What Came Before Z Cars?

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by joeheadland, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. joeheadland

    joeheadland Academy Graduate

    Hello everyone,

    I hope this okay to post here - if not, moderators please/delete as necessary.

    I’m part of a team at the University of Sheffield, led by Dr Chris
    Stride. We've published a number of academic papers and magazine
    articles relating to football history, on subjects such as statues and
    replica shirts (see, for example sportingstatues.com, and

    Our current project is investigating the music that football teams have run or walked out of the tunnel to over the years. We have a few questions that we hope you may be able to answer regarding the music Watford have used.

    I understand Watford have been coming out to the Z Cars theme since 1964 or so. However, does anyone know of any instances in which the club has used a different track?

    And, this is a long shot, but does anyone what the club used before Z Cars was introduced?

    And if you have any personal anecdotes around the reasons for the songs
    being used, or the changes between them, that would also be fantastic.

    I should also add that we are not interested in goal music, or a song
    that is played at the final whistle, but just the song that is on the
    tannoy system as the players enter the field.

    If you think someone else may be able to help, or you have any
    questions, please let us know! We would be very happy to discuss the
    project. Thank you very much for your help here.


    Joe Headland
  2. Barbara Dickson of Dock Green.
  3. Yellow by yawnmongers
  4. Robert Peel

    Robert Peel Reservist

    Can't you and Dr Stride work on treatment for the coronavirus instead?
  5. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

  6. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Damn you for getting this in before me.
    SkylaRose likes this.
  7. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Reservist

  8. EB Hornet

    EB Hornet Reservist

    I don't know what or if anything was before Z-cars. The club did trial a new walk out song near the end of last season - Elton John's I'm still standing. I'm sure you know, but I'll point it out anyway, Elton used to own the club and is well loved in these parts. However, a change in the routine was too much for some and Z-cars was returned sharply. You know how football fans are with tradition.

    We have no idea how these same people will cope with things like the current season ending when the next should have begun or a final league table that shows more or less games played than was originally planned for. It just doesn't bear thinking about.

    PS what ever you do, don't mention the badge!
  9. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    We replaced Z Cars with I'm Still Standing after the Cup semi-final. We stuck with Elton until the end of the season, during which time we lost almost every match, so went back to Z Cars for this season.

    Bill McGarry, our manager in 1964, chose it because he liked the tune. Watford fans are divided between those who want to get rid of this dreadful old-fashioned tune that's about Liverpool not Watford, and those who want to keep it because it's OUR dreadful old-fashioned tune that's about Liverpool not Watford - and which our team came out to in the glory days of Graham Taylor's first coming.
    Whippendell Woods likes this.
  10. Sahorn

    Sahorn Reservist

    Back in the day I was told by an Everton fan that we copied the Everton walk out tune about 2 weeks after they introduced it -

    The reason was we’ve always wanted to be a BIG club like Everton was/were/are...

    Make of that what you will ..
  11. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    We were the most massive club in Herts in 1964: why should we have bothered about Everton?
  12. Abso

    Abso First Year Pro

    On z buses
  13. CYHSYF

    CYHSYF Academy Graduate

    When knobhead Vialli was in charge Z cars got scrapped in favour of the Superman theme, which was then canned once the bald farker was sent packing
  14. Hornpete

    Hornpete Squad Player

    W cars and X cars were better.
  15. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    S cars was painful.
  16. Maninblack

    Maninblack Reservist

    "Our current project is investigating the music that football teams have run or walked out of the tunnel to over the years"

    Seriously, is there really a rigorous academic study in that? You can get a list out of it, but a dissertation?!
    Muggins_77 likes this.
  17. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    No difference changing back then!
  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Dr Chris Stride is an eminent statistical mathematician an old boy of Watford Grammar. Could look into the statistical modelling of how the disease is spreading I suppose.
  19. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    I guess you could go on to examine the psychology behind the songs. West Ham's "Bubbles" is the most defeatist sporting song imaginable; Norwich's On The Ball City is just plain wrong, when the climax is "Hurrah we've scored a goal" but the match hasn't even started.

    Z Cars has no words, so the academics would have to debate whether it's meaningless or whether it has a subliminal message that there are a lot of crims in Liverpool.
    Maninblack likes this.
  20. BusheyOrn

    BusheyOrn Reservist

    Before Z Cars?
    I think it was The News or Nationwide
  21. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    Call me a millennial, but did they even have music before 1964?
  22. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    The Beatles. And just before them, and after the Chatterley trial, sexual intercourse started.
  23. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

  24. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

  25. joeheadland

    joeheadland Academy Graduate

    Well, I did expect some stick! So to answer a few questions..

    This is essentially a hobby project - of the three of us at work on this, Chris's day to day work is in statistics for obviously more worthy causes such as workplace related health, Nick's a teacher, and I work for a running company. These studies have little costs, and any costs they do incur are funded through stats training courses Chris runs privately.

    The reason we're doing this study is because we're football fans who are all interested in the game and what it says about the wider culture we live in. We're not only interested in what the music is/was, but the why - we're keen to see how changes in style, type of music used relate to a club's status, wider music fashions, the wider fashionability of football, how clubs have attempted to commodify the match going experience and the battle between globalism/localism.

    Does anyone else remember the Superman theme being used in Vialli's time?

    And if anyone else has any other songs to share please let me know. If you remember roughly what season a song was played in that's very helpful too!

    EB Hornet likes this.
  26. EB Hornet

    EB Hornet Reservist

    I’m not best placed to help but I’ll try and hopefully others can help you out this time. Doesn’t really matter why you’re doing it, no harm in helping.

    I’m still standing end of last season as the club we’re looking to change things in a forward thinking way, but it didn’t go down well so only lasted about 5 games I think.

    Z cars was chosen due to the then manager liking the program. We chose it around the same time Everton did.

    I don’t personally remember the superman one, but it does ring a bell that we made a change like that during Vialli’s reign, no idea if he chose it though.

    We also had Gangsters Paradise for a season. We had just loaned a young player in from Manchester United, I think his name was Jimmy Davis. He died the eve of the opening game of the season, that game got called off, but for that season we played his favourite song for our entrance.

    That’s all I know and I think it’s all true and correct.
  27. Grrwood

    Grrwood Reservist

    We played something different the Aidy prem season too, no idea what it was though. Anyone remember? I've tried to block most of that season out...
  28. "Chariots of fire" at some point too ? Can't remember when though.....
  29. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    We used Chariots of fire after Z-Cars was played, we were using it in the mid to late 80s, I reckon it was ditched before the Vicarage Road end was rebuilt.

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