A year ago a group of Watford fans discussed the prospect of creating a new singing section aimed at improving the atmosphere at Vicarage Road. Now The 1881 have more than 400 members and have raised – with the help of Watford Supporters Trust – around £4,000 to spend on banners and flags around the stadium.
The group was the idea of lifelong supporter Roy Moore and their influence at the Hornets stadium can be seen – and heard – at each match.
“We decided Watford FC needed more noise, more colour and more collectiveness within its support,” Moore said.
“As the season has progressed, we believe we have had a positive impact on the atmosphere at Vicarage Road; not just in creating vibrancy and noise from within our area, but also encouraging others to join in, something we’ve always been just as keen to achieve.”
The 1881 meet at The Railway Arms in Oxhey prior to each match as they attempt to find their voices before the 15-minute walk to the Hornets’ stadium.
The money raised has been spent on a host of banners and flags and Moore said: “We’ve listened to the fans and taken on ideas, resulting in new chants to be sung plus flags and banners that have been added so we can really create a brilliant display for the players when they walk out of the tunnel.”
The group has paid for a banner to be placed on the East Stand ahead of this weekend’s match with Ipswich Town, thanking the club’s owners, the Pozzos.
Moore explained: “We are fully supportive of the Pozzos and we’ll always be 100 per cent behind the team, which is why we thought it would be a fitting tribute to create a banner for all to see.”
The 1881 section are always looking to expand and have forged relationships with London-based fans of Borussia Dortmund and Greek side Aris, coinciding with other Watford FC fans’ blogs and programme articles. Several are planning to attend matches before the end of the season.
Moore said The 1881 have a lot planned for the final two games of the season. He added the group are also contemplating creating the biggest surfer flag in the UK for the Rookery in the future, at 1,780 square metres.
“It is all very exciting and with this season reaching its end and the new one nearly upon us, we want fans to join our area to help take it to another level,” Moore said.
“In terms of thinking ahead and plans for the future, we want to continue growing on what we already have, adding numbers and getting more and more people to join in with us.
“We’re going to continue to meet at the pub before games if people want to join us, we’ll be looking to help co-ordinate away days in a similar fashion and ultimately we want to inject colour and enhance the atmosphere.”
The 1881 are hosting a barbecue at The Railway Arms after the final game of the season against Huddersfield Town on May 3, with Moore stating all Hornets fans are welcome to join the group at the event or in the matches in the meantime.
If interested in joining The 1881 singing section inside Vicarage Road, email your name and fan ID to firstname.lastname@example.org.