20 years on..

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by wfc4ever, May 31, 2019.

  1. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    After our not so successful trip to Wembley a few weeks ago its 2 decades since a rather more positive occasion!

     
  2. Robert Peel

    Robert Peel Reservist

    20 years?? God I hate the relentless, punishing, unstoppable march of time.

    What a great day that was. I had one of my university final exams the next day, but I couldn't miss the game. Got the train down from Manchester and back after the game. Was sensible and only had about 5 pints, though the train home was the wrong one and was stuck at Crewe for an hour around midnight.
     
  3. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    What a day! Too young for 1984, so glad I got to see Watford play at the old Wembley once. Started in the pub in Denham that day, ironically with the cricket world cup on the TV. Managed to somehow end up walking the wrong way down Wembley Way that day as well, pushing against a tide of humanity. From my 'seat' I just about saw Wright's overhead loop in, and missed Smart's goal as people were on their feet left right and centre. Great celebration though. All I could think about at the final whistle was how they would fit Noel-Williams on the back of a shirt the following season, the novelty of squad numbers back in the day....
     
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  4. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    Started in Rickmansworth with about 20 of us from The Boot and Slipper pub in Amersham. Got drunk. Superb day out at the football. Back to Watford. got drunk again. Happy days
     
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  5. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Great day and once again the chance for me to point out that I appear in the video for about 3 seconds (bottom right hand corner, scarf and grey top, applauding at 1:52:31).

     
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  6. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    No matter how great a day it was I can't let you get away with it. Olympic Way.
     
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  7. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! First Year Pro

    How did this feel at the time? Was a bit before my time, was there a proper feeling of excitement about being in the Premier League, or mainly happiness for the team and Taylor for the achievement along with trepidation like you sometimes see today?
     
  8. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Personally, the latter given 2 successive promotions and very little to spend on the squad, the odds were stacked against us. However there was also this perception that GT was God and while we shouldn't stand much of a chance, you just didn't know. Unfortunately we started the season with key players missing and losing the opening game at home to fellow firm relegation favourites, Wimbledon, showed how difficult the task was going to be. We really needed a confidence boosting win but starting the first game with Day, Lyttle, Easton and Bonnot (not the U2 one) in the team and conceding a dreadful own goal, set the tone. I always wonder if we'd started with our best 11 and won that first game, maybe things could have been different.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  9. davisp2

    davisp2 Reservist

    In truth the team that got promoted in 99, was probably the least talented side that has ever got promoted to the Premier League. That isn’t an insult, it is testament to how good a manager GT was, and the team spirit that he built. It was a big mistake not to buy any players in that summer, but I can understand the logic of wanting to give the players a chance to prove themselves. After big wins against Liverpool and Chelsea early on, it looked the gamble had paid off. Unfortunately it completely fell apart after the Chelsea win.
     
  10. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    True we lost the first two games to Wimbledon at home and Sunderland away if memory serves me right, but we then went to Anfield and won, beat Bradford and then Chelsea. At one point in 1999 I think we sat 9th in the Premier League. Of course most of us knew it wouldn't last, as you say we'd been in Division 2 (now League One) only a couple of seasons before.

    I remember seeing the Liverpool result on dodgy teletext whilst on holiday with the family in Amalfi, Italy. As lines were missing I thought I couldn't see all the Liverpool goal scorers and that Mooney's goal was but a consolation. Was pretty chuffed when it was confirmed we'd won!
     
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  11. sydney_horn

    sydney_horn Reservist

    The Watfordfc official Twitter feed has been doing a "live" as it happens thread. Not sure if it's a bit lame or a bit of fun. They included the Teletext page which was the nearest we had to the internet back in the day!

    IMG_20190531_165934.jpg
    It was a great day. The Bolton fans I spoke to (before the game) seemed a decent bunch.

    The celebrations afterwards were amazing. Still the best ever Watford game imo, although this year's FA Cup semi came close.
     
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  12. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Yes I got the Liverpool score on a beach in Devon i think. That and the Chelsea game were real giant-killings and gave us hope but with longterm injuries to Johnson, Wright and Mooney it was a real struggle. I mean even David Perpetuini was getting games :).
     
  13. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! First Year Pro

    Grim days in terms of music!
     
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  14. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    When we got relegated when I was 12 in 1988, it only dawned on me then that I was lucky to start going to Watford and see top flight football. While I started going in 1983 I reckon up until GT left that I probably averaged about 10 games a season. When Bassett took over, my dad lost a bit of interest, so I can tell you now how many matches I went to in the horrible 87/88 season; two. It was only after relegation that I started going more and more, up until 1996 I'd really only experienced decline, the relegation in 1996 was inevitable after the escapes of 1991 and 1994.

    To answer your question, I think there was a real sense of achievement and excitement, also we were linked with known names (I think Stoichkov was mentioned), however, as @The undeniable truth pointed out, the first match of the PL season was a bit of a blow, we were our own worst enemies losing at home to Wimbledon (who also went down that season, it was also their only away win) particularly as they were down to 10 men. We hadn't strengthened much and effectively tried to compete with a squad which was largely part of the Division Two winning squad from 15 months earlier. Despite getting wins vs Liverpool, Bradford and Chelsea quite early on, we lost our better players to injury and relied on youth who were pretty poor and by the time GT brought in the decent signings of Cox and Gravelaine, and then a little later Helguson, the writing was on the wall. The 5-0 drubbing at Wimbledon in December was the lowest point.

    I think had we brought in better players in the summer and kept injury free we may have been able to compete a little. Having said that, although fellow promoted club Bradford did survive, they spent beyond their means in order to stay up, their relegation was the beginning of a long and painful downward slope to near bankruptcy. GT left the club in a much better financial state than when he found it, it's a shame it was all pi$$ed away afterwards.
     
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  15. vic-rijrode

    vic-rijrode First Year Pro

    As I recall, the problem that GT had in 99 was that with promotion only certain after the Play-Off Final at the end of May, it only gave 8 or 9 weeks to get players in before the PL season began. Most of the available decent players had sorted their future out long before 31st May regardless of the amount of transfer dosh that we had.

    The other two clubs (Sunderland and Bradford City) had at least 3 weeks more to plan their recruitment.
     
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  16. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    I will not forget the feeling of euphoria when Wright scored until the day I die. The whole experience and emotions were indescribable.

    Then we got to feel it again when Smart scored....but it was different, more tangible.

    A simply brilliant day.
     
  17. Hornpete

    Hornpete Reservist

    That was an amazing day. I got too pissed and dont remember that much, aside from not knowing who scored the 2nd... Wrights i saw but thought it was a cross that flew in.

    I remember the feeling. I remember looking at the clock ever 2 minutes. I recall Mooney missing a decent chance.

    The problem with the following year was Mooneys injury. I swear we'd have had a shout if he stayed fit.
     
  18. Relegation Certs

    Relegation Certs Squad Player

    If we'd have stayed injury free and had gravelaine all season we'd have got into europe.
     
  19. leighton buzzard horn

    leighton buzzard horn Squad Player

    Wembley '99 was a brilliant game and occasion. It carried more excitement then as the 'Premier League' was uncharted territory for us. Delighted I've been able to see Watford at old Wembley, Cardiff and the new Wembley. Of the three, old Wembley is comfortably the best. Not just because of the result but the magic of the stadium. It was decrepit but it was historical and special to be there...unlike the new Wembley, sadly.

    Shouldn't be forgotten, but the run in ahead of getting to the play offs that year was an absolute blast. The Tranmere game has gone down in history but that final run in and attack on the play offs was just brilliant, brilliant fun.
     
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  20. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    They all played their part but Mooney was immense in that run and fully deserves his place in Watford FC history.
     
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  21. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Reservist

    Great day. My fave Watford shirt too, a bit like Arsenals with the coloured sleeves. Fondest memory was GT pondering "is it in,?" Just after Wrights overhead.

    Mooneys goal at Anfield, Smart scoring home amd away vs Chelsea. I think when we lost 3_2 at Bradford I knew it was lost. Great season overall for memories.
     
  22. kVA

    kVA Reservist

    A sweet day that’ll always be remembered by Shanks and Bigfoot.

    They may have knocked Boyzone off the top stop but they’re still no. 2 on Teletext.
     
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  23. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    Funny, I thought the ‘clown’ shirts were the only bad thing about that day. Possibly only the 1992 centenary effort was a worse design.
     
  24. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    As someone previously mentioned I believe we hit the heavy heights of 9th early on. However at the time I was disappointed that we were still favourites to be relegated, I was obviously being over optimist!
     
  25. Robert Peel

    Robert Peel Reservist

    The run to the play offs was the greatest I've ever experienced in nearby 30 years of watching Watford.

    Under Slav when we went up we ground out the results and it was a nervy but solid run that lasts long in the memory, but 99 was something else. It felt like being part of an unstoppable juggernaut that was smashing everything in its path. That was the power of GT and the performances he got out of the team and he made sure the fans were along for the ride.

    Port Vale away in that run is my favourite ever away game. Went 1-0 down and it was just a mere inconvenience. We were going to win, so it really didn't matter. We won 2-1. Loads of us there and noise from start to finish. Ended up in different seats after each goal from the celebrations.
     
  26. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Yes. Massive win, also famous for that shocking Robbo challenge ....
     
  27. Sort of OK

    Sort of OK First Year Pro

    Great day that. A mates missus dropped us at a pub in Wembley, was half Orns half Bolton, great atmosphere and loads of singing so arranged for pick up from the same place. Brilliant game, goals and result. Back to the pub, full of Bolton, quiet like a wake where anger increased with beer consumption after the sudden death of a loved one. Three of us only Watford in the place and quite a while till pick up, got a bit dodgy at the end. Still up there with my best days as a Hornet though.
     
  28. Supertommymooney

    Supertommymooney First Year Pro

    Amen.
     

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