. Ted Bennett suffered a broken finger in a vain attempt to prevent the home side’s second goal, Maurice Cook replaced him and conceded the third, and then Colin Bateman took over and was beaten three times.
  • YEOVIL Town’s 3-0 win at Vicarage Road on 30 November 2013 was the biggest margin of victory by opponents making their first-ever Southern League/Football League/FA Premier League visit since 1st Scots Guards won by the same score at Cassio Road on 16 January 1897.
  • AS teenagers on West Bromwich Albion’s books, James Chambers and his brother Adam were both capped in the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championships, becoming the first pair of twins to represent England at any level.
  • GLYN Hodges is the only player to have represented four clubs in the top tier of English football under the same manager (Dave Bassett).
  • WATFORD scored at least two goals in each of their last nine away games of the 2014/15 season, thereby breaking a club record which had stood for 111 years. They extended the sequence to ten by scoring twice in the opening game of the following season.
  • OF all Watford managers (except the here-today-gone-tomorrow Billy McKinlay) only Bill McGarry and Kenny Jackett have lost fewer than a quarter of the league matches played during their time in charge.
  • ON Boxing Day 2013, in a 4-0 home win against Millwall, Troy Deeney and Lewis McGugan became only the second Watford pair to score from the penalty spot in the same first-team game, and the first pair to do so since Frank Kelly and goalkeeper Billy Biggar in a United League fixture in 1906.
  • 1889/90 FA Cup opponents Schorne College fielded seven members of the James family in the side which faced Watford Rovers.
  • ON 19 September 2009 Heidar Helguson, making his first appearance for the club for more than four-and-a-half years, became the first Watford substitute to score and then be replaced by another substitute.
  • ALTHOUGH finishing as top-flight runners-up in 1982/83, the club lost 15 of their 42 matches, the highest number of defeats ever suffered by a club finishing either first or second in any division of the Football League or the FA Premier League. Only Hull City and Rotherham United have equalled this total, both of them in 2012/13.
  • FRED Le May, a Watford forward in 1931/32, was only 5ft tall and is reputed to have been the shortest player in Football League history. Tommy Harmer, an immensely gifted ball-player who joined the club in 1960, weighed less than nine stones.
  • NOT since Bushey-born Freddie Bunce’s 1960 hat-trick has a locally-born player scored three times in a competitive first-team match.
  • WATFORD twice won the championship of Southern League Division 2, and on both occasions won all ten home games, with goal tallies of 40 for and 4 against, and 45 for and 4 against.
  • TWO Watford professionals have won international honours at bowls: John Goodall for England, and Jimmy Carr, who represented Great Britain in the 1954 Empire Games.
  • WHEN Tottenham Hotspur beat Everton 10-4 in a top-flight fixture in 1958/59 their scorers included Tommy Harmer, John Ryden and Alf Stokes, all of whom were on Watford’s books at the start of the 1961/62 season.
  • AS the severe winter of 1962/63 took hold, Watford beat Carlisle United 5-1 in one of only nine Football League matches to take place on 29 December – and the only one in the south of England, a circumstance which led to this 3rd Division fixture’s wholly unexpected coverage on BBC Television that night. Seven-and-a-half weeks passed before Watford were able to play again.
  • LUTHER Blissett of Watford and Robbie Taylor of Newport County both led their clubs’ list of Football League scorers in 1987/88 with four goals each, the lowest total amassed by the clear leader of any club’s list of scorers for 75 years.
  • GEORGE Davenport and Harry Lowe both turned out for the club after getting married a few hours earlier. Lowe scored a goal, but also failed with a penalty kick.
  • IN a shoot-out at the end of the 1987 Associate Members Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, Bristol City’s future Watford goalkeeper Keith Waugh saved a penalty-kick by Keith Cassells of Mansfield Town, and formerly of Watford. Both players subsequently joined the police force, in which they both served on duty at Watford matches.
  • OVER Christmas 1930 Watford played a League match on each of three consecutive days, and drew them all 2-2.
  • FOURTEEN years before he became the club’s first manager, John Goodall was the Football League’s top-scorer in its inaugural season.
  • IN September and October 1971 the club scored once – and only once – in each of nine consecutive matches.
  • GOALKEEPER Len Dewick and centre-forward Taffy Morgan both played in spectacles.
  • BOTH 1921 FA Cup Final captains (Arthur Grimsdell of Tottenham Hotspur and Val Gregory of Wolverhampton Wanderers) were Watford products, as was the Wolves centre-forward George Edmonds.
  • NEIL McBain, the New Brighton manager, became in 1947 the Football League’s oldest player, having last appeared (for Watford) 16 years earlier.
  • JOHN McClelland played as a professional in all four Home countries and in all four Football League divisions in England.
  • AGAINST Hull City at Vicarage Road on 29 October 2016 Watford had 23 shots at goal, not one of which was on target. They nevertheless won 1-0, thanks to an own goal.
  • THE opening fixture of the 2006/07 season featured two goalkeepers – Tim Howard of Everton and Ben Foster of Watford – who were both on loan from Manchester United.
  • WHEN Coventry City were beaten 7-2 at Vicarage Road in 1960/61, all five home forwards scored in the first half.
  • THREE Watford goalkeepers – Pat Jennings, Tony Meola and Mart Poom – won a hundred or more Full international caps.
  • ON 31 March and 6 May 2006 Watford’s Marlon King became the first player to score a Football League goal for the same club in each of two games on the same away ground (Selhurst Park) in the same season.
  • THROUGHOUT the entire 1980s Watford used only four goalkeepers in League matches: Steve Sherwood, Eric Steele, Tony Coton and Mel Rees.
  • MIKE Keen was the last manager (a) to score and (b) to play in a competitive first-team match for Watford, on 29 March 1975 and 26 April 1975, respectively. Both matches were lost.
  • FROM a free kick against Newcastle United in the FA Cup on 10 January 1989, Neil Redfearn accomplished the probably unique feat of scoring with his side’s first kick of the match.
  • ON the opening day of the 2011/12 season Craig Forsyth and Mark Yeates became the first pair to score on their Watford débuts in the same game since Les Graham and Ben Marden 56 years earlier.
  • BETWEEN 1977 and 1984 Steve Sherwood played for Watford in every FA Cup round from the 1st to the Final, and was the first to achieve this with a single club since Ron Baynham, David Pacey and Bob Morton did so with Luton Town 20 years earlier.
  • THE only Hertfordshire-born player to have scored 20 or more League goals in a season for the club was Maurice Cook, with 26 in 1954/55.
  • IN October 1971 the club suffered five consecutive 2-1 defeats.
  • GEORGE Edmonds failed to score in 11 of a sequence of 12 Southern League appearances in 1919/20, but in the odd one out he found the net five times in a 6-3 away win against Merthyr Town.
  • IN Aidy Boothroyd’s first 20 games as Watford’s manager, 19 players made their first-team débuts for the club.
  • ALTHOUGH Tonypandy-born and a twice-capped Wales international, in eleven years as a professional Tommy Jones had never played a game in his native land at any level before Watford’s visit to Cardiff City in 1935/36.
  • COLIN Lee is the only Watford manager who had scored in a Wembley cup final.
  • WHEN extra time in a Football League Cup tie at Vicarage Road on 19 September 2006 was drawing to a close with the score at 0-0 and likely to remain so, Accrington Stanley’s substitute goalkeeper was sent on in the belief that he would a better bet in the penalty-kick shoot-out. He faced seven kicks – one hit a post and the other six hit the net.
  • SEVEN newly-signed players appeared together in Watford’s team v Northampton Town on 31 January 1948.
  • THE only Watford manager’s son to make a competitive first-team appearance for the club before, during or after his father’s incumbency was Tony Hapgood, whose sole first-team outing was more than three years after his father’s departure.
  • IN the calendar year 1983 Watford both won and lost Football League matches at Stoke City by four goals to nil.
  • BETWEEN 3 November 1923 and 9 February 1924 the club played a sequence of 17 games in which they scored a total of 15 goals, as follows: 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 8 1 1 0 0 1 0. The eight (five by Eddie Mummery) were against Newport County, one of the others was an own goal, and another brought FA Cup victory at First Division Middlesbrough during a run of eight away League games in which they failed to score.
  • ON 7 December 1985 a bomb-scare at Birmingham City caused the ground to be cleared in the second half and the game to be held up for 64 minutes. Worrell Sterling scored after the resumption to give Watford a 2-1 victory.
  • AGAINST Norwich City on 2 May 1931 three unrelated Smiths played for Watford, two of whom were making their only first-team appearance for the club. Four players made their Watford débuts that day, and three of them never played again; the fourth was Taffy Davies, whose Vicarage Road career lasted two decades.
  • THE Herts County Cup Semi-final at Bushey between St Albans and Watford Rovers on 22 February 1890 was abandoned with the score at 2-2 following a pitch invasion when a third St Albans goal was disallowed. Rovers subsequently withdrew from the competition “to prevent further ill-feeling between the clubs”.
  • IN 1949/50 Watford conceded fewer goals than any other club in Division 3 (South) – but also scored fewest as well. This was only the second such instance in any division of the Football League, Cardiff City having provided the first, in 1928/29.
  • PLAYING for Birmingham City in the first League appearance of his career, Tony Coton saved a penalty in the first minute.
  • NOT a single draw was recorded in the first 24 fixtures of 1978/79. The next four results were 1-1, 1-1, 0-0 and 1-1.
  • FORMER Watford left-back Colin Meldrum (42 first-team appearances without a goal) scored Cambridge United’s first-ever Football League goal on the opening day of the 1970/71 season.
  • WHEN Watford lost 0-3 at Fulham on 14 August 1971 it was the two clubs’ first Football League meeting in peacetime for 39 years – the longest period between consecutive peacetime League fixtures between Watford and any opposing club.
  • BEFORE his transfer to Watford, Leigh Bromby’s last League appearance was for Sheffield United ….. against Watford. And his first appearance after returning to Bramall Lane on loan was ….. against Watford.
  • IN 2005/06 Watford became the first club to win promotion to the top tier via the Play-offs without conceding a goal in the three Play-off matches.
  • THE club met Luton Town in home and away matches on Christmas Day 1940. Ten Watford players turned out in both games, and Harry Lewis scored from the penalty spot in each, as he also did in the next fixture three days later.
  • IN different periods of his illustrious playing career John Goodall, Watford’s first manager, played for Ayrshire v Lancashire and for Lancashire v Ayrshire, and was on the winning side each time.
  • DEAN Holdsworth’s first six Football League goals – all in 1988 – were scored for five different clubs.
  • CONTRASTING fortunes were experienced by goalkeepers Ormond Jones and George Ephgrave, whose Watford débuts were both against Swindon Town. Jones enjoyed a 6-1 away win, while Ephgrave suffered a 7-1 home defeat.
  • ORMOND Jones continued to enjoy life in his next two games. Victories by 6-1 (away), 5-0 (home) and 5-0 (away) constituted what is perhaps the most successful start to a club career in Football League history. But he went on to make only five more Watford appearances.
  • IN a 2-1 win at Rotherham United on 30 January 1982, Ian Bolton scored with a wind-assisted free kick from his own half.
  • AT Upton Park on 30 September 1916, Watford goalkeeper Skilly Williams grabbed the referee and marched him over to a linesman in a (successful) attempt to overturn a decision to send off Ashton of West Ham United.
  • JIMMY Trotter, who was to end his playing career at Vicarage Road, was the leading scorer in Division 2 and Division 1 in consecutive seasons between 1925 and 1927.
  • THE 4-0 win on 4 February 1995 featured Watford’s fifth consecutive clean sheet against Southend United. The last four of the sequence were in the same season, an achievement against any one club without precedent in Watford’s history.
  • MAKING his first Football League appearance, Geoff Steiner headed an own-goal after six minutes’ play in a 3-0 defeat at Ipswich Town in 1951/52.
  • THE father of Johnny Meadows, Watford’s long-serving wing-half and inside-forward, was a writer of popular songs, including Oh, My, What a Referee, which was well-known in the 1950s.
  • FRED Pagnam is the only player to have scored more than half the club’s seasonal league tally, which he did in 1922/23 with 30 out of 57.
  • THREE times in the last four full seasons before the Second World War, Watford attracted record attendances at non-League grounds as visitors for FA Cup ties: 14,095 (nearly double the previous record) at Southall (won 4-1), 19,229 at Ipswich Town (lost 1-2), and 11,390 at Scunthorpe & Lindsey United (won 2-1).
  • UNDERTAKING its first encounter with Football League opposition, the club played a friendly game at Cassio Road on 27 December 1894 against Darwen, who won 4-2. The first meeting with a top-flight club was on 30 April 1898, when visitors West Bromwich Albion were held to a 1-1 draw.
  • IN February and March 1984 full-back Wilf Rostron scored in each of three consecutive top-flight matches in open play.
  • HAVING been sent off on the occasion of his final outing for Napoli before being transferred to Vicarage Road, Miguel Britos suffered the same fate on his Watford début.
  • NOT since Colin & Ernie Bateman were in the team beaten 4-0 at home by Leyton Orient in 1955/56 have brothers  been in a Watford starting line-up in a competitive first-team fixture.
  • ON Christmas Day and Boxing Day 1930 the club drew 2-2 with Walsall both at home and away. Watford fielded the same side in both games, and they were the only two occasions on which the eleven ever played together.
  • HAVING managed only three goals in his first 17 FA Cup appearances, Luther Blissett scored six in the next two.
  • ALTHOUGH, under the terms of his loan, Ben Foster was ineligible to play against Manchester United, he travelled as a spectator with the Watford party for the game at Old Trafford on 31 January 2007. After 18 months on United’s books, it was the first time he had ever seen the ground. Seven days later he made his England début there.
  • THE 7-0 victory over Old Cranleighans on 1 March 1890 was so one-sided that the Watford Rovers defence snowballed each other, and goalkeeper James Stuart smoked a pipe and moved upfield to score the seventh goal in open play.
  • INTERRUPTED by an air-raid warning after seven minutes’ play, a friendly wartime match against a Royal Army Service Corps XI on 24 August 1940 was eventually abandoned when the opposition was recalled to duty. Three weeks later another air-raid warning stopped play, but it was resumed and the match ended three hours after the kick-off.
  • DURING a 5-0 top-flight victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 3 December 1983, Maurice Johnston scored his first three Watford goals in the space of eight minutes.
  • WHEN Watford met Wimbledon at home in a drawn 3rd Round FA Cup tie in January 1996, the Holdsworth twins were in direct opposition – David as Watford’s centre-half and Dean the visitors’ centre-forward.
  • ADRIAN Mariappa established an FA Premier League record by making his 20th Watford appearance in the competition 3,614 days after his 19th. A much longer such sequence, but not in the Premier League, was by Richard Jobson, who in November 2000 made his 39th first-team appearance for the club 16 years and 18 days after his 38th.
  • EXETER City’s goal at Vicarage Road in 1923/24 was one of only four they scored in their 21 away games in the Football League that season.
  • RICKY George’s Football League career was brief, but he went on to achieve much in Southern League circles, including a sensational winning goal for Hereford United in the FA Cup against top-flight Newcastle United.
  • WATFORD met Clapton Orient at home 1946/47 and Leyton Orient in the return fixture four months later, the opposing club bizarrely having been permitted to change its name in October 1946.
  • IN a programme article in January 2004 the creator of this website mentioned that Watford had never been beaten by five goals to one in a home game of any kind in its 123-year history. In the next Vicarage Road fixture, visitors Crystal Palace won by …… five goals to one.
  • THERE was no public-address system at Vicarage Road until after the Second World War, when in 1946 manager Bill Findlay recommended the installation of a loudspeaker system at a cost of £400.
  • SO one-sided was the Southern League home meeting with Chesham Town in January 1904 that goalkeeper Bert Higgins went upfield and scored in open play – an occurrence unique in any competitive fixture in the club’s history. But his moment of glory was snatched away with the score at 5-0 when fog caused an abandonment, the match thereby becoming void.
  • DURING one week in October 1988, Tony Coton (first team), Mel Rees (Reserves) and David James (youth team) all  played for the club as goalkeeper-captains.
  • IN a 3-2 home win against Burnley on 3 March 2012, Nyron Nosworthy scored for both sides in less than five minutes. Troy Deeney did the same thing on 21 November 2015, against Manchester United.
  • FOUR years after Leytonstone became the first amateur club since the 19th century to knock Watford out of the FA Cup, Walthamstow Avenue became the second. Both of those clubs have become, through a series of amalgamations, ancestors of the present-day Dagenham & Redbridge.
  • ON 8 April 1969 Bernard Lewis scored with his first kick after taking the field as a substitute, and did exactly the same thing six months to the day later.
  • WHAT was to become a link of 35 years’ combined experience was created by a Watford substitution in Arsenal’s visit to Vicarage Road on 12 May 1984 when the retiring Pat Rice (Arsenal début 1967) was replaced by Nigel Gibbs (final appearance 2002).
  • JOHNNY Hill and Arthur Grimsdell, the only Watford professionals who became directors of the club, both became proprietor of the same newsagent shop in the High Street.
  • CLIFF Holton holds the club record for most League goals in a season for both Watford (42) and Northampton Town (36), and Norman Haywood likewise for Raith Rovers (47). Johnny Gavin’s 122 League goals for Norwich City remains that club’s career record.
  • THE two goalkeepers in the 1963 European Youth Tournament Final at Wembley Stadium – John Cowen (England) and Pat Jennings (Northern Ireland) – both subsequently signed for Watford.
  • AFTER three rejections, Skilly Williams was finally accepted for First World War army service on 8 December 1916. His place in goal at Cassio Road the next day was taken by 47-year-old Fred Nidd, a former Watford full-back who had also made a few appearances in goal for both Grimsby Town and Watford. Visitors Fulham won 8-2. Nidd remains the oldest player to have turned out for the club in a competitive first-team match.
  • WITHIN the space of three close-season weeks prior to the 2005/06 season Martin Devaney was successively on the books of Cheltenham Town, Watford and Barnsley. At the end of that season the three clubs won all the divisional Play-off finals at the Millennium Stadium.
  • HAVING had no 5-1 win for seven years, the club had two in three days in 1985, and a third in six games – all three in the top flight.
  • OVER Christmas 1905 Watford undertook four away games in eight days, including Southern League defeats on 23, 25 & 26 December (without a single consolation goal). Two years later they again had three games in four days – none of them at Cassio Road – during a sequence of six consecutive away matches.
  • BROTHERS Ted and Rev Miller, who both played League football for Watford as amateurs, scored in different 1924/25 FA Amateur Cup Semi-finals on the same day. Rev’s Semi-final was at Vicarage Road, watched by 18,797, which was then the ground’s second-highest attendance.
  • LUTHER Blissett took two penalty kicks against Leicester City at Vicarage Road on 8 May 1982. Both were parried by Mark Wallington, and both rebounds were headed by Blissett, who scored from one of them.
  • TWO Football League matches at Vicarage Road, separated by only eleven weeks in 1962/63, were abandoned owing to fog and a waterlogged pitch, respectively. There was no further abandonment at the ground until Wigan Athletic’s visit 44 years later.
  • IN their 5-0 home win against Watford in December 1999, Wimbledon’s goals were scored by players wearing shirt numbers 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 – in that order.
  • WATFORD are unbeaten in their last 14 competitive away matches against Oxford United, which is easily a club record against any opposing club.
  • THE club failed to score in their first three home games of both 1921/22 and 1922/23.
  • MORE than ten years elapsed between Tommy Harris’s third and fourth peacetime Football League appearances – a record for a player in continuous  service with one club.
  • MICKY Walker missed only five League matches in ten seasons as Colchester United’s goalkeeper before being replaced by Alec Chamberlain, who was then ever-present for more than four years until being transferred to Everton. The pair made 446 Watford competitive appearances between them.
  • IN the ten years of his first spell at Vicarage Road, Graham Taylor transferred only one player (George Reilly) to a First Division club. Within four months of Taylor’s departure four more moved to top-flight clubs – John Barnes, David Bardsley, Richard Hill and Kevin Richardson.
  • SINCE the Second World War nine players have been transferred from Luton Town to Watford – Ken Stockley, Sid High, Billy Bates, Derrick Allen, Tony Gregory, Alan Rivers, Rodney Green, Mike Keen and Alan Garner. Other than Clarke Carlisle’s loan spell at Kenilworth Road, only one player, Matthew Spring, has moved in the opposite direction since Joe Johnson left Vicarage Road in 1924.
  • AT The Valley in 1992/93 Charlton Athletic’s three goals against Watford were all scored by defenders, while their centre-forward scored an own-goal.
  • THE fathers of Britt Assombalonga, John Barnes, Steve Beleck, Steven Berghuis, Elliott Godfrey, Adlène Guédioura, Tony Hapgood, Obbi Oularé, George Toone and Jimmy Wilson were all Full international players. Javier Acuña’s mother played for Paraguay’s women’s international team.
  • IN successive home matches in December 1934 the club won League matches 7-4, 7-0 and 4-0.
  • HULL City’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Watford at Boothferry Park in 1964/65 was scored while the referee lay on the ground unconscious.
  • WATFORD had a home fixture on all four Saturdays in April 1993 and kept a clean sheet in every one. But they scored only twice themselves in this sequence, and altogether managed a total of five goals (one of them from a penalty kick) in the last nine home games.
  • MAKING his first Football League appearance, Tony Currie scored twice against Bristol Rovers at Vicarage Road in 1967/68. In the return fixture Barry Dyson did the same when making his Watford début.
  • BETWEEN 31 December 1977 and 21 February 1984, under Graham Taylor the club achieved at least one League or cup victory on all 12 Football League grounds in London.
  • IN August 1958 Peter Walker scored twice in the club’s first-ever home game in Division 4, and also in the first away game at that level.
  • LEVSKI Spartak and Sparta Prague, opponents of Watford in the 1983/84 UEFA Cup, both achieved their domestic league-and-cup double that season.
  • AT Luton Town on 19 March 1927 Watford scored with only nine men on the field to take a 2-1 lead. The match finished 2-2.
  • WHEN John Barnes won his first Full international cap (as a substitute replacing Luther Blissett) he became England’s youngest débutant for 24 years.
  • FACING Yeovil Town in 2013/14 for the first time in the Football League, Watford failed to score in both meetings. The last previous new league opponents to have kept a clean sheet against the club both at home and away was Manchester United, in 1982/83.
  • ONLY three Watford players have ever scored in FA Cup Finals – Fred Spiksley with both of Sheffield Wednesday’s goals in their 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1895/96, Brian Talbot with Arsenal’s first in their 3-2 win against Manchester United in 1978/79, and Ben Watson in Wigan Athletic’s startling 1-0 defeat of Manchester City in 2012/13.
  • FOUR players who took part in the 1984 FA Cup Final were subsequently signed for Aston Villa by Graham Taylor, viz Adrian Heath, Derek Mountfield and Kevin Richardson of Everton, and Nigel Callaghan of Watford.
  • PAUL Robinson of Tottenham Hotspur was the only goalkeeper who has ever scored against Watford. He did so at White Hart Lane on 17 March 2007 with a free-kick from just outside his own penalty area which was misjudged by his opposing number Ben Foster.
  • KEN Furphy’s appearance in the 1-1 home draw with Bristol Rovers on 21 November 1964 was the first by a Watford player-manager in a competitive match since Neil McBain turned out for the club for the last time in February 1931. The last such instance was Mike Keen’s appearance at AFC Bournemouth on 26 April 1975.
  • IN his two 2014/15 loan spells Adlène Guédioura became the first Watford player since squad numbering replaced the traditional 1-to-11 shirts to have worn two different numbers in the same season. And no previous player in the club’s 133-year history had a surname containing all five vowels.
  • ONLY three men who have played for Watford have scored in a Football League Cup Final: Nigel Jemson (for Nottingham Forest), Steve Morrow (Arsenal) and Allan Nielsen (Tottenham Hotspur). In all three cases they scored the winning goal.
  • IN the history of English football only three players served long enough to qualify for a benefit at each of three different clubs, and one of them was Jim McLaren, who kept goal for Bradford, Leicester City and Watford.
  • DURING the wartime 1916/17 season Watford ended a winless run of 14 games by beating Portsmouth 9-0, six of the goals being scored by Fred Morris. The club’s last victory had also been against Portsmouth.
  • MANAGER John Goodall and his son Dick both turned out for the Reserves in a South Eastern League fixture at Chelsea on 2 February 1907. Dick scored in a 4-2 defeat.
  • BRISTOL City ended the 1991/92 season in style by having three players sent off in three lively second-half minutes at Vicarage Road. The alliterative trio were Wayne Allison (a Watford player two seasons earlier), Ray Atteveld and Mark Aizlewood.
  • IN the space of of 36 days in 2016, three substitutes – Roberto Pereyra, Juan Zúñiga and Isaac Success – each scored an FA Premier League goal before ever having been in a Watford starting line-up in a league match.
  • KEEPING 25 clean sheets in a Southern, Football or FA Premier League season is a club record. It was achieved in 1968/69 by Micky Walker (23) and Bert Slater (2), and Walker’s remains unequalled as the best individual tally.
  • IN a Vicarage Road loan spell at the end of the 2014/15 season Matthew Connolly was involved in promotion to the FA Premier League for the fourth of five consecutive seasons with four different clubs. Only an added-time goal conceded by Watford in the last game of the season prevented all four promotions being achieved as championship winners.
  • IAN Richardson’s first Football League goals came while he was on loan to Blackpool, but he then scored three times in the UEFA Cup for Watford before scoring for the club in a League match.
  • THREE games were needed to dispose of Hull City in a 1987/88 FA Cup tie, and Watford had a different manager for each one: Dave Bassett, Tom Walley (caretaker) and Steve Harrison. In the second meeting there were four different goalscorers in a 2-2 draw at Boothferry Park, all of whom were former Watford apprentices: Neil Williams and Alex Dyer for the home side; Kenny Jackett and Malcolm Allen for the visitors.
  • SUCCESSIVE matches in 1947 were both home defeats (1-4, 2-3) by Brighton & Hove Albion – the final game of 1946/47 and the following season’s opening fixture. And in 1957 the club played consecutive games away to Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic, which they lost 0-4 and 1-2.
  • SEVEN red cards were collected by Watford players in the first 19 matches of the 1993/94 season (two of them by Paul Furlong in successive away games), but then not a single one in the remaining 34.
  • IN Graham Taylor’s first five seasons as Watford manager before reaching the 1st Division, six FA Cup or League Cup victories were achieved over top-flight opposition. These included Manchester United (beaten twice) and reigning European Cup holders Nottingham Forest, victims of a 4-1 League Cup defeat (Ross Jenkins 3) at Vicarage Road in October 1980.
  • DESPITE atrocious weather, the attendance at Vicarage Road for Watford Reserves v Mansfield Town Reserves on 19 December 1959 was 6,399, a club record for a reserve-team game. The attraction was the sale of tickets for a forthcoming FA Cup tie against Birmingham City. For an earlier Reserves fixture – at Luton Town on 1 March 1952 – 14,000 were present for the same reason: the sale of tickets for an FA Cup visit from Arsenal.
  • IN the first five games of the 1941/42 wartime season Arthur Woodward played in five different positions.
  • TWICE in four seasons in the 1980s Everton centre-half Derek Mountfield scored for both sides in League meetings with Watford.
  • TONY Currie scored two Football League hat-tricks for the club before his 18th birthday.
  • JACK Cork’s 64th and 65th Football League appearances were both against Reading – for two different clubs, Southampton and Watford, neither of which was his employer. In both cases he was on loan from Chelsea.
  • SIX different scorers contributed to the club’s 8-0 United League victory over Southern United in April 1906, and goalkeeper Billy Biggar was reported to have touched the ball only once – when placing it for Charlie Aston to take a goal-kick. The referee decided that he’d ended the first half early, and at full-time he made the teams change ends and play an additional five minutes to make up the lost time.
  • AS the club’s captain in its first-ever game in the top flight – against Everton on 28 August 1982 – Pat Rice scored the only goal of his 137-match Vicarage Road career.
  • THE club’s first-ever Football League match was played with the gates closed at Loftus Road. The full house of 21,000 saw Watford beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1.
  • MATCHES on 26 and 27 December 1994 constituted the club’s last instance of what was once a routine feature of every season: fixtures on consecutive days. The same Watford eleven contested both matches – a home win against Portsmouth followed by an away defeat by Millwall.
  • IN 1938/39 the club won five of six consecutive home matches by four goals to one.
  • PAT Morrissey scored two goals in the 3-1 win at Walsall on 25 November 1972, a feat which was beyond the whole team in the rest of the season’s 3rd Division away games, in which they failed to score in 14 and managed just one goal in each of the other eight.
  • WHEN Watford played the first leg of their UEFA Cup tie against 1FC Kaiserslautern in 1983, Steve Sherwood became the first player to have appeared in all four Football League divisions and in a major European competition for the same club. The second was Ian Bolton, in the return leg two weeks later.
  • THE club’s 4-1 win at Southampton on 31 August 1982 was the biggest victory by a club making its top-flight away début since 1890.
  • A FRIENDLY against St Mirren at Vicarage Road in March 1955 was followed four days later by an away League fixture at Walsall. The attendances were 4,010 and 4,011, respectively.
  • FRED Pagnam scored the club’s last goal at Cassio Road and its first at Vicarage Road.
  • THREE penalty kicks were awarded in twelve minutes when Watford visited Norwich City in April 1984. The home side scored from two of them, the visitors failed with theirs – and lost 6-1.
  • IN 1996/97 the club set a unique Football League record by drawing each of nine successive away games.
  • HARRY Smith’s hat-trick in the final game of 1907/08 was the last to have been achieved in any competitive fixture by a Watford-born player.
  • FOUR youth-team products – Francis Cassidy, Nigel Gibbs, Neil Price and Ian Richardson – made their first-team débuts in the 1983/84 UEFA Cup run. Cassidy’s entire first-team career consisted of a few minutes of substitute action in Prague, more than six hundred miles from Vicarage Road.
  • CLIFF Holton’s two hat-tricks on consecutive days in April 1960 is one of only two such instances in Football League history.
  • DUNCAN Welbourne was ever-present in a record sequence of 280 Football League matches for the club (but halfway through it he missed an FA Cup tie through injury), and three other Watford players hold the corresponding ever-present records for other clubs: Mike Keen (253 for Queens Park Rangers), Sandy Pate (314 for Mansfield Town) and Micky Walker (271 for Colchester United).
  • IN 2005/06 three Watford goals were scored from penalty kicks – one each by Hameur Bouazza, Darius Henderson and Marlon King. There were again three the following season, and again one each from the same three players.
  • OF the 21 original clubs in 1920/21, 16 were present in Division 3 (South)’s final season, although some of them had left and returned during the division’s 37 years of existence.
  • THE 10-0 FA Cup win against Bournemouth in 1913/14 was immediately followed by six consecutive defeats.
  • WHEN Luther Blissett scored at Vicarage Road on 13 February 1988 it was the only goal scored by a Watford player in seven consecutive home League games (there was also one own-goal in that period) – but nevertheless Blissett’s was also the only goal conceded anywhere by Liverpool in a sequence of 15 League and cup matches.
  • TWENTY minutes from the end of the Test match on 30 April 1900 which resulted in Watford’s promotion to the Southern League’s First Division, left-half ‘Micky’ Wood was called away to his mother’s death-bed.
  • THE last non-specialist Watford goalkeeper to concede a goal was Nigel Callaghan, following Tony Coton’s dismissal in a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal in October 1986.
  • ON 17 November 1945, in its first post-war FA Cup tie, for the first time for five years the club fielded an entire eleven of its own registered players.
  • IN 1987/88 it took Watford 27 League matches to reach a total of 17 goals in the competition and surpass their tally of 16 in only five League Cup games earlier in the season.
  • THE only two first-team goalkeepers used by the club in 1911/12 and 1912/13 were Webster and Orme. They later made their Football League débuts at the age of 36 and 35, respectively.
  • BETWEEN January 1915 and April 1920 maximum Southern League points were obtained from each of five successive visits to Wales: v Cardiff City (twice), Newport County, Swansea Town and Merthyr Town.
  • EXCLUDING penalty shoot-outs, the only four Watford substitutes to have scored from the penalty spot were Troy Deeney, Marcus Gayle, Tommy Mooney and Matej Vydra.
  • WATFORD‘s first apprentices were Mel Brisbane and Eric Burgess. The former never reached the first team, and the latter represented the club in only three Football League matches before making over a hundred appearances with other clubs.
  • THE 1967/68 tally of 59 League goals at home and only 15 away was the largest difference in the club’s history.
  • IN 1988/89 the club was involved in no fewer than seven matches which went to extra time.
  • HAROLD Pantling, who had been transferred to Sheffield United in May 1914, made two guest appearances for Watford on Christmas Day and Boxing Day 1915 while spending his honeymoon back in the town.
  • IN March/April 1986 the club kept three clean sheets in top-flight matches in four days – one against Ipswich Town and two against Arsenal.
  • AFTER refusing an inducement of £250 from Barnsley to surrender the right of choice of venue for their FA Cup meeting in January 1911, Watford were beaten 2-0 by the Yorkshire club at Cassio Road.
  • MAURICE Johnston scored two-thirds of the Scottish Premier League’s goals in a full programme of fixtures on 6 December 1986, the total of three being a record low. The following week there was a record high of 26 – none of them by Johnston.
  • THE earliest date on which the club has undertaken a competitive fixture is 3 August (in 2013), and the latest in peacetime 31 May (in 1999). During the Second World War a match was played as late as 8 June 1940.
  • ON their first seven Football League visits to Burnley, Watford scored a total of two goals. On the eighth visit they won 7-4. There have only ever been four such League victories away from home, two of them by Watford.
  • DURING a period of 19 days short of four years in the 1980s Coventry City lost only two FA Cup ties, and both were home defeats by Watford.
  • STARTING on 12 January 2002 the club played five consecutive matches in different weeks and on different days of the week.
  • JOHN Fairbrother, who scored four times on his reserve-team début as an 18-year-old amateur, played for the club in three first-team competitions before making a Football League appearance. Jermaine Pennant went one better, appearing in four cup competitions for Notts County and Arsenal before making his league début with Watford.
  • HAVING travelled down from Lancashire, a trialist named Walmesley appeared in goal for Watford in a Southern League home match against Millwall in January 1903 before anyone at the club had seen him play. He gave a spectacularly inept display, conceded seven goals, and promptly returned north.
  • SHORTLY before the amateur/professional distinction was abolished, Vicarage Road staged the last FA Cup tie ever involving an amateur club, Newcastle United beating Hendon 4-0 in a 3rd Round replay in January 1974.
  • IN 1985/86 the club played five consecutive matches which were all in the FA Cup, and conceded only two goals in total.
  • AN FA Cup meeting with Nottingham Forest at Vicarage Road in January 1946 was abandoned after 143 minutes with the scores level. Twenty minutes of normal extra time was followed by a further 33 minutes before rain and bad light brought proceedings to a close. Faced with another fixture the next day, Watford took the field with only two of the players who had played in the Cup tie.
  • JACK Price scored the club’s first-ever goal in Southern League Division 1, against Chatham, but the Kent club resigned from the competition in mid-season and the match became void, leaving the distinction to pass retrospectively to Tot Farnall, who had scored in a 6-1 defeat at Bristol City.
  • WATFORD and Cheltenham Town have met on only six occasions, every one of which was a cup tie, and the Gloucestershire club failed to score in all six matches.
  • SUCCESSIVE League games in the space of seven days in September 1954 brought Watford a 6-1 defeat, a goalless draw and a 7-1 win.
  • BETWEEN 1986 and 2000, in 14 meetings with West Ham United Watford lost 13 times – all by the odd goal. The sequence included 11 consecutive odd-goal defeats in the Football League and FA Premier League.
  • IN 1953/54 Norwich City’s outside-left position was shared by Chris Adams, Tony Collins, Johnny Gavin and Peter Gordon – all four of whom subsequently played for Watford.
  • WHEN entering the Southern League in 1896, the club was said to have registered 39 players – more than any other club.
  • ALEC Chamberlain played in goal for the club in all 46 Football League matches in 1998/99. It was the eighth occasion in his career on which he had been a League ever-present.
  • ON both 11 and 13 May 1985 Watford scored five goals against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, respectively. No team had scored five in successive First Division matches since September 1980.
  • THE £400,000 received when Maurice Johnston was transferred to Celtic was at the time the highest fee ever paid by a Scottish club.
  • JIMMY Gilligan’s career total of League goals for Watford is possibly unique, his tally of six all having been scored in pairs.
  • IN 1986/87 Watford became the first club for 34 years to concede four FA Cup goals twice in the same season, drawing 4-4 with Walsall before progressing to the semi-final stage, at which they lost 4-1 to Tottenham Hotspur.
  • AFTER being 4-1 down at half-time in a friendly match against Wolverton London & North West Railway at Cassio Road in February 1898, the club rallied to lead 6-4, but the match ended six-all.
  • DURING the 1980s Watford were involved in an FA Cup second replay in each of five consecutive seasons. Only one other sequence of this kind has ever extended to more than two seasons – this was by Luton Town, the first match of whose run of three seasons was the one which also began Watford’s run of five.
  • WATFORD hit the season’s highest score in their division in 1923/24 (equal-highest), 1954/55 (equal-highest), 1967/68, 1982/83 and 1989/90.
  • FOLLOWING his club-record £15,000 transfer to Fulham in 1958, Maurice Cook later scored the first-ever goal in the Football League Cup competition.
  • WHEN Watford lost 3-1 at Newcastle United in March 1985, the goals were scored by four different players and in each case it was the first for his club. They included the visitors’ John McClelland – and George Reilly, who had only recently been transferred from Watford to Newcastle.
  • IN April 1939 the club drew 1-1 in each of four successive League games in the space of nine days, including three in four days over Easter weekend. In all four matches the Watford scorer was George Lewis.
  • THE only hat-trick ever compiled by a Watford substitute was by David Connolly, in the last 15 minutes of an FA Cup tie against Ashford Town in December 1996.
  • CHARLIE Billington was sent off in his first Watford appearance and Joe Brown in his second, both instances occurring in away matches against Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic.
  • ELEVEN goals were scored from the left-back position in 1985/86, only one of which was from a penalty kick (by Kenny Jackett). Lee Sinnott and David Bardsley contributed two each, and all the other six were scored by Wilf Rostron in a sequence of only 12 games.
  • IN home matches on successive Tuesdays in October 1959 the club won 7-2 in a League fixture against Hartlepools United and lost 7-2 to Fulham in a friendly.
  • FIVE men who had played for Watford, or would do so subsequently, contributed significantly to Derby County’s Second Division title win in 1911/12: viz Jimmy Bagshaw, Arthur Betts, David Donald, Billy Grimes and Ivan Sharpe.
  • WHEN the 1903/04 Southern League Division 2 championship was won, the club’s regular eleven missed a total of only five games between them.
  • BETWEEN two goalless draws at Ipswich Town on 24 March 1984 and 1 January 1986 Watford played a club record 37 away League matches without keeping a clean sheet.
  • IN its first cup final – in the 1886/87 Herts County Cup – the club led by two goals with 20 minutes to go, but was beaten 5-2 by Hoddesdon.
  • CLARKE Carlisle, Dean Holdsworth, Richard Jobson, Chris Powell and Brian Talbot have all held the post of Chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association.
  • SIX players have appeared in World Cup Finals tournaments when attached to Watford: Gerry Armstrong (Northern Ireland), John Barnes (England), Essaïd Belkalem (Algeria), Jay DeMerit (United States of America), Pierre Issa (South Africa) and (while on loan to Watford) Chu-Young Park (South Korea).
  • AL-SHALCHI, Blues, Crandon, Giblin, Percy, Scibberas, Stevenson, Tumelty – these were the original surnames of Watford players of modern times (some of them very prominent indeed) who between them made 666 appearances for the club and scored 72 goals.