Watford Club Profile
Watford : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :

Club Background; We've Met Before; Photo Galleries; Club News; Club Statistics; Club Information; Directions To The Ground; Web Resources; Food And Drink; Local Amenities
Watford : Club Background

The club now known as merely Watford started life as Watford Rovers in 1881, and briefly became known as West Hertfordshire as part of their affiliation with West Hertfordshire Sports Club, who housed their ground on Cassio Road. The other relevant strand to their existence was a club called Watford St Mary's which the Sports Club merged with, and the more orthodox name of just Watford was taken on in 1898.

Like Yeovil Town, Watford graduated from Southern League football, winning the title in the 1914-15 season. The outbreak of World War I meant that they couldn't progress their club any further for five years, but when football recommenced for the 1919-20 season, their runners-up slot was enough to see them invited to join a new expanded third tier of the Football League. With Yeovil Town graduating from the Western League to the Southern League in 1922, we missed each other by two seasons.

Watford's early progress in the Football League was slow, as members of Division Three South, with it taking them until just before the Second World War for them to look like heading any higher - they had to apply for re-election in 1926-27 to stop their stay at that level being a short one. Eventually though they began to find their feet in the 1930s, winning the Third Division South Cup in 1937, and stabilising into one of the third tiers more consistent clubs.

After the resumption of League football, another poor finish in 195051 required the re-election system to save them again, and when the third tier regionalisation was restructured into four national divisions, Watford were placed in Football League Division Four. It therefore might have come as a bit of a surprise when a year later, in 1959-60, the Hornets gained their first promotion for 40 years, and the first time they'd stepped up from the Football League's lowest rung, as former Welsh international Ron Burgess took them up during his first season in charge.

A further promotion followed in 1968-69, as they rose to Division Two - by now Watford were becoming a force to be reckoned with, as they reached the FA Cup Semi-Final a year later. But that rise didn't last for long, with relegations in 1972 and 1975 sent them back down to where they'd come from - back in Division Four.

At this point, the club was sparked back into life from an unlikely source. Having a pop star take over your football club instinctively looks like a gimmick - a case of a rich man meddling in things that he doesn't understand. However, Elton John was a lifelong Hornets fan, and as owner and Chairman, he was apparently pretty astute at appointing managers. Graham Taylor had led Lincoln City to promotion in 1976, but few could have predicted the effect he would have upon Watford. They became Fourth Division champions in 1977-78, gained Third Division promotion in 1978-79, and then followed that up with Second Division promotion in 1981-82. A year later they'd gone from being a basement club to being the Football League First Division runners up in the space of five years.

Watford also broke ground in other ways. With football having been stuck in the dark ages with an overtly racist culture, players such as John Barnes and Luther Blissett became some of the country's top players, role models and heroes, and were a strong influence in dragging football into the modern era. They continued to be one of the country's 'new' likeable clubs, right up until Taylor's departure to Aston Villa in 1986-87.

At that point, Watford's star began to wane rapidly. They were relegated in 1987, and since then have only had two singular seasons in the Premier League. However, that rise up through the leagues sparked by Taylor's reign had established them as a sizeable club in the Football League, and bar two years between 1996 and 1998 where they dipped into third tier football, they've largely stabilised as a Championship club.

Today they've established a rather Italian flavour to this part of Hertfordshire. In the summer of 2012, they were taken over by the Pozzo family, who own Serie A outfit Udinese and La Liga side Granada. Football management also got a similar flavour to it, with Gianfranco Zola becoming the new boss. The link between the continental sides created some controversy as Watford took advantage of a loophole in the Football League's loan rules, bringing in Udinese players en masse - a tactic that gave them a third placed finish in the Championship, and ultimately a Play-Off Final appearance, only to lose out in extra time to Crystal Palace.

Over the summer, the Football League belatedly closed off the loan loophole that Watford had exploited, although permanent acquisitions have still kept the Italian theme - six of their squad hail from that country, whilst Zola has brought in players from Paraguay, Jamaica, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Brazil, Spain and Algeria to give one of the division's most international line-ups. Early signs are that they look a little short of last season's quality, but are not that far short that they couldn't make a charge for the play-offs during the second half of the season.

A final note about Vicarage Road. The stadium is one of the older-looking large stadiums left in the country, and has been getting a bit frayed at the edges. The East Stand, which is one of the original parts of the ground, when it was constructed in 1922, is the part that has suffered the most. Although it still hosts the club's dressing rooms and press area, it was closed to spectators in 2008 for health and safety reasons. Plans were submitted to the council for it to be demolished and rebuilt, but whilst the club meandered its way through takeovers, this work wasn't initiated until the current owners took over. As such, Vicarage Road is currently a three-sided ground, with one side a building site, in a reduced capacity of 17,477. A new 3,000 capacity stand is intended to be built as a new Main Stand to push the club's capacity back over 20,000 again.

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Watford : We've Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Watford

30/11/2013AwayCHPW3-015263Webster 45, Miller 53, Edwards 90
18/02/2014HomeCHPD0-06042


Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Watford

HomeAwayOverall
WDLFAWDLFAWDLFA
010001003011030


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Watford : Club Statistics

FORTHCOMING FIXTURES

CLUB GOALSCORERS
Name LGE FAC FAT LGC CC Total

ATTENDANCE STATISTICS

Highest League Attendance: Not Applicable
Lowest League Attendance: Not Applicable
Average League Attendance: Not Applicable

CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS

Games Without A Win: 0 Games Without A Home Win: 0
Games Without An Away Win: 0 Games Without Defeat: 0
Games Without A Home Defeat: 0 Games Without An Away Defeat: 0
Games Without A Draw: 0 Games Without A Score Draw: 0
Games Without A No-Score Draw: 0 Games Without Scoring: 0
Games Without Conceding: 0 Home Results Sequence:
Away Results Sequence: Overall Results Sequence:


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Watford : Club Information
Vicarage Road Stadium
Vicarage Road
Watford
Hertfordshire
WD18 0ER
(Click for map)

Telephone Number : 0844 856 1881
Fax : 01923 496001
Email: yourvoice@watfordfc.com
Chairman : Raffaele Riva
Secretary : Michelle Ives
Safety Officer :
Web Site / Programme Editor :
Manager : Gianfranco Zola

Capacity : 19,900
Seated : 19,900
Covered Terrace : n/a

Record Attendance : 34,099 vs Manchester United, FA Cup 4th Round Replay, February 3rd 1969
Colours : Yellow shirts, black shorts
Nickname : The Hornets

Ticket Prices :
Tickets are on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office and are priced as follows:

Adults: 26.00; Concessions: 15.00; Under-16s: 10.00

Concessions apply to Over-65s, 16-19 year olds and students aged Under-25 with a valid NUS card.

Disabled Info:
Wheelchair disabled supporters are admitted for 10.00, with concessions priced at 5.00, as per the above categories. Ambulant disabled supporters pay as per relevant pricing above. Whilst tickets are sold from the Huish Park Ticket Office, for any special provisions contact Watford's Joanne Simonds on 01923 496250 or joanne.simonds@watfordfc.com

Away supporters are accommodated in the Vicarage Road Stand which is situated behind the goal and is a covered seated stand. It is a stand shared with home supporters, with generally up to 2,200 spaces provided for away fans.

Tickets can be purchased on the day of the game, at no extra charge. However, the majority of Watford's turnstiles are unmanned electronic gates that rely upon a barcode reader to get admission. Thus if you leave it until the day of the match you'll need to either purchase from their Ticket Office prior to admission, or head to the cash only turnstile.

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Watford : Directions To The Ground
General

Watford is tucked just inside the M25, on the North-West side. Although the view of most is to treat anything inside the M25 as 'London', it is a relatively distinct town. You can reach it from the M25 or from the M1. Most Glovers coming from the West Country will approach from the M25, but our Northern Glovers can use either the M25 or the M1. The ground itself is in the town centre.

By Road

From The South and West: This is the route for the vast majority of fans coming from the West Country. Take A303/M3, then take the M25 clockwise towards Heathrow/Watford. Then exit the M25 at Junction 18. The slip road goes up to a bridge going across the motorway, turn left towards Rickmansworth. Head down into Rickmansworth until you arrive at a large roundabout near Rickmansworth BR station. Turn left here along the A412 towards Watford. Follow signs into Croxley Green. Continue straight over at the two roundabouts past Croxley, then take the fifth right exit on to Harwood Road. Continue straight down, heading straight over the traffic lights, until you come to the end of the road. At the end turn left and you will now be on Vicarage Road, continue for a few hundred metres and you will see the ground on your right hand side.

From The North and East: Exit the M25 at Junction 20. Exit and follow signs for Hempstead Road, follow Hempstead Road into central Watford. Follow the large roundabout system at the end of Hempstead Road and exit towards Rickmansworth A412. Follow this road for 1/4 mile and turn left at the end of the underpass. Go through two traffic lights and turn left into 'The Hornets' at the East end of Vicarage Road. An alternative route for Northern Glovers is to exit at M1 Junction 5 and head into Watford town centre from the East side.

Parking

There is zero parking at the stadium. You should also note that much of the surrounding area is covered by Resident Parking permit zones - look out for signage saying 'Controlled Zone' with the 'Matchdays Only' signs as these override all normal parking restrictions. Do not try parking in the nearby Hospital car park.

Recommended parking options are as follows:
(a) Church Car Park (Postcode: WD18 0BU) : Open 24x7 with 601 spaces. Charges 2.50/3.00 for 3/4 hours parking (much more if staying longer).
(b) Royalty House, King Street (Postcode: WD18 0BP) : Private building offering car parking
(c) Watford Grammar School for Girls (Postcode: WD18 0AE) : In Lady's Close off Vicarage Road. Expensive at 7.00.
(d) Street parking further away in Cassiobury Park Avenue (Postcode: WD18 7LE) and in Fishers Industrial Estate off Wiggenhall Road (Postcode: WD18 0FE).

You're also fairly close to Watford town centre, so any of the shoppers car parks are good enough here. The consistent price for all seems to be that you'll pay the same as the Church Car Park - 2.50-3.00 for 3/4 hours, but if you're planning on a longer stay in the town, expect the subsequent hours to spike upwards.

By Rail

Watford has got four railway/underground stations currently in operation. Most of you will come in via Watford Junction station - even though it's not the closest, it's the mainline station for the area. That's about 20 minutes walk from the ground.

You'll find Watford High Street is the closest, at around ten minutes walk from the ground - there are some trains that run between the Junction and High Street stations should you feel particularly lazy. A little further afield is Bushey station at around 20-25 minutes walk, although most trains that stop at Bushey also stop at Watford Junction.

Another option is to take the London Underground and get on the Metropolitan Line to Watford. However, if you're considering that from Central London, then we'd recommend that you travel to London Euston and get on a train to Watford Junction as this service will take much longer.

Recommended Rail Route: The vast majority of Yeovil Town supporters will use the following route: Yeovil Junction --> London Waterloo --> London Underground (Northern Line) --> London Euston --> Watford Junction.

Assuming you do arrive at Watford Junction station, rather than the alternatives, leave the station and take the main road straight opposite (Clarendon Road). Head over the Ring Road at the traffic lights and into the High Street. Turn left and go past the Wetherspoon pub (Moon under Water) on your right and then take the first right after 100 yards into Market Street. Again you'll cross the Ring Road. When you reach a t-junction, turn left at the chip shop (recommended, by the way). Vicarage Road is the next right turn.

NOTE: In the future changes are afoot. Watford tube station is due to close in 2016, as part of the Croxley Rail Link project that will provide additional services to Watford High Street. In its place, a new station called Watford Vicarage Road will open, thus providing another possible option - here's hoping we can cover it for our 2016-17 guide!

London Underground Closures: 30/11/2013: For this trip we're getting off fairly lightly with only part of the Northern Line and a big section of the London Overground line out of action. The only possible inconvenience here is if you're coming in from North London down to Euston, as the Edgware --> Camden Town stretch of the Northern Line is closed. Otherwise there nothing obvious of concern.

Check the National Rail Enquiries site for details of services.

By Bus

This is a town centre ground, and all of the stations are fairly easy walking distance. So buses aren't really relevant here.

By Taxi

A selection of Watford taxi companies can be found here.

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Watford : Web Resources
Web Sites

Vital Watford
Most Vital websites are rubbish, with cut'n'paste articles you can read elsewhere - this one goes significantly against the grain by being written by real Watford fans, and with a bit of depth to what they're producing. Just try to ignore the 'vital' bit on the website and you'll be fine here.


Watford Football Club
Watford's main club website. PTV chain site with usual navigation and content failings.


Web Message Boards


E-Mail Mailing Lists and Newsletters



Local Press

Watford Observer
Watford's main local paper, with it's own dedicated online section - updated daily.



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Watford : Food & Drink
General :

Although Watford is friendly enough as a town, it's not the best of places to go drinking in. We've listed the best of the crop, and those that are more identified as being recommended for away fans. Those coming in by train may want to consider drinking at London Euston station where there are a couple of wonderful real ale pubs situated very close to the station - the Euston Tap and the Bree Louise.

Club Bar :

There is zero alcohol on sale at Vicarage Road for away supporters. You'll need to hunt elsewhere.

Local Pubs :

Colombia Press:
Colombia Press, 72-74 The Parade, High Street, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1AW. Tel: 01923-811540. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Moon Under Water:
Moon Under Water, 44 High Street, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 2BS. Tel: 01923-223559. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Oddfellows:
Oddfellows, 14 Fearnley Street, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0RD. Tel: 01923-225766. Map: Click Here.


Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :

Whilst Watford folk will insist that they are from Hertfordshire, and not Londoners, the BBC Eastenders twang has gradually moved outwards. You'll understand them fine. Whether they'll understand you will depend on whether you're a Capital Glover or not.

Top-Tip :


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Watford : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels

Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide to find Guest Houses/Hotels in the town and surrounding areas.


Other Points Of Interest

Watford is home to Warner Bros Studios. They do studio tours, of which their key offering is to show you where the studio stuff from the Harry Potter films was done. See here if you want to do two things in Watford this weekend.

[No responsibilty is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]

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