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.