10 Things you didn’t know about: Watford

Ten Things

West Ham face Watford on Saturday in another huge game for the club, here are 10 facts about Saturday’s opponents:

1. Watford FC were formed in 1898 when local rivals West Hertfordshire Rovers and Watford St Marys merged to become one club.

2. Watford’s first manager was John Goodall who became player-manager in 1903. Goodall was just coming to the end of a glittering playing career having been a member of the Preston North End Invincibles, who as the name suggests went through an entire season unbeaten, winning the League and FA Cup double in the process. Goodall was the league’s top scorer that season with 21 goals.

3. Goodall also represented England 14 times while his brother Archie represented Ireland, making them the first brothers in history to represent different national teams.

4. Goodall is still the oldest player to play for Watford, playing his final game for the club aged 44 years 87 days against Bradford Park Avenue in 1907.

5. Watford’s most famous fan is Elton John who is currently Honorary Life President and former owner. Elton John took over in 1976 and one of his first actions was to sack Mike Keen, father of future Hammers’ winger and coach Kevin and replace him with Graham Taylor.

6. Under Taylor, Watford rose from bottom place in the 4th Division to top of the 1st Division (a position they achieved after 5 games of the 1982-83 season) within the space of 5 years.

7. During Taylor’s final season of management, he passed 1000 games of league management becoming only the 3rd manager to reach the milestone after Brian Clough and Jim Smith.

8. Watford’s all-time appearance and goalscoring record holder is Luther Blissett with a total of 186 goals in 503 games. Bizarrely Blissett’s name has become a pseudonym for artist activists who have staged a variety of urban and media pranks across Europe and North America.

9. West Ham’s coach Billy McKinlay managed Watford for 8 days in 2014.

10. The clubs have played each other 93 times, West Ham winning 52 with 18 draws and 23 losses. West Ham have won only one of the last 6 meetings. The last game between the two clubs ended in a 2-0 defeat in David Moyes’ first game in November last year.