Marvin Sordell admits Watford will "always be home" and said he refused to celebrate his goal at the weekend out of respect for the club and their fans.
Sordell signed for Watford as a teenager after he was released by Fulham and scored 27 goals in 81 appearances for the Hornets' first team.
The England Under-21 striker was sold to Bolton Wanderers by former owner Laurence Bassini on the final day of the January transfer window last year.
Saturday was the first time Sordell has played against Watford at Vicarage Road since he left the club and he opened the scoring from the penalty spot.
Sordell said: "Watford is probably always going to be home to me because I'm from around here, my friends and family live around here and it's always going to be a special place for me.
"I'm glad I got a good reception because I know a few people go back to their old clubs and get booed.
"I didn't want to celebrate when I scored, purely out of respect."
He continued: "It felt a bit strange running out to warm up on the opposite side; it's something I've not been used to doing so it was a bit strange. It's changed a bit around here so it's a bit strange but it's good coming back."
As expected, Sordell was heckled as he went to take his penalty but the striker said: "Of course I did - it's the banter of the game and they don't want me to score. I just tried to keep calm, choose my spot and put it there."
Sordell spent several years at Watford in their under-18s, reserves and first team and played with a number of the current Hornets squad.
"I still speak to quite a few of the boys," Sordell said. "They wished me luck today before the game and hoped that I scored but they were still hoping to be on the winning side of course.
"They're doing very well and I'm pleased for them. I wish them all the best in the future."
He added: "I think what is happening at the club now is good for the fans - I think they're enjoying the way they're playing. There have been a lot of changes and I think it's exciting for the fans and the players."