Watford won their first ever game in the top flight 32 years ago today by beating Everton

On this date in Watford FC history

On this date in Watford FC history

First published in Sport

Saturday, August 28, 1982

Watford faced Everton in their first game in the top tier of English football.

Despite the relative inexperience of the squad, no signings had been made to strengthen the side that had won promotion. Nonetheless, the Hornets kicked off the season with a 2-0 win and it was two of the players with previous top-flight experience who got the goals.

Striker Gerry Armstrong, fresh from a successful World Cup with Northern Ireland in which he had been voted the best British player, scored the club's first in the top flight. Skipper Pat Rice got the second, the only goal he would score for the club, after Everton's Neville Southall was adjudged to have carried his free-kick over the goalline.

The game also yielded what were at the time record gate receipts of £46,604.

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

Comments (2)

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8:28am Thu 28 Aug 14

gloryhornet4 says...

I was high up level along the goal line and like all around me did not agree Pat Rice's free kick crossed the line. Ross Jenkins got very animated and that made the lino have doubts that Neville Southall had kept the ball out.

Next season we were on the end of a shocker of a decision in the FA Cup Final against the Toffees. What the Ref was thinking we have no idea - had he had any training on the rules?
I was high up level along the goal line and like all around me did not agree Pat Rice's free kick crossed the line. Ross Jenkins got very animated and that made the lino have doubts that Neville Southall had kept the ball out. Next season we were on the end of a shocker of a decision in the FA Cup Final against the Toffees. What the Ref was thinking we have no idea - had he had any training on the rules? gloryhornet4
  • Score: 2

6:48pm Thu 28 Aug 14

John Howard Norfolk says...

I was there as a season ticket holder. Can it really be 32 years ago? Supporters might remember Mike Vince on Watford Hospital Radio doing the commentary.
I was there as a season ticket holder. Can it really be 32 years ago? Supporters might remember Mike Vince on Watford Hospital Radio doing the commentary. John Howard Norfolk
  • Score: 0

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