Video of the Day: Watford vs Everton, August 1982
The tangled webs we weave. It is something of a peculiarity of football history that the fortunes of Watford and Everton should have intertwined in the past, but it is a phenomenon exists, at least from the perspective of the Hornets. The club’s first – and to date only – FA Cup final appearance came against them in the 1984 FA Cup final and they share the same music in the form of the title music to the TV show Z-Cars, which is based on the traditional folk song “Johnny Todd”, a traditional folk song strongly associated with the city of Liverpool and which was adopted by Watford in 1963 because Z-Cars was manager Bill McGarry’s favourite television programme (actually, both stories behind the song’s use are considerably more involved than that, but those are both, perhaps, for another time).
McGarry lasted just a year at Vicarage Road, but fifty-three years on, this piece of music is still with the club, and perhaps it was appropriate that, upon reaching the First Division for the first time in the club’s history, Watford’s first match should be against Everton. It turned out to be an eventful afternoon as well, not least for their young goalkeeper Neville Southall, who’d broken into the first team the year before and would, several months later, be dropped and sent out on loan to Port Vale before returning to Goodison Park in 1983 to become established as their first choice goalkeeper and, indeed, perhaps one of the best goalkeepers in the world in the mid-to-late 1980s. On this day, however, under the warm, late summer Hertfordshire sun, luck wouldn’t be on Southall’s side. Commentary comes from Brian Moore.
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