As the centenary celebrations at Vicarage Road begin to ramp up ahead of August 30 – the 100th anniversary of the Hornets’ first match at The Vic – Watford FC is delighted to announce the publication of ‘100 Years at Vicarage Road’ by Geoff Wicken.
Taking an in-depth look at the glorious history found within The Vic, the book focuses on photos, player stories and supporter memories from a century of stadium evolution.
With each chapter centring on and detailing an individual decade, and a foreword from Honorary Life-President Sir Elton John, the book is a must-have for Watford fanatics interested in the story of their beloved home.
On the book, author and historian Wicken said: “It’s been two years in the making, and I’m delighted with how it looks. It’s heavier than I was expecting though!
I particularly enjoyed researching and choosing the photographs, which should prompt memories for supporters of all ages.
“I was also keen to include fans’ own recollections, and the book includes lots of superb stories that supporters have contributed. I very much look forward to people reading it, and I’m sure everyone will enjoy it.”
Wicken will be joined by Hornets legends Luther Blissett, Tommy Smith and Tom Cleverley at The Hornets Shop at Vicarage Road from 12noon-1pm ahead of the Queens Park Rangers match on Saturday August 27, to sign copies of the book.
100 Years at Vicarage Road is available from Saturday August 27, and you can purchase your own copy online from The Hornets Shop and in the club’s official stores at the Vicarage Road Stadium and Atria Watford.
The book is priced at £20.22, with £1 from all purchases donated to the Watford FC Community, Sports & Education Trust.
Also, a new black and white Watford kit, first unveiled by Sir Elton John, will now be available for fans to buy.
Watford FC moved to Vicarage Road in 1922 after it had been playing for 23 years at a ground on Cassio Road. Their first match at the new ground on the 30th of August 1922 against Millwall.
Capacity: 21,977 (all seated)
Address: Vicarage Road, Watford, WD18 0ER
Club Nickname: The Hornets
Year Ground Opened: Was officially opened by Col. Charles Healey of Benskins Brewery 1922.
Vicarage Road Stadium has recently been expanded with the opening of the Sir Elton John Stand on the East side of the stadium. It was further expanded six months later, with additional rows of seating to the front of it.
Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: FxPro
Kit Manufacturer: Adidas
Home Kit: Yellow & Black With Red Trim
Away Kit: Red With Black & White Band
A new Reception and Club Shop, which was the place supporters showed their respect and signed book of condolences for the Late Graham Taylor OBE.
After purchasing the freehold of the stadium from Benskins in January 2002, Watford’s financial situation forced them to sell and lease back the stadium later that year.
However, after a campaign entitled ‘Let’s Buy Back The Vic’ with donations coming from fans, as well as celebrity former owner Elton John donating the entire proceeds of a concert held at the venue, the club was able to repurchase the stadium in September 2004.
Vicarage Road Stand
Previously an open terrace, the Stand was built following the 1992–93 season.
It cost £2.3 million to build and had a capacity of 5,800 people.
The Rookery Stand
Built over the course of the 1994–95 season cost £1.6 million to build, with a capacity of 6,960.
The Graham Taylor Stand
previously named after former FIFA president Sir Stanley Rous, was renamed for the 2014–15 season, taking its name from the club’s most successful manager Graham Taylor.
Built in 1986, the £3 million development that replaced the Shrodells Stand, was partly funded via a loan from Elton John.
The Sir Elton John Stand
The Stand sits on the east side of the ground, contains the changing rooms & tunnel.
The stand was fully opened on 13 December 2014, in a ceremony attended by Sir Elton John.
Tickets cost £36.00 for a seat behind the goal or the lower Graham Taylor Stand, £40.00 for the Sir Elton John Stand, and £42.00 for the Upper Graham Taylor Stand.
The teams come out to the old theme tune of the old Police series Z-Cars, as Watford fan Robert Hill explains; ‘this started in the 1963-64 season when Z Cars was at iits height on television. It was a favourite programme of the then Manager Bill McGarry and he asked that it be played at Vicarage Road. That season turned out to be a successful one of the Hornets and it has been continued to be played at the ground.’
The stadium initially began for Greyhound racing in 20 October 1928.