The beginnings of the club can be traced back to 1881, when Watford Rovers was formed by Henry Grover and a group of fellow teenagers who had been given permission by the Earl of Essex to kick a football around in Cassiobury Park. Friendly matches began in 1882, with various sites in the town being used for matches. The first competitive game was an FA Cup tie against Swindon Town in 1886. In 1890 West Herts Club and Ground was set up in Cassio Road (where it remains to this day) and Watford Rovers moved in as the football section, changing name to West Herts in 1893.
Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at several grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922, where it remains.
One of the most successful periods for the club was when they were managed by ex England manager Graham Taylor who took charge of Watford in 1977. He led the club to promotion to the Third Division in 1978, the Second Division in 1979, and the First Division for the first time in Watford’s history in 1982. After a second-placed finish in the First Division in 1983, Watford competed in European competition for the first time in 1983–84, as well as reaching the 1984 FA Cup final.
Taylor left the club at the end of 1986–87. Under the six subsequent permanent managers Watford slid from 9th in the top tier in 1987, to 13th in the third tier in 1997. Taylor returned as manager for the start of the 1997–98 season. He led the club to consecutive promotions, but could not prevent relegation from the Premier League in 1999–2000. Since Taylor’s retirement in 2001, Watford has had sixteen different managers. The current manager is Javi Gracia he was hired in 2018 and has a contract until 2023.
Watford is owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and previously Granada CF in Spain. Sir Elton John, who owned Watford during both of Graham Taylor’s successful periods as manager, served alongside Taylor as the club’s joint Honorary Life President until 2008, only to later resume the role he shared alongside Graham Taylor until Taylor’s death. Sir Elton John’s seven year old son Zachary signed up for the academy team at Watford Football Club in 2018.
This was always going to be a difficult away game but Watford will be flying high after their amazing comeback in the FA Cup semi final so it will now be even tougher.
Here are our away game statistics against Watford.
We need a positive result but will our team be up to the task?