WAT­FORD

Evergreen - - Summer 2016 - ALAN ROBIN­SON

The present Wat­ford club can trace their an­ces­try back to the amal­ga­ma­tion in 1891 of Hert­ford­shire Rangers and Wat­ford Rovers. The new team was named West Herts and in 1896 they were elected to the South­ern League’s Sec­ond Di­vi­sion. Af­ter a fur­ther merger with Wat­ford St. Mary’s in 1898, when they adopted their present ti­tle and turned pro­fes­sional, they gained pro­mo­tion to Di­vi­sion One two years later.

Af­ter ini­tial dif­fi­cul­ties they won the South­ern League Cham­pi­onship in 1914- 15, the last sea­son be­fore the Great War halted com­pe­ti­tion. Af­ter its re­sump­tion, the club joined the Foot­ball League’s Third Di­vi­sion in 1920. Progress was slow, but by the fol­low­ing decade Wat­ford, now play­ing at Vicarage Road, were usu­ally to be found in the top six in the Third Di­vi­sion. Af­ter the Sec­ond World War their form fluc­tu­ated and in 1958 they found them­selves in the new Fourth Di­vi­sion.

Wat­ford’s for­tunes re­ally took off fol­low­ing their Fourth Di­vi­sion ti­tle win in 1978 and by 1982 they were tak­ing their place at the high­est level for the first time and fin­ished a very cred­itable sec­ond in the ta­ble. The fol­low­ing year, un­der the chair­man­ship of pop leg­end El­ton John, they reached the FA Cup fi­nal at Wem­b­ley, only to lose to Ever­ton by two goals to nil. The “Hor­nets”, as they are known, are cur­rently en­joy­ing a spell in the Premier League.

Wat­ford ( 1966- 67)

Back row ( left to right): B. Owen, K. Eddy, M. Block, B. Slater, J. Wil­liams, B. Gar­vey, D. Wel­bourne, T. Melling.

Front row S. Scul­lion, D. Bond, K. Fur­phy ( Player Man­ager), T. Gar­bett, A. Far­rall.

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