Nigel Callaghan

Discussion in 'The Golden Years' started by Smudger, May 24, 2022.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

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  2. reg_varney

    reg_varney Squad Player

    Best striker of a dead-ball I've ever seen, amazing power with virtually no back-lift. Decent in the air. Proved you didn't have to be a speedster to be a top quality winger. A complete nightmare to defend against as he was able to put in a pin-point cross by crossing the ball in-front of the opposing defender so didn't need to beat his man, which he could also do. He was never effectively replaced. Another player ignored by Bobby Robson because he didn't play for one of the big clubs. One of THE legends of the club.
  3. Diamond

    Diamond First Team

    The speed and height of many of his crosses was bloody scary to defend against.
    As Reg says, a real legend.
  4. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    I considered him better than Barnes, but at the time he was a bit of a boo boy for many of the supporters and I never understood why :(
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  5. reg_varney

    reg_varney Squad Player

    His style could be quite languid which could give the impression of being lazy and uncaring, which he wasn't. He was being led astray off-the-field by George Reilly which GT tried to put a stop to by selling Reilly and having Cally lodge with him and his family. That's GT for you, a most innovative thinker. Cally and Digger complemented each other so well, both of them often getting on the end of each others crosses which GT encouraged them to do.

    He scored a Goal of the Season goal in the opening game away to Newcastle in the promotion season. The game where Luther got sent off and we managed to hang on and win the game to set the tone for the season. I was a bit too young to travel that distance away so went to the Reserve Game at Vicarage Road where they they used to relay the latest score/news of the first team games over the tannoy. It was John Barnes first reserve game after signing for the club, I can remember his mid-week trial for the reserves towards the end of the previous season. In this Saturday game, he scored an outrageous goal right at the start of the game by chipping the goalkeeper from 30-40 yards out. From that point onwards we all knew we had a very special player on our hands. He and Cally were the finest wing pairing I've ever seen. They were the reason why we were able to tear teams apart and score shedloads of goals.
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  6. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    Cally is one of my all-time favourites. He had a few bad games, but even then he managed at least three killer passes. Not just crosses, but also through-balls for Luther to run onto. Not just the accuracy of his passes, but also the vision to see what was on.
    iamofwfc, Carpster, Smudger and 2 others like this.
  7. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Great memories. We felt so connected to the team that evolved as it rose up the divisions and peaked in 82/83. As fans we've had a similar connection to the players at other times since (e.g. the '99 team), but it has never been allied to a team of such high quality.
  8. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Wasn't (isn't) he 'God Squad' and had a central role in a "Songs of Praise" the got him quite a bit of stick after not coming across particularly well. I remember 'frequent' shouts of "...'it 'im with your bible!" whenever he was a victim of a 'tough' tackle from the terraces (Red Lion Corner).
  9. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    Well, my uncle, who was a ST holder back then, always claimed he was “lazy”. Not entirely sure what that meant - lack of tracking back maybe?
  10. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

  11. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    Well your uncle was wrong!

    Cally was so good he just made everything look easy so did not have to give the impression of rushing around like a blue arsed fly, he was just pure class.
    iamofwfc and Carpster like this.
  12. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth First Team Captain

    He just wasn't very fast....he would track back, but any quick LB or winger would leave him for dust.
  13. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    Not quick but delivered a fantastic cross. What a side that was in the early 80's. I feel so lucky to have seen it
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  14. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    I'll tell him. :rolleyes:
    Happy bunny likes this.
  15. reg_varney

    reg_varney Squad Player

    I think it was coming good again just before GT left, with Kevin Richardon, Macca, Mark Falco et al. really shining, and some promising youngsters including Gary Porter and Malcolm Allen starting to establish themselves.. Massive f-u-ck up by Elton and the board to let him leave. In his heart, he didn't really want to go but thought they were taking him far too much for granted, which they were.
  16. reg_varney

    reg_varney Squad Player

    No, that was Ian Bolton. Cally was definitely not a God squadder.
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  17. reg_varney

    reg_varney Squad Player

    He had a bit of a slow gait which didn't express urgency, I just think he managed to create loads of time for himself. If GT thought he wasn't doing his duties then he would've been on him like a ton of bricks.
  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

  19. Carpster

    Carpster Squad Player

    He told me that he went back after the Summer to training at Villa, Big Ron called him over and said you're our most gifted forward but I don't want you here. Went onto Derby i be.
    The crosses he and Barnes delivered for Ross and Luther were absolutely relentless during some matches. A great player, a team player and i also was so lucky growing up under GT watching those sides.
  20. Since63

    Since63 Squad Player

    A couple of goals he scored at Notts County (yes, they were top tier in those days) highlight how deceptive he was. On one, the defender cleared it to about 30 yards away from goal, a couple of yards in from the right touchline; collective sigh of relief from defence, until Cally had hit it first time, skimming across the ground, and it nestled just inside the far post before the goalie had even realised it was a shot on goal!
    Or the outrageous heel-trap/back-heeled goal against Spam.
    Or the 2 headers in the 8-0 demolition of Sunderland.
    Or the rifled half-volley in extra time coming on as a teenaged sub when we hammered Saints 7-1 to win the tie 7-5 on aggregate...

    I think part of the problem for him was that he was truly local so quite well known and also had a reputation of being a bit 'weird'.
  21. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss First Team

    Any footballer who ends up DJing the Red Lion after games would imply he didn’t invest wisely after his career ended , but what a fantastic player and largely under rated .
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  22. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss First Team

    Love that bottom pic .
  23. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth First Team Captain

    Phew. Knew he’d had his cancer issues in the past and hoped this thread resurrection wasn’t bad news.
    PowerJugs, Happy bunny and Diamond like this.
  24. Diamond

    Diamond First Team

    Good lord, same here!
  25. Lubaduck

    Lubaduck First Year Pro

    As others have already stated Cally didn't play for a fashionable club so was never going to get any real credit that he deserved. But what a player !
  26. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    GT said he was the best crosser he ever saw. But never applied himself otherwise I'm sure he would have gone onto bigger and better things. The ability was always there. Even chased on of GT's daughters at one time. Hope he is fully clear of the cancer now.

  27. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

  28. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    Just a thought? Is there any Watford fan out there who is a roofer or a builder who would be willing to undertake the work for Cally?

    If not for free, maybe at cost or very favourable mates rates? That way it would keep the cost down and more of the money raised could be donated to charity.
  29. hornetfan

    hornetfan Academy Graduate

    Many Watford supporters will fondly remember Nigel Callaghan, who was an integral part of GT's team. during his first period in charge of Watford. This comment was posted on another forum:

    "Apparently Luther's association for former players and the Watford Trust have now got involved, but the fund is still well short of the amount which will be needed to repair the roof of the house of Cally's mother's. Cally has suffered from various health issues and is now caring for his mother, who is suffering from dementia. Players in GT's time were not paid the large amounts which players now can earn. It would be a nice gesture if the club could make a significant contribution to the fund.

    Nigel Callaghan played on the other wing to John Barnes during the GT era. He did not have the dribbling skills of Barnes, but he had the ability to make a pinpoint cross without beating a player. He played for the England U-21 team, but he probably never entirely fulfilled his potential. He came through the youth system and - according to Transfermarkt - played 294 games for Watford (1980-87 and back on loan in 1991), scoring 47 goals. He also recommended Kevin Phillips to Watford (signed in 1994) after training with him at Baldock Town."

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