Watford FC: Away Supporters' Guide
RTG’s totally and utterly (we hope) indispensable guide to this season’s away grounds.
THE OPPO Watford FC, the “Glory Hornet Boys”
DATE – Tuesday 19th October
KO TIME – 7.45pm
THE GROUND – Vicarage Road, Watford, Hertfordshire – click here and here for maps of the area - the arrow points to where the ground is. Watford FC share the ground with Saracens rugby club.
Watford is in Hertfordshire, 20 miles north west of central London. It’s handy for the M25, the M1 and also the A1. The ground is on Vicarage Road, pretty much in the centre of town, right next to Watford General Hospital (so if you get lost, follow the signs to the hospital and the ground's next to it).
Up to 4,000 away supporters can be accommodated in the the Vicarage Road Stand. It’s covered, has no pillars to restrict your view, and the pitch is very close to the low perimeter wall.
Disabled supporters are accommodated in the Rookery Stand, contact Watford FC’s Families, Youth & Community team on 01923 496231.
Tickets go on general sale Wednesday 6th October priced at £22 for adults, £12 for juniors and senior citizens.
GOING BY CAR?
* From the north east, take the A1 southbound and stay on it until almost Doncaster – when you reach jcn 35 take the M18 (third exit at the roundabout at the top of the slip road). Follow signs for ‘M1 South’, and you’ll join the M1 southbound at jcn 32 (if you’re dying for a wee by then, you get to a service area very soon afterwards!!).
* Stay on the M1 until you get to jcn 5: follow signs to Watford Town Centre on the A4008. Just over a mile later take the second exit off Waterfields Roundabout onto the A411 (signposted ‘Town Centre’).
* Half a mile later turn left onto the ring road (A4145), go past Watford High Street train station then turn left (signposted ‘West Watford’).
* At the next junction turn left, then right, then left again signposted ‘Rickmansworth, West Watford’) then you’ll see the ground on your left shortly afterwards.
There are several multi-storey car parks but most of them are integrated into The Harlequin shopping centre (with names like “Queens”, “Kings”, etc). After the match the ring road will be chocka, so if you DO take the car, be prepared to sit in plenty of jams.
There is precious little on-street parking close to the ground, even a Watford supporter advised me recently that all things considered, parking close by probably isn’t the best option – consider parking at a railway station a stop or two up from Watford (eg Hemel Hempstead, Apsley, Kings Langley, Berkhamsted etc) and get the train into town (see “Going By Train”, below)
GOING BY TRAIN?
Yet again it’s another journey on the GNER services from Newcastle.
There are GNER services to Kings Cross leaving Newcastle at 12.59pm, 1.28pm and 1.57pm, arriving at 3.59pm, 4.47pm and 4.59pm respectively. Then you need to walk or get a tube to Euston Station (one stop away on the Northern Line) then either a Virgin or Silverlink County train to Watford Junction – they leave Euston about every 10 to 15 minutes - and you should be in Watford in time for a drink or two before kick-off.
Going home: bad news...the last GNER service heading north leaves Kings Cross at 10pm, you won't make it to King's Cross from Watford unless you leave midway through the second half (which pretty much defeats the point of going in the first place really...) and the only way you'll get back to the north-east on the same night is by road.
If you want to do the majority of the journey by car but park a few stops up the line from Watford and get the train into town to avoid a parking headache: using Hemel Hempstead station as an example, trains heading into Watford stop there roughly every 15 minutes and the journey takes about 10 minutes. It'll set you back about £3 for a return ticket.
For full timing details, fares and to book, go to National Rail’s website.
From Watford Junction Station go straight ahead up Clarendon Road. At the top, use the subway/traffic lights to cross the ring road then straight ahead again towards High Street – you’ll pass the Palace Theatre on your left hand side.
Turn left onto the main High Street then cross over the road and turn right and go down Market Street. Use the traffic lights to cross the ring road (Exchange Road), carry on down Market Street then left onto Merton Road. Bear right and head along to Vicarage Road and you’ll see the ground on your left. It'll take you about 20 minutes in total.
* Travel Inn, St Albans Rd, Watford – tel 0870 1977261
* Moat House, St Albans Rd, Watford – tel 01923 429988
* Travelodge Hemel Hempstead, tel 0870 0850950
SCRAN AND BOOZE
You’ll find the usual burger vans close to Vicarage Road. Otherwise in Watford town centre there’s no shortage of places to eat – from a Harvester restaurant on St Albans Road (The Three Horseshoes) to the usual things like Pizza Hut and McDonalds, to Indian and Chinese restaurants, Kebab shops and, if memory serves me correctly, a Chicago Rock Café on The Parade - you'll have tons of choice. Mac's Bar on Fearnley Street near the ground is especially welcoming of away supporters, as is the Moon Under Water on High Street. But the one watering hole away fans should avoid is the Red Lion, close to the ground.
If you’re staying in the vicinity after the match, either try out some more of the pubs and eating places or try Jongleurs Comedy Club on The Parade (just up from the High Street) or the ‘Area’ or ‘Destiny’ nightclubs.
LEND US A FIVER I’M OUT OF CASH
There’ll be cash machines at Kings Cross and Euston Stations if you’re taking the train down – otherwise no shortage of machines in the shops at Watford, 5-10 minutes away from the ground.
BLIND, STUPID AND DESPERATE...
What do Sunderland supporters think of Watford? Click here to find out - from the BS+D fanzine summer poll.
What do they think of US? Click here.
What did we tell the Watford fanzine how we thought we'd do this season? (including such memorable questions as 'Do you know the way to San Jose?') Click here.
IN THE NEWS
The Hornets have signed West Brom defender James Chambers for an initial £75,000 rising to £150,000 depending upon appearances.
Gaffer Ray Lewington has recently agreed terms for a new one year rolling contract at the club.
First team coach Terry Burton has left to join Cardiff City as assistant manager
Watford chairman Graham Simpson hopes to raise £1m from his predecessor Elton John's return to the club to play a fund-raising concert at Vicarage Road next summer.
Finished 16th out of 24 with 57 points
Currently 8th of 24 with 17 points (at 2.10.04):
P11 W5 D2 L4 F14 A9 Pts 17 GD 5
P6 W2 D2 L2 F7 A4 Pts 8 GD 3
HEAD TO HEAD
We’ve played Watford 32 times in the League in recent years; we’ve won 13, they’ve won 7, and we’ve drawn 12.
LAST 6 LEAGUE MEETINGS
07/02/04 Watford 2 Sunderland 2 (Stewart 76, Byfield 86)
25/08/03 Sunderland 2 Watford 0 (Stewart, Wright)
27/11/99 Watford 2 Sunderland 3 (Phillips x 2, McCann)
10/08/99 Sunderland 2 Watford 0 (Phllips x 2)
30/01/99 Watford 2 Sunderland 1 (Quinn)
25/08/98 Sunderland 4 Watford 1 (Johnston, Summerbee, Dichio, Melville)
24/09/96 Sunderland 1 Watford 0 (Scott)
They’ve had a succession of well-known managers in recent years – Luca Vialli, Graham Taylor (twice), Glenn Roeder, Steve Perryman, Colin Lee to name but a few.
Baldock Town player Kevin Phillips signed for Watford in December 1994 for a mere £10,000 and went on to score 25 goals in 65 appearances over two and a half years. In July 97 he signed for Sunderland for just over £300,000 and went on to become our record post-war goalscorer.
Our former keeper Alec Chamberlain went to Watford in July 1996 for £40,000 and has notched up 264 appearances since then – he celebrated his 40th birthday in June but these days usually keeps the bench warm.
Manager Ray Lewington’s son Dean is a professional footballer, representing MK Dons in League One.
They were formed in 1881 as Watford Rovers. They later merged with Hertfordshire Rangers and Watford St Mary’s to become Watford FC.
Credits Watford FC, Big Watford Love, Watford Council, Multimap, Rough Guide to English Football, Soccerbase, streetmap.co.uk, The AA, BBC, Drew Hallewell.
Did you find this guide useful? Or as useful as a chocolate fireguard? Spotted a mistake? Email and tell us! firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 02, 2004