Watford FC Historical Photographs/Video Thread

Discussion in 'The Golden Years' started by Stevohorn, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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    The disastrous 1971-72 season. The squad pose for their customary preseason photograph at the Vicarage Road end. They are:

    Back row left to right: Colin Franks, Keith Eddy, Walter Lees, John Pearce and Ray Lugg
    Middle row left to right: Roy Sinclair, William Jennings, Johnny Williams, Mike Walker, Larry McGettigan, Duncan W & Mike Packer
    Front row left to right: Charlie Woods, Jimmy Lindsay, Tom Walley, David Butler, Kenny Owen & John Farley.

    George Kirby had taken over Ken Furphy inheriting most of his players like Roy Sinclair and others scouted by his north east connections such as young striker John Farley. Furphy had departed for Blackburn while the talisman of the time Stewart Scullion whose shoes Sinclair failed to fill had left for Sheffield United although he had scored the goal that had propelled the team into the Second Division.

    The season was a disaster with two five nil away defeats at Blackpool and Sunderland and a run of ten consecutive losses between mid December and late February. The club finished rock bottom despite a last day draw against the champions of the Second Division Norwich City. Tom Walley left the sinking ship for Orient in December and was not replaced.

    Colin Franks and Keith Eddy at the heart of midfield left for Sheffield United at the seasons end. A whole group of players from the team eventually ended up at Colchester United. These were Mike Walker, Johnny Williams, Mick Packer and Jimmy Lindsay. Bill Jennings was Division Three top scorer and the POTY two seasons later for us before moving to the Hammers where he picked up an FA Cup winners medal. Oddly enough Watford were knocked out in the first round that year by the U's featuring those ex-Hornets

    Of the team pictured several are no longer with us. They are Johnny Williams, Roy Sinclair, Duncan Welbourne and Larry McGettigan who passed away at the tragically young age of just forty one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  2. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Thanks for posting this. It was my first full season supporting Watford. I well remember that last day game against Norwich when their fans totally invaded the whole ground. No segregation in those days of course, but there didn’t seem to be many Watford fans there!

    Just a couple of observations: John Farley played on the wing rather than as a striker. He was one of my early favourites and got a move to Wolves but didn’t seem to make much of it as I recall. And what on earth is Tom Walley doing wearing those boots?! He should be thoroughly embarrassed.
     
  3. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    @WillisWasTheWorst you are more than welcome.

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    Elton John is pictured above with the Chairman of the Football Trust Lord Aberdare at the opening of Watford Stadium Halt also known as Hooligans Halt (4/12/1982).

    The costs of £380,000 no small sum were met by the club, British Rail and the Football Trust. The aim at a time when crowd violence was feared was to take away supporters out of passing through residential areas on their way to Vicarage Road and encountering any angry Watford supporters. They would get off at the Halt then take a path leading via Cardiff Road to the foot of Occupation Way escorted by local police constables. However sometimes the service ran from Croxley on matchdays for some of the Watford fans living there.

    While successful in it's aims with the club riding high at the time attracting large crowds, residential usage declined and the last known service ran in 1993 for a match at home to Crystal Palace on the twenty eighth of November 1993. The LNWR had built the original rail link from Watford Junction to Croxley back in 1908 with work finishing in 1912. It serviced the paper mills in Croxley and was a busy commuter line until the end of the war in 1945. The introduction of the halt did little to halt decline in usage as cars took over increasing congestion in and around Watford. Barbara Castle had to step in to prevent the link falling victim to the idiot Dr.Beeching as we see numerous lines being reopened and plans for new links on former trackways.

    After the Halt closed with lamposts and signals removed Croxley Station eventually closed as well. The Croxley Rail Link an eminently sensible proposal which would take the line from the Metropolitan Line and cross over Watford Road towards two new stations at Ascot Road and Watford Hospital/Vicarage Road before linking with Watford High Street and Watford Junction has been on ice for several years due to lack of funds not to mention the idiotic idea of closing down Watford Met station a quintessential part of Metroland.
     
  4. ??
    I presume you mean "William" Jennings according to the names under the photo :)
     
  5. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Indeed Billy Jennings. Sometimes I miss a keystroke when typing and don't realize TUT. :)
     
  6. My typo. I mean't "Billy" should have been "William Jennings":D but typed "Bill" in error ! Just a weak joke.....
     
  7. Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett First Year Pro

    A little late to the party here but I remember the last goal was bundled in by Luther in the last minute
    and the image was captured and printed in the next match day programme . Which I still have .
    The bad news is that it is buried in the loft somewhere but I shall endeavour to dig it out .
    I have kept all my old programmes and the ones from '75 76' 77' have some great pictures.
    A snap from behind the Rookery End goal of Dennis Bond taking a penalty with a sparse vicarage terrace is another that sticks in the mind .
     
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  8. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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    Watford climbed another rung up the pyramid in 1979 to the second tier accompanied by champions Shrewsbury and Swansea City. The title would have been ours but for a poor run which saw four defeats in April meaning a win against Hull City was imperative to prevent the Gills pipping us should results go against us. No one need have worried. In front of almost twenty six and a half thousand fans Taylors men brushed the opposition aside four goals to nil. The goals came from as usual the deadly duo upfront Ross Jenkins and Luther Blissett with a goal apiece. Roger Joslyn and scorer of a thunderous penalty and God's favourite ever player Ian Bolton seen celebrating above with the Rookery.

    All three managers of the sides promoted carved out decent careers in a tough profession. Graham Turner was player manager at the Shrews and kept them in the second tier punching well above their weight for several seasons and taking Wolves from the bottom tier to the second. John Toshack took the Swans into the top tier eventually and carved out a long career managing abroad mainly in Spain only retiring in 2019.
     
  9. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    I’m over there in the background on the terrace in front of the Shrodelles Stand, my regular spot for about eight seasons. At that point there was one more year to go before they put seats on that terrace, which I think was the time the ground capacity was capped at 28,000.

    Just one technicality: rather than his “favourite ever player”, I think GT said Ian Bolton was his best ever signing.

    I loved that 78/79 season by the way - so many goals, with Jenkins and Blissett getting 65 between them.
     
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  10. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    I remember that match.
    For some reason known only to me,I wore flip flops and inevitably lost one!
    I was only 15 though!
    Daft bint!
     
  11. We hate 48

    We hate 48 Reservist

    Preparing to jump into the pond ?
     
  12. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    I swim as well as Robert Maxwell so any form of water other than for washing or drinking is an abhorrence to me!
    No. I blame stupidity and excitement in equal measure.
     
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  13. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Don't tell Ian Hislop......;)

    A couple of photographs from the June 1983 tour of China referenced earlier in this thread as the team enter Beijing harbour a few years before Michael Palin.

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  14. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    SEJ continuing in his "Single Man" phase it seems!
    Steve Terry's dad used to work with a friend of mine at Enfield or possibly Ponders End station.
     
  15. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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    Back row (l-r) Ian Bolton, Les Taylor, Steve Terry, Eric Steele, Paul Franklin, S Sherwood, S Sims P Rice. Front Richard Jobson, David Johnson, Ian Richardson, Nigel Callaghan, Jan Lohman Wilf Rostron
    The team line up inside the Gongti (Workers) Stadium. A sold out match at a stadium that no longer exists but on which a new venue is being built. The match was a 3-1 win for the Hornets with debutant Ian Richardson scoring twice. He came from Tom Walleys 1982 FA Youth Cup winning side along with Paul Franklin and David Johnson. Richard Jobson started out in non league with Burton Albion before moving to Watford where he impressed in our first ever season in the top flight before returning strangely enough to his home town club of Hull. His career was a slow burner but by it's end he had become a proven top flight defender even managing a return to us on loan at the end of his career.

    Of that 1982 Youth Cup team only Nigel Gibbs cemented a place at Watford along with Gary Porter who was used as a substitute. Others like Richardson, Franklin, Gilligan, Sterling flitted in and out of the side before moving on elsewhere. David Johnson who shared digs with Nigel Callaghan and cited Maradona as an inspiration has an interesting article on him here:

    https://putajumperon.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/wfc1982-david-johnson-whyteleafe/

    He credits Tom Walley for instilling in him lessons and values which he still holds very dear as he works with troubled youngsters.
     
  16. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter First Year Pro

    Larry McGettigan was a postman when he passed away and I used to know him in passing through local football competitions. He was about as good a bloke as you could imagine. I phoned Oly Phillips to tell him Larry had passed away, because he had done an article on Billy Jennings a few weeks earlier mentioning that the two were mates. I think the story, if I remember it right (but it may have been the other way round) was that we signed Larry as a youngster and he persuaded us to take Billy as well, because they were mates and would keep each other company.
     
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  17. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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    Back row (l-r): Pat Molloy (physio), Scullion, John Rutherford, Gary Hand, Ian Galloway, Barry Dyson. Bert Slater, R.Walker, Johnny Williams
    , Walter Lees, Brian Owen, George Aitken (assistant coach)

    Front row (l-r): Mike Packer, Richard Hale, Terry Garbett, Keith Eddy, Ken Furphy (manager), Brian Garvey. Roy Low, Duncan Welbourne, Bernard Lewis
    One of the tabloids turned up at Vicarage Road after the famous giant killing of Liverpool in the FA Cup where Endean scored on a bog of a pitch. Several of the players like Endean and Ray Lugg are missing from the photograph and several apprentices are included. The paper noted R.Walker as Mike Walker whom it obviously not. No idea of who R.Walker is certainly not the right vintage for Ron Walker.

    George Aitken as the surname suggests was a Scotsman. A centrehalf he played for most of his career for Workington Reds. Ken Furphy was player manager alongside him and brought him to Watford as his assistant in October of 1965. He stayed in that role living in Berkhamsted until he took over at Workington as manager in 1971 having learnt a great deal from his time as a player at Workington under Bill Shankly. That knowledge was not enough to save Workington from eventual demotion from the league. The club which reformed as Workington AFC is now in the seventh tier of the pyramid. Workington was also the club from which we signed Tony Geidmintis who passed away from a heart condition at the age of just forty three.

    Aitken having left Workington worked alongside Jimmy Melia and can be seen in a brilliant blue tracksuit jumping up and down during the 1983 FA Cup final which the Seagulls contrived to lose. Apparently according to the players of the time Aitken picked and selected the side while Jimmy Melia the manager did all the media talking. In his later years he was employed as a scout by Graham Taylor for the Hornets.

    John Rutherford one of the apprentices above now works in Blackburns Academy. Gary Hand runs a local business G.Hand & Co.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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    13th April 1984
    Just before the semi-final against Argyle. Watford's adventures in Europe seemed to impact form in the league. Just ten points and two wins in the first fifteen matches. After being knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Sparta Prague form picked up dramatically. Mo Johnston banged the goals in for fun after arriving in November from Partick Thistle. A truly shrewd signing who was here one minute and gone the next. There was the tremendous disappointment of the FA Cup final before John Barnes sparkled in the summer at the Maracana.
     
  19. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

  20. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    I was there behind the goal! Cally's equaliser was in the last minute if I recall.
     
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  21. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Goodness me - VAR would find a way to rule it out these days!

    All the things we don't do now.

    Attacking with numbers in the box from a good free kick etc.
     
  22. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    The way we barely bother to attack these days will have GT spinning in his grave.
     
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  23. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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    Tuesday fourteenth of December 1982 Luther celebrates his selection to play against Luxembourg the following night.

     
  24. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    I was there! A great night to go and support England as a Watford fan. We were very proud.
     
  25. Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett First Year Pro

    Me too. I was working in Perivale at the time and just turned up and paid on the day .
     
  26. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Richard 'Dixie' Hale:

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    Rumbunctious all action winger who was a key figure in the side that achieved promotion to the old Second Division finishing ahead of Swindon on goal average and pushing Luton Town into third. The soft spoken Irishman from Waterford loved his time at Watford. Brought to the club by his connection at Workington and Ken Furphy. He retired setting up shop in Swansea where he had made his first venture from the Emerald Isle. Unfortunately he has not been in great health recently and I am sure we all wish him the very best of health. He was part of a famous Waterford sporting family and with his other brothers formed an all Hale backline at one point for the local side. His brother Alfie played for the Irish national side.

    Here the brothers speak of their time in football and Dixie speaks with fondness of his time at Watford:

     
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  27. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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    Elton John and with then wife Renate pose for a shot of the then Stanley Rous Stand built over the summer of 1986. Permanent seating was added to the lower tier later and the whole stand thankfully renamed after God himself. The stand had replaced the old Shrodells stand seen above with Bolton celebrating against Hull. That in turn replaced the old Union stand which had come from the West Herts sports ground.
     
  28. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    The Shrodells stand was where my formative years as a Watford fan were spent before I migrated to the terrace in front of it. Do you know when it was built to replace the Union stand which I didn’t know about? Thanks.
     
  29. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    @WillisWasTheWorst The stand was brought from West Herts Sports Club at the same time Benskins gifted the land in 1922. Apparently the condition of the Union stand was in a poor state by 1932 that it was replaced by the Shrodells stand. There is a real paucity of images of West Herts at their ground with a couple of fleeting images of the two stands they had which would run in parallel to Whippendell and Rickmansworth Roads. The earliest aerial photograph from 1932 shows the current Shrodells stand in situ.
     
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  30. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss Squad Player

    Johnny Williams ( front row next to ball) looks he's wearing an old school Mod pair of Jam shoes. I had a similar pair but 12 years later.

    Screen Shot 2021-02-21 at 20.09.04.png
     
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  31. goldpapaya

    goldpapaya Academy Graduate

    That's not Johnny Williams, it's the great Tom Walley
     
  32. Sahorn

    Sahorn Reservist

    Johnny Williams is behind Tom Walley, standing on GK Mike Walker’s right.
    Behind JW is the great Keith Eddy. What a player he was, our very own Franz Beckenbauer.
    Hate the boots.
    Whatever happened to ‘you can any colour you want as long as it’s black’ ? :confused:
     
  33. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Great, thanks. So the Shrodells stand lasted 54 years. It did well.
     
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  34. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The holy triumvirate. Ken Furphy at the tactics board in August 1968, God in the season we came second and SEJ and his brother look at ease after the team finish comfortably midtable in the often dangerous second season after promotion.

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