Tales from the Vicarage March 2019

Discussion in 'The Golden Years' started by We hate 48, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. We hate 48

    We hate 48 Reservist

    Another well attended event last night at the Palace theatre. Eustace, Hyde, Cally and Hessenthaler

    Hosted by Adam L as usual

    My take on them


    Came over as a man who led the side through a difficult time and has leadership qualities-making his way in management now at QPR alongside Mclaren (good luck with that).

    Spent a little time on the ghost goal and mentioned whilst the focus was on Attwell -and the Reading players not righting the wrong by letting us score-the lino never officiated again after that season

    Adam is on a crusade with the EFL to cancel out "Eustace OG" from the record books and replace by "unknown OG"

    Very diplomatic in his answers but enjoyed the overhead kick he scored replaying again on the screen


    Appreciative of the fact we gave him a start in the pro game at age 25. Mentioned Kevin Phillips had a similar leg up and went on to good things

    Recounted that when Elton would come into the dressing room before a match they would prime a steward to tell them when he was approaching then all would jump up on the bench with their backs to the wall as we walked in "very funny lads " would say EJ


    Having attended the reunion of the 99 Play off final last year when Micah came over as a fan he continued that theme last night. Hugely appreciative of the chance Watford gave him.

    Played for Ridgeway Rovers (Enfield) in the same team as David Beckham as a teenager-another 5 of that team went on to play professional football

    Recounted the team photo at start of a season when he and Charlie Palmer (mates) put their hand on each others knees-GT went ballistic later as it all had to be redone-made them pay by getting Kenny Jacket to say to them both when on a team coach go to dressing room quick and leave by back door -as GT came onto coach it left and sped off leaving them two stranded with no money-it never came back for them either

    Asked if any advice for our players in the semi in 2 weeks having played in 03 at Villa Park he replied "just win it"


    I thought the star of the evening. Stories abound-staying at GT house and maybe going out with one of his daughters at the time as GT took him under his wing. Cycling everywhere hence helping his leg muscles-cycling or taking bus to training having left GT house with GT waving at him whilst driving past in his jag

    Scoring a great goal (another) at Newcastle away on opening day of season whilst playing with 10 men and on leaving the ground feeling high was approached by a geordie who asked him to sign next to his name on the programme and when he started to write said put "a f*****g W****r"-he did then say he was very good goal.

    Another EJ story when he had his hair transplant and would wear a boater while it "blended"and not want to take it off. He came into the dressing room beforehand and when at half time losing 1-0 GT was laying into the players, GT stopped and said "Mr Chairman what are you doing here" EJ replied someone has hidden my hat and i cant go out". Les Taylor then told him where it was !

    Great evening
    RookeryDad, PowerJugs, Teide1 and 3 others like this.
  2. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Another one soon isn't there with a Nothern Irish theme ?
  3. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    Yeah. Hessenthaler's going to recount that whenever an Irish member of the squad came in, they'd ask the steward to tell them when they were approaching and then they'd all wave potatoes at them as they came in. #bantz
  4. Stevohorn

    Stevohorn Watching Grass Grow

    Definitely not Charlie Palmer as he left Watford in 1984.

    Was it Steve Palmer possibly?
  5. Well there's no point in going now. Haven't you heard of spoiler alerts ??
  6. We hate 48

    We hate 48 Reservist

    Yep your right - must have been Steve Palmer - that would tie in with 1999 play off final
  7. Willie Ekaslike

    Willie Ekaslike Academy Graduate

    He definatley said 'Charlie'. Could it have been Charlie Miller (who signed in October 1999 so would have been in the squad photo for the 1999/2000season)
    wfc4ever likes this.
  8. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Really enjoyed tonight. Got to meet Pat Jennings, Pat Rice, John McClelland and Gerry Armstrong back stage. They were really friendly and just happy to be there.

    Funniest moment was when Pat Jennings said he never wanted to leave Watford and loved it there. He said he wanted to have a stand named after him like Graham Taylor.

    He dismissed the 1987 approach over playing for Watford in the semi final, saying he was employed by Spurs as a coach at the time so couldn't do it.

    Pat Rice always looks for Watford's results and we are the only team he's really interested in, even now, apart from Arsenal.

    Adam Leventhal was in good voice, singing "que sera sera" on his own as he walked on, but was quickly joined in by the crowd. He's a brilliant host for these events.

    Loads of great stories and just a really good evenings entertainment.
  9. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    Thanks for this short report HB1, I look forward to your full report tomorrow :cool:
  10. We hate 48

    We hate 48 Reservist

    I agree with HB1 helped by the fact that all of these players had either gone onto greater success with other clubs/careers after finishing playing or had experienced success before coming to us. Their stories had a lot more breadth to it but all spoke very fondly of their time at the club.

    Pat J

    We gave him his chance-wages £23pw-plus £2 if he payed in the first team. Only 17-had been playing as an 11 year old in an U19 team in NI. We sold him as we needed the money and when double winning Billy Nic at Spurs came calling there was only one outcome. Aged 73 he looked very dapper (for someone who has played 1,000 top level games)

    He recounted many stories- from keeping the dart thrown at him and landing in his arm when at the City ground and keeping the letter he then got from Clough saying he had no sympathy for him given how many times those arms had stopped goals v Forest !

    He was -up until Rooneys 120th cap for England- Everton's most capped player when he signed for a month in 1985 aged 40 as cover-a little known fact

    John M

    Explained why he could put his shirt and shorts back on the peg after games as he never went sliding in-why commit yourself-that was Steve Terrys job. He hardly ever tackled just ran alongside and nicked the ball. His reading of the game and judging what the opposing forwards would do was his strength.

    Can't understand why players all stand in the box at corners-just wait outside the box and run in as the ball is crossed -then you have the other team with no one to mark until the last moment.

    Showed his medal from winning Div 1 with Leeds in 91/92 before PL started-it was dwarfed by the medal from winning the Wall of China Cup with us previously

    Pat R

    The team spirit shown and will to win as epitomised by GT was the secret of the success. Good moment when the mascot who was with him when he led the team out for our first game in Div 1 v Everton came onto the stage and recounted his story.

    Confirmed his goal-our second- that day was not a misplaced cross towards Ross J but he had spotted Neville Southall off his line so tried it and when Southall took it over the and the lino gave it as a goal then watched as Neville went absolutely berserk.

    Gerry A

    Great stories of how he got into "soccer" as playing football in NI meant Gaelic football-and like hurling a lot tougher so he able to use his strength to form his favourite partnership with Luther. Replayed his winning goal for NI v Spain in 82 world cup whilst playing for us.

    Endorsed the team spirit shown and psychology used by GT (ahead of his time) to manage players-taking Nigel C under his wing. Told about the parties at Eltons house and how it involved everyone from tea lady upwards


    In fact that last point was emphasised by either GA or JM that they see much of the bond that existed throughout the club then, particularly between players and between players and fans, as what they see today under the ownership of the Pozzos and the management including Javi.
  11. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Oh…...little bits will keep coming back to me.

    Another funny moment was when players came back on stage for the second part of the evening.

    Adam Leventhal managed to track down the mascot for our first ever First Division match against Everton. Back in 1982 he was a 7 year old boy and they showed the clip of Pat Rice leading out the team holding the hand of two mascots, one of which is now a 44 year old man, and they had to re-enact the moment. Yes, Pat Rice and this chap, who is now a strapping 6' 2" man came out holding hands, with the backdrop of z-cars playing on the tv footage. It was great.

    Rice talked about Bailey's (not Success' favourite tipple, but the old nightclub in Watford) and the players would really look forward to the player's night, where the entire squad had to play out a role of some sort. Steve Harrison got a lot of credit for organising that.

    Rice also made a comment on the Deeney sending off on Monday. He was at the game as well. He said the comments made about hitting a few to see if they were up for it probably went against him. He said it must have been in the back of the referee's mind, because as a player you would definitely be aware of it.

    John McClelland showed a couple of medals. He took out his Premier League winners medal he got while playing for Leeds, which was just about visible, about the size of a £2 coin. Then with great pride, he took out another medal, much bigger, similar to a gold Olympic medal, and said this is what I won in the Tour of China in 1982. So much better.

    The dart story from Jennings was really good. He even still had the dart and took it out of his pocket. Clough wrote him a letter saying that he stopped everything at the City ground, even a dart could not get past him and jokingly had no sympathy for him.

    PJ also said in a match at Norwich someone was firing staples at his legs, which were sticking in him. He kept every missile thrown at him in matches as a memento!!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  12. PowerJugs

    PowerJugs Doyley Fanatic

    He showed the dart he was hit with, kept in a little plastic see-through bag! He indicated his lower forearm where it was stuck. He also mentioned cue balls too among the many others thrown and kept.

    As someone who's happy doing 5-a-side and 7-a-side goalkeeping, I know I couldn't cope with something like that.
  13. Stevohorn

    Stevohorn Watching Grass Grow

    A photo of Pat Rice with the two mascots features on the Gold and Black website. Can also be seen in the YouTube clips linked there.. https://goldandblack.me/no-8
  14. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    Great memories Steve, I was in the Vicarage Road end for that game, were you there?
  15. Stevohorn

    Stevohorn Watching Grass Grow

    Yeah was at that one. Usual place back then was North East terrace somewhere either side of the gangway. Went to around 30 games that season, which was all i could afford to as i was on a YOP scheme at the time.
  16. nornironhorn

    nornironhorn Administrator Staff Member

    Gutted I couldn't go but the flights were dear and I obviously prioritised the FA Cup Final over this!

    Came across this snippet on an NI forum though:

    Little known trivia about McClelland: when he left Rangers, Alex Ferguson tried to sign him for Aberdeen. John told him that he was already due to talk to Watford, so Ferguson asked him to meet him in the same hotel. He spoke to Watford first and they made him their offer, which he thought was OK.

    He then felt obliged to at least let Ferguson know out of courtesy, so he went along to the room where he was to tell him. Ferguson tried very hard to persuade him to change his mind, including getting a pen, writing something on a piece of paper, folding it and putting it on the table in front of him: "That's what Aberdeen will pay you!"

    But John was afraid even to look at it, in case it was too good to turn down, so he just told Ferguson that he'd shaken hands with Watford, so couldn't/wouldn't go back on his word.

    He never did find out how much Ferguson was offering!

    P.S. According to John, he was very badly treated by Rangers, and in particular their manager, whom he didn't name, though from the dates, it must have been Jock Wallace. There was a clear contrast between Rangers and Watford, not just in terms of professionalism, but also atmosphere, camaraderie and enjoyment etc, and right through the club, from the Board right down to the tea lady. Apparently Elton John and Graham Taylor (esp) were instrumental in this.

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