As part of the Football League's 125th anniversary fans of all 72 clubs were asked to vote for their top five players, managers, captains and seasons

Graham Taylor was voted as Watford's greatest in the manager category. Picture:

Graham Taylor was voted as Watford's greatest in the manager category. Picture:

First published in Sport
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As part of the Football League's 125th anniversary celebrations, supporters of every Football League club were invited to vote for their club's greatest player, manager, captain and season.

The shortlists for each club were compiled from date submitted by Football League clubs, collected from fans via social media.

Supporters submitted their suggestions to their respective clubs on Twitter, or by using pre-determined hashtags for each category.

Unsurprisingly, Watford's all-time top-scorer Luther Blissett was voted as the Hornets' best ever player, taking 55 per cent of the vote.

The England international scored 148 Football League goals for the Hornets across two spells.

Winger John Barnes came second to Blissett with 37 per cent of supporters' votes.

Striker Tommy Mooney completed the top three with five per cent of the vote.

Nigel Gibbs and Tony Coton rounded off the top five.

In the greatest manager category there was another inevitable winner in Graham Taylor, who took a whopping 87 per cent of the vote.

The former England manager took the club from the old Fourth Division into Europe via Division One and and FA Cup Final appearance in his first spell.

Taylor returned in 1997 and oversaw back-to-back promotions, guiding the Hornets into the Premier League for the first time in their history.

Perhaps more of a surprise was the identity of the runner-up, Aidy Boothroyd, who landed six per cent of votes.

The current England Under-20 coach left Vicarage Road under a cloud in 2008, but not before delivering a shock promotion to the Premier League and an FA Cup semi-final.

Ron Burgess - who guided the club to their first promotion in 1960 - came third.

Ken Furphy and Ray Lewington came fourth and fifth respectively.

John McClelland was the runaway winner in the greatest captain category, claiming 41 per cent of the vote.

The Belfast-born centre-half signed for the Hornets from Rangers in 1984 and spent five successful years in WD18 before returning for a brief loan stint in 1990.

Runner-up to McClelland was Neil Cox, who wore the armband between 2002 and 2004, one of the more turbulent periods in the club's recent history.

Keith Eddy, captain under Furphy in the 1960s and early 1970s came third.

Robert Page was fourth and Gavin Mahon fifth.

There was another clear-cut winner in the greatest season category, with the 1982/1983 season finishing top with 60 per cent of the vote.

Under Taylor the Hornets finished the '82/83 season second to Liverpool in Division One and qualifying for Europe for the first time.

The following season - 1983/84 - was second with 22 per cent of the vote, as the Hornets thrilled in Europe and reached their first and only FA Cup Final.

Another season which ended in a trip to Wembley under Taylor came third, the 1998/99 season, which saw Watford beat Bolton Wanderers in unforgettable fashion to reach the Premier League.

The 1968/69 and 1959/60 seasons came out fourth and fifth.

Greatest captain:

1. John McClelland - 41%

2. Neil Cox - 17%

3. Keith Eddy - 15%

4. Robert Page - 14%

5. Gavin Mahon - 13%

Greatest player:

1. Luther Blissett - 55%

2. John Barnes - 37%

3. Tommy Mooney - 5%

4. Nigel Gibbs - 2%

5. Tony Coton - 1%

Best season:

1. 1982/83 - 60%

2. 1983/84 - 22%

3. 1998/99 - 15%

4. 1968/69 - 2%

5. 1959/60 - 1%

Greatest manager:

1. Graham Taylor - 87%

2. Aidy Boothroyd - 6%

3. Ron Burgess - 4%

4. Ken Furphy - 2% 

5. Ray Lewington - 1%

Comments (15)

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12:40pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Poppet Bear says...

I'm not disagreeing but how is Luther our greatest ever player but never Player of the season . Seems strange to me. Any ideas ???
I'm not disagreeing but how is Luther our greatest ever player but never Player of the season . Seems strange to me. Any ideas ??? Poppet Bear
  • Score: -10

1:36pm Thu 17 Apr 14

piemagico says...

Tommy Mooney!!
Tommy Mooney!! piemagico
  • Score: -2

4:07pm Thu 17 Apr 14

bristol hornet says...

Not a single mention of the great Cliff Holton in all of this!

I guess most fans today are too young to remember, but his scoring records will never be beaten and if he played today would win these awards very convincingly.

And the promo season of 1959/60 when Big Cliff banged in 48 goals will always stand out for me.
Not a single mention of the great Cliff Holton in all of this! I guess most fans today are too young to remember, but his scoring records will never be beaten and if he played today would win these awards very convincingly. And the promo season of 1959/60 when Big Cliff banged in 48 goals will always stand out for me. bristol hornet
  • Score: 10

4:16pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Surbiton says...

Yes I tend to agree with you Bristol Hornet. We will never see the likes of Cliff Holton again. I started supporting the Orns in his first season here and can testify that he was undoubtedly the most prolific goalscorer we have ever had. However, when it comes to an all round footballer. For sheer class Luther takes the accolade, followed by Tommy Mooney. So much depends on which generation you were brought to the Vic. Manager, well its a no brainer really. No one has even got close to God.
Yes I tend to agree with you Bristol Hornet. We will never see the likes of Cliff Holton again. I started supporting the Orns in his first season here and can testify that he was undoubtedly the most prolific goalscorer we have ever had. However, when it comes to an all round footballer. For sheer class Luther takes the accolade, followed by Tommy Mooney. So much depends on which generation you were brought to the Vic. Manager, well its a no brainer really. No one has even got close to God. Surbiton
  • Score: 5

4:55pm Thu 17 Apr 14

andyhooked says...

I have not been watching Watford for 125 years so anything before the Ken Furphy era I can not comment upon! I agree with all of the number one hits above. GT is and always will remain the greatest and forever welcome. Without Elton none of this would have happened. Why though is Ken Furphy down so low when he had Bonsor and so little money available to him? I would put Ken at number 2. God bless him as last I heard he is not that well.
I have not been watching Watford for 125 years so anything before the Ken Furphy era I can not comment upon! I agree with all of the number one hits above. GT is and always will remain the greatest and forever welcome. Without Elton none of this would have happened. Why though is Ken Furphy down so low when he had Bonsor and so little money available to him? I would put Ken at number 2. God bless him as last I heard he is not that well. andyhooked
  • Score: 7

5:11pm Thu 17 Apr 14

ramage1996 says...

Aidy Boothroyd may have had one good season but he aint better than Brendan Rodgers is he considering he is now top of the Premier League.
Aidy Boothroyd may have had one good season but he aint better than Brendan Rodgers is he considering he is now top of the Premier League. ramage1996
  • Score: 2

5:30pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Tudor Hornet says...

Why are Neil Cox, Gavin Mahon and Ray Lewington on this list?
Why are Neil Cox, Gavin Mahon and Ray Lewington on this list? Tudor Hornet
  • Score: -6

6:36pm Thu 17 Apr 14

mellow yellow says...

Tudor Hornet wrote:
Why are Neil Cox, Gavin Mahon and Ray Lewington on this list?
The age range of most of the voters, I would guess. Leering ton did a great job considering the financial shambles at the time, so I get that one. Where's Wilf? Jackett? jonno... Lists like this will always throw up contentious views. I only started watching the golden boys in jan 84 so am unable to consider those before that date. Reading about them isn't enough... You really have to have seen them to have a true, educated view in my book.
[quote][p][bold]Tudor Hornet[/bold] wrote: Why are Neil Cox, Gavin Mahon and Ray Lewington on this list?[/p][/quote]The age range of most of the voters, I would guess. Leering ton did a great job considering the financial shambles at the time, so I get that one. Where's Wilf? Jackett? jonno... Lists like this will always throw up contentious views. I only started watching the golden boys in jan 84 so am unable to consider those before that date. Reading about them isn't enough... You really have to have seen them to have a true, educated view in my book. mellow yellow
  • Score: 4

7:33pm Thu 17 Apr 14

watford1881 says...

I personally think one of the best captains we have ever had was JD.. Vocal, commanding & full of fight and passion for the team.. No one has come close since he left.. Maybe not captain enough I suspect.. I do think the greatest goal scorer we hace ever had in the modern era was Mo Jo.. Goal machine.....
I personally think one of the best captains we have ever had was JD.. Vocal, commanding & full of fight and passion for the team.. No one has come close since he left.. Maybe not captain enough I suspect.. I do think the greatest goal scorer we hace ever had in the modern era was Mo Jo.. Goal machine..... watford1881
  • Score: 5

7:37pm Thu 17 Apr 14

watford1881 says...

Also another key point to bare in mind not as many older supporter use social media.. Its more of a younger persons passtime.. Maybe a vote on here would have seen more rounded top fives....
Also another key point to bare in mind not as many older supporter use social media.. Its more of a younger persons passtime.. Maybe a vote on here would have seen more rounded top fives.... watford1881
  • Score: 7

10:10pm Thu 17 Apr 14

SJM...laugh at luton says...

John Barnes best ever...

Graham Taylor best manager...

Captain...big Mac

Best celebration...Dia Thomas Luton Away
John Barnes best ever... Graham Taylor best manager... Captain...big Mac Best celebration...Dia Thomas Luton Away SJM...laugh at luton
  • Score: 3

9:33am Fri 18 Apr 14

hornetsteve says...

about time the club confirmed the new stand will named the graham taylor stand, it might just boost season ticket sales to, lets hope we can fill it next season(and improve the atmosphere) the pozzos deserve our full support & full credit to them for keeping there promise in building the long awaited new stand that should have been built when the great man got us to the prem some years back & what happened to the simpson ring fenced millions,!!
about time the club confirmed the new stand will named the graham taylor stand, it might just boost season ticket sales to, lets hope we can fill it next season(and improve the atmosphere) the pozzos deserve our full support & full credit to them for keeping there promise in building the long awaited new stand that should have been built when the great man got us to the prem some years back & what happened to the simpson ring fenced millions,!! hornetsteve
  • Score: 5

10:32am Fri 18 Apr 14

Nick El Greco says...

The fans who voted for Ray Lewington as our best ever manager must have been impostors
The fans who voted for Ray Lewington as our best ever manager must have been impostors Nick El Greco
  • Score: 3

3:07pm Fri 18 Apr 14

MainStandShambles says...

hornetsteve wrote:
about time the club confirmed the new stand will named the graham taylor stand, it might just boost season ticket sales to, lets hope we can fill it next season(and improve the atmosphere) the pozzos deserve our full support & full credit to them for keeping there promise in building the long awaited new stand that should have been built when the great man got us to the prem some years back & what happened to the simpson ring fenced millions,!!
Hear hear hornetsteve.

It was the scandal of the so-called ring fenced money that prompted my monicle in the first place. Thank goodness we have 'proper' owners at last.

The Graham Taylor stand it should be.
[quote][p][bold]hornetsteve[/bold] wrote: about time the club confirmed the new stand will named the graham taylor stand, it might just boost season ticket sales to, lets hope we can fill it next season(and improve the atmosphere) the pozzos deserve our full support & full credit to them for keeping there promise in building the long awaited new stand that should have been built when the great man got us to the prem some years back & what happened to the simpson ring fenced millions,!![/p][/quote]Hear hear hornetsteve. It was the scandal of the so-called ring fenced money that prompted my monicle in the first place. Thank goodness we have 'proper' owners at last. The Graham Taylor stand it should be. MainStandShambles
  • Score: 2

5:12pm Fri 18 Apr 14

WFCinexile says...

How anyone can vote for someone other than Graham Taylor as Greatest Manager is beyond me. Not just once, but to take us to the top flight twice is simply amazing. Add to that an FA Cup Final and Europe and there simply is no contest.
How anyone can vote for someone other than Graham Taylor as Greatest Manager is beyond me. Not just once, but to take us to the top flight twice is simply amazing. Add to that an FA Cup Final and Europe and there simply is no contest. WFCinexile
  • Score: 3

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