The greatest era in Watford's history ended 27 years ago today as Graham Taylor left to join Aston Villa

On this date in Watford FC's history

On this date in Watford FC's history

First published in Sport

Monday, May 18, 1987

Graham Taylor resigned from Watford to be appointed as the new manager of relegated Aston Villa.

His unparalleled ten years at the helm had seen Watford win three promotions, finish second in the Football League, play in European competition and reach an FA Cup final as well as two further cup semi-finals. Taylor took Steve Harrison and John Ward from his coaching staff to Villa Park.

His replacement was confirmed as Wimbledon boss Dave Bassett, once an amateur on Watford's books, whose appointment chairman Elton John had championed.

In eight months as manager, Bassett would oversee the dismantling of Taylor's team and staff and the recruitment of largely inadequate replacements. In taking on the enormous challenge of replacing Taylor, he provided Watford fans with a scapegoat for the next 20 years.

Reproduced by kind permission of Matt Rowson from his book, Watford FC On This Day

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:10am Mon 19 May 14

Poppet Bear says...

I still don't forgive 'Arry Bassett !!! Even now.
I still don't forgive 'Arry Bassett !!! Even now. Poppet Bear
  • Score: 0

10:55am Tue 20 May 14

SamTheEagle says...

The board were to blame for appointing Bassett. They couldn't tell the difference between Taylor's quick counter attacking football (similar to Deeney's goal in the play-off match at Vicarage Road against Leicester) and Wimbledon's, hoof it down the middle to a thug who would bundle it into the net. The press had labelled both Watford and Wimbledon as 'route one, long ball teams' and the board believed what was being written.
The board were to blame for appointing Bassett. They couldn't tell the difference between Taylor's quick counter attacking football (similar to Deeney's goal in the play-off match at Vicarage Road against Leicester) and Wimbledon's, hoof it down the middle to a thug who would bundle it into the net. The press had labelled both Watford and Wimbledon as 'route one, long ball teams' and the board believed what was being written. SamTheEagle
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree