LATEST EPISODE: Very Fun Beginnings

Jon and Jason are joined by David Cameron Walker (@D_C_W) on the opening day of the 2014-15 season. They talk returns, formation and discuss how the Championship is shaping up this season. Plus they put in a fuse, a pie and a duck in to the list of 100 Objects.

Email us: podcast@fromtherookeryend.com

Monday, 29 August 2011

How soon is now?

This post was originally published in the Watford vs Birmingham City Matchday programme on 28th August 2011.


“It's good to get an early win, it gives the team so much confidence to build on”

That's one of the pre-programmed phrases muttered by Andy Gray in the latest edition of the FIFA series of football video games. Whilst yes, I know Andy Gray is a plank and yes, I understand I am too old to be playing video games, the phrase does mirror the thoughts that I was having ahead of the start of this season – for our relatively small and inexperienced squad, a good start would be vital.


Friday, 26 August 2011

WFC in 100 Objects - #5 An Iveco Truck

We continue our challenge to find Watford in 100 Objects. We're after 100 objects that define Watford Football Club. They can be historic objects that define the most important moments on the pitch or personal objects that define your relationship with club. We are still after your ideas and stories behind an object. So if you have any ideas then email us podcast@fromtherookeryend.com. To read the list so far go to our Watford in 100 Objects page.

Object #5 - An Iveco Truck

Here's a challenge for you:

Can you name all the shirt sponsors Watford have ever had? You have to do it in two minutes or less?

Don't cheat,  and when your two minutes are up you can look at the answers at the bottom of this post. ready? GO!!


The first one on your list should have been - IVECO. Sponsors started to appear on football shirts in the 70's. The first ever shirt sponsor was Jägermeister in 1973, wore by West German team Eintracht Braunschweig. Kettering Town were the first English team to have a go in 1976, but the FA threatened to fine them if they kept it. The FA changed their mind on the subject in June 1977 so clubs were free to have a logo on their shirt. However, it wasn't until 1979 that Liverpool became the first Football League club to wear a sponsor. So why wait until 1982 for Watford to get a sponsor? In 1981-82 promotion season the club had been approached to carry a sponsor, but Graham Taylor was quoted to have said, "We're not prepared to prostitute ours shirts". It was probably a sentiment of many football traditionalist around that time, but even back then the commercial pressures were growing and clubs had to take on the lucrative sponsorship deals that only continued to grow and grow with the expansion of TV exposure.

IVECO are a commercial vehicle company that is part of the Fiat group and whose UK headquarters is above Watford Junction. Their locality was probably a large big part of the deal coming about. It was believed to be worth £400,000 and lasted for three season between 1982-1985. As pointed out to us by Lionel Birnie, author "Enjoy The Game. Watford Football Club, The Story of the Eighties":

"You could take your replica shirt to the Hornet Shop and ask them to iron on the IVECO letters. The thing was, the letters were in one size and designed for the players' shirts, so when they put them on my little nine year old's shirt they completely swamped the front."

A truck company isn't a glamourous sponsor, but they were our first and the reason they are going into our Watford in 100 Objects list. They were the company name the Hornets wore during our first ever season in Division 1, on our only trips into Europe and in the 1984 FA Cup Final. Hey, maybe they were our lucky charm?

So, how did you get on in our challenge? Why not set it as a pre or post match pub challenge for your mates:

Answer*:
1. Iveco
2. Solvite
3. Eagle Express
4. Hearld and Post
5. RCI Holidays
6. Blaupunkt
7. CTX
8. Phones 4U
9. Toshiba
10. Total
11. Loans.co.uk
12. BEKO
13. Evolution TV
14. Burrda

Jon

* - Do shout if we missed any.
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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

25 Years of the Rous Stand

Today (23rd August 2011) is the Rous Stand's 25th Birthday. It was officially opened to Hornets fans for the first league game that season; against Oxford United. Watford ran out 3-0 winners, but perhaps of more significance, it was also Jon's very first Watford game! The striking new stand cost £3million and wasn't actually 100% complete until 1993 when a permanent lower tier was put in to replace temporary seats.

We may be season ticket holders in the younger Rookery End, but we have respect for our elders and to celebrate the stand turning 25 we've grabbed these photos of the stand being built which were published in the matchday programme from that day.





Happy Birthday Rous Stand!

Jon
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Monday, 22 August 2011

Leftorium - Watford's Left Backs


29th July 2011 was quite a significant day in recent Watford history. We signed a left back. A bona fide, left footed, owned by us, defender. And whilst it's too early to pass any judgement on Carl Dickinson just yet, the early signs are encouraging. So why has it been so difficult to fill that slot in recent years? Some Hornets fans will tell you that we've not had a decent left back since Paul Robinson left for West Brom back in 2003. So I'll have a look at those “number 3s” that have come and gone over the years and see what went wrong.

Friday, 19 August 2011

WFC in 100 Objects - #4 Junior Hornet Membership Card

This season we're hunting down 100 objects that define Watford Football Club. Each provides a evocative memory or time in Watford's history. They can be historic objects that define the most important moments on the pitch or personal objects that define your relationship with club. To play your part email your suggestion to podcast@fromtherookeryend.com.

Read the list as so far on our Watford in 100 Objects page.

Object # 4: Junior Hornet Membership Card

Saturday 23rd August 1986, Football League Division One - Watford 3-0 Oxford United.

It was first game of the 86-87 season, the first game the Rous Stand was officially open and my first EVER Watford game. It’s the day I think of as the day I became a Watford fan. I stood, mainly on tip-toes, in the far left of the Vicarage Road terrace and just about saw Barnes, Blissett and Bardsley put three goals in the back of the net. When those 90 minutes were up I was hooked on football. I enjoyed every minute watching those yellow and white men run around the pitch, but was I a Hornet for life?

My Dad took me to the game, he wasn’t a Watford fan, he’d grown up in Scotland and the East End and no one in the family supported Watford. He just wanted to take his lad to watch a football match and Watford were the local club. After Oxford United he could have easily taken me to another club the following week and I could have ended up supporting any number of clubs. I believe the reason Watford FC is now my blood is The Junior Hornets and the object I want to put into the Watford in 100 Objects list is my Junior Hornet Membership Card.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

WHAT’S IN A NAME

With the summer transfer window shutting shortly, I think it's fair to say most Hornets fans will be happy with the business done at WD18. New signings Craig Forsyth and Mark Yeates have already got themselves on the scoresheet, whilst the signing of Stratford Town defender Tom James has shown that the club aren't afraid of taking chances on players from lower down the league pyramid. I might just dust down my boots. Whilst other fans may pore over the statistics of our new signings in the hope of getting an understanding of who and what we've brought in, I am much easier to please. I like a good name.

Imagine my delight then when we signed the superbly named Prince Bauben. With a name like that he could score a hat-trick of own goals in the FA Cup Final and he'd still be loved. Add to this the capture of Scottish international Chris Iwelumo and all of a sudden we've got two of the best names in the division. Tremendous stuff.

In an attempt to predict what sort of career our new captures will have at Watford, I decided to have a look back at some previous Hornets with exotic or entertaining names and it was with some surprise I found myself wishing I had been around in 1906, as this was the year that we signed the superbly named defender Bert Badger. Despite sounding like he was named after some sort of mascot, Bert had a good, if all to brief career at the Hornets, playing 56 times and scoring five goals. I wonder how many were from “set” pieces?...

Monday, 15 August 2011

A WHOLE LOT OF LLOYD

This blog was first published in the Watford v Derby Matchday programme on Saturday 13th August 2011.

Over the summer many players have taken a trip on the transfer merry go round, but Mike is ever so happy that Watford have one constant.

So here we are again then, 104 days after we saw QPR clinch their Championship title, it's all beginning again. Exciting isn't it? I'd like to begin by saying well done and thanks for not joining Cardiff City over the summer - at one stage it looked like all but the East Stand was going to up sticks and head down the M4, so congratulations on sticking with the Hornets.

Of course, in reality there is never any question of us deserting our club. Players, managers, staff and even stadiums come and go, but us supporters are always here. We're loyal. Occasionally, players do come along that match our dedication and devotion. We've all heard of the phrase “One club man”, but it isn't too often we get to use it. As Watford fans we are lucky enough to have one such player in our midst.

Since coming on as a substitute against Birmingham City on Wednesday 26 September 2001, he has played under six different managers, played over 300 games for the Hornets and has scored a single, memorable goal. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Lloyd Doyley.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Get your views on the podcast - Audioboo

FTRE is a Watford FC podcast made by Watford fans for Watford fans. Except on the whole it is only the three Watford fans on each podcast - that's not right. TO get everyone on each podcast is a logistical nightmare, but we have a new way to get your views, your rants, you match reports, even the chats that you have in the pub with mates. You record them, send them in and we'll try and get them on.

We're going to use a website called audioboo.fm. We're on there audioboo.fm/rookeryend. On our page, on the right you'll see a button that says "Send rookeryend a message". Click on that and if you've got your microphone plugged into your computer you can record up to 5 minutes and send it to us.

EVEN BETTER... you can do it on the move whilst you're at a game. All you need is a their iPhone app or an Andriod app. Download it, log on, hunt us down and add us to your contacts. It's very easy to use and you can even see how loud or quiet you are.

So if you fancy having a go at this weeks game grab a mate or two and have ago. You could do it either before the game over a beer, at half time whilst you've having your bovril or after the game  as you wonder back to the car. You can even get your phone out during the game and send us something if you fancy it. All you need to do is pick a subject to talk about and once audio boo has counted you in start by saying:

"Hello I'm _____________ and with me is ______________ ....." 

And go for it, just talk like you normally do about Watford FC.

You know what, you can even do it on your own. If you get a thought about the club or a question you think is worth us debating on a podcast then get on audioboo and send it over.

It's always good to keep it focused one thing. It could be a players performance, a particular incident in a game, a debate about formation you've had or a random chat about the colour of footballers boots you might have had.

The first 5 fans to send us something via audio will win a signed "From The Rookey End, End of Season Awards 2010-2011 Certificate". We have them signed by Marvin Sordell, John Eustace, Danny Graham, Lee Hodson and Danny Graham. The first come, first choice!

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Thursday, 11 August 2011

WFC in 100 Objects - #3 Cardboard Andy

This season we're hunting down 100 objects that define Watford Football Club. Each provides a evocative memory or time in Watford's history. They can be historic objects that define the most important moments on the pitch or personal objects that define your relationship with club. To play your part email your suggestion to podcast@fromtherookeryend.com.

Read the list as so far on our Watford in 100 Objects page.

Here is our third object, which looks some what like Mike's brother Andy.

Object # 3: Cardboard Andy


The 2005/06 season was an extraordinary one for Watford fans. Widely tipped for a struggle under the stewardship of rookie manager Adrian Boothroyd, a Marlon King inspired Watford confounded the critics to finish third in the Championship table, securing an unlikely Play-Off berth against Crystal Palace.

As the Hornets swept into what was to be an unassailable three goal lead at Selhurst Park, there were scenes of delirium and joy all around. Unashamed delight was etched on each and every face in the packed away section. Apart from one. Next to me sat my brother, Andy. He was smiling, but in a slightly detached, vacant way. Barring a second leg miracle, Watford were going to be in their second Play-Off Final, and Andy knew he was going to miss it.

You see, Andy - like every other right minded person, hadn't anticipated Watford being involved in the post season fun and games and had booked a holiday. Watford and 35,000 supporters would be going to Cardiff and the Millennium Stadium. Poor old Andy was going to be in Cyprus.

Andy was understandably devastated, but he quickly set about finding a solution. A combination of his fiery girlfriend and a no-cancellation policy rapidly made it clear that reorganising the trip was out of the question, whilst his politely worded requests to the Football League for a change to the date of the fixture were met with stony silence. It was now clear he wasn't going to make it, but still he wanted to ensure his presence was felt in Cardiff. He struck upon an idea.

A cardboard cut-out.


If he couldn't be there, at least his image could be. The players could see his face, they'd know he hadn't deserted them. (Yes, we are talking about a grown up here.) Despite concern from family and friends for his mental health he set about creating a number of cardboard likenesses. And so it was, that on 21 May 2006, my friends and I could be seen boarding the train to Cardiff clutching beers, Watford scarves and my brother's grinning face plastered onto a couple of cardboard placards.

A mixture of amusement and bemusement met us wherever we went, although I didn't expect to be asked “When did he die?” on more than one occasion. Not the intended message! Unabashed, we continued to display the cut-outs, propped up at the bar, introducing “him” to fellow Hornets, or simply waving them in the general direction of the Leeds fans, housed at the other end of the stadium.

The rest of course, is history. Watford had the beating of Leeds from the get go, and three unanswered goals meant Watford were the first club to win promotion via the play offs without conceding a goal. Of course, no other club had a cardboard cut-out of my brother. If only Billy Davies had thought to take them along...

One of the specimens was badly damaged during the ensuing celebrations, whilst the other was returned, a touch rough round the edges, to my brother. It is now safely stored in a top secret location, ready for use once again should Andy be out of the country on an important match day.

In this age of “plastic supporters” who only make the effort to see the big teams or important games, I am proud of my brother. Watford's one and only cardboard fan.

Mike


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Monday, 8 August 2011

Ex-girlfriends

I spent the first Saturday night of the season talking like a jealous ex-boyfriend. I wasn't talking about a ex-girlfriend I want to get back together with. Just one where things ended well, but my jealous side didn’t want her to do as well as me in the future. I could have been talking about Heidi (2003-2004), but I was talking with a Brighton fan and my ex-girlfriend was Will Buckley. My friend was in a fantastic mood - big win, new favourite player and a shiny new stadium. Selfishly I was trying to take the edge of his high by warning him of Bucko’s inconsistency last season and how a strong Championship full back could easily stop his fast pace. I was jealous, simple as that. I may have been clutching at straws when I boasted that yes, he may have a new stadium, but I’ve got a brand new yellow seat in the Rookery End.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

PODCAST SPECIAL - Lloyd Doyley FTRE Interview


DOWNLOAD LLOYD DOYLEY FTRE SPECIAL VIA ITUNES

Do you have a bloke at work who's worked there for an awfully long time? He might not be the high flier or go looking for the attention of the boss every 5 minutes, but he gets on with his work and if he disappeared you'd wonder how the place would keep running. Well for me, at Watford Football Club that bloke is called Lloyd Doyley and this year is his testimonial year.

Yes, it's really been 10 years since we saw a fresh faced, 18 year old Lloyd run on the Vicarage Road pitch to replace Pierre Issa. He's gone on to make over 300 appearances,  he's been picked by 6 different bosses and scored one fantastic goal.

To help kick off his testimonial year Lloyd took FTRE on a bit of a tour of the backroom area at Vicarage Road. He talked to us about his matchday preparation, how the changing room runs, his heroes and contemporaries, his highs and lows, oh and of course that goal. You might have heard 10 minutes of this interview on Podcast 2.1, but the exclusive FTRE Lloyd Doyley Special podcast is a full 30 minutes.

You can download the podcast via iTUNES or listen on-line by clicking on the play button below.



- Jon

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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Mike in the Guardian - Watford 2011-2012 Preview


The Guardian newspaper asked From The Rookery End's Mike Parkin to give his thoughts on Watford's chances this season. You can read his views on the Hornets below, and along with other bloggers from every club in the Championship on the Guardian website.

Nothing is ever straightforward when it comes to supporting Watford. Flamboyant chairmen, the turning of a much loved ex-manager into a vegetable, constant criticism of our style of play and a three-sided ground have all been used as proverbial sticks to beat us. Now, us Hornets fans have another thorn in our side. Wales.

During the close season we have lost the Championship's leading scorer Danny Graham down the M4 and across the border to Swansea, whilst our manager, his backroom team and the influential midfielder Don Cowie have also crossed the bridge, all now employed by Cardiff City.

The exciting winger Will Buckley has also departed, although he has headed south to Brighton. Add into the mix a relatively new and unknown owner and Watford fans could be forgiven for being mildly concerned.

However, in appointing the former youth and reserve team manager and Mackay's assistant Sean Dyche as boss, the club have gone for continuity – something that has pleased Watford fans. He may not have managerial experience, but he has Watford experience and that will do for us. Combine his appointment with a smattering of new signings; Mark Yeates, Chris Iwelumo, David Mirfin, Craig Forsyth and the wonderfully named Prince Buaben, who all look like good additions, and there is perhaps cause for cautious optimism.

Of course, when I say optimism, I mean a vague notion that we may achieve this season's single goal. Survival. Whilst our younger players performed admirably last year, they are going to have to do so again this term if Watford are to avoid a relegation scrap and only time will tell if the squad is big enough, strong enough and experienced enough to keep our heads above water in what is an increasingly competitive division.

Simply put, if by 5pm on 28 April Watford are still a Championship club, the 2011-12 season will have been a success.

I guess time will tell exactly what Wales has that Watford doesn't.

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WFC in 100 Objects - #2 Knitted Wilf

This season we're hunting down 100 objects that define Watford Football Club. Each provides a evocative memory or time in Watford's history. They can be historic objects that define the most important moments on the pitch or personal objects that define your relationship with club. To play your part email your suggestion to podcast@fromtherookeryend.com.

Read the list as so far on our Watford in 100 Objects page

Here is our second object, a very special object to From The Rookery End presenter Jason.

Object # 2: Jason's knitted Wilf Rostron


Monday, 1 August 2011

Watford FC in 100 Objects - #1

As football fans, the things we treasure most are our memories. Players and managers, even stadiums come and go, but we will always have our memories, and we wanted to come up with something that would allow us to share ours, whilst also hearing what other gems fellow fans can remember. That's why we are launching our new project – Watford in 100 objects.

Watford in 100 objects is to bring together a list of one hundred different items, each providing an evocative memory or time in Watford's history, but we need your help to do it! Here at FTRE we have our own objects that will be included, but what will make it special is hearing yours. The object can be absolutely anything as long as it is linked in some way to Watford Football Club.

To play a part, all you have to do is email details of your object (you don't have to own it!), along with a brief description as to why you want it included to podcast@fromtherookeryend.com. We will be building the list as the season goes on, providing updates here on the website and on our monthly podcasts so if you want yours to be featured, email us today.