The funeral of former Watford player Roy Sinclair was held yesterday following his death at the age of 68.
The midfielder was at Vicarage Road from 1969 to 1972 and the Watford Observer’s former assistant editor Oliver Phillips, who was Hornets correspondent at the time, recalls: “Roy was an £11,000 buy from Tranmere Rovers in 1969, as manager Ken Furphy sought to push home Watford’s successful and first-ever promotion to the second tier. It was his highest transfer investment up to that time and not a very successful one.
“Roy had skill and could work hard, but he was not as mobile as the man he was bought to replace, Dixie Hale, who as the supporters had it, was ‘here there and *!#@!!!!* everywhere’.
“Roy made only 50 appearances for Watford despite participating in four seasons. He failed to make a real impression in midfield under Furphy and was injured, loaned and generally out of favour under George Kirby in the infamous 1971/72 campaign after which he was given a free transfer.
“An engaging individual, his claim to Watford fame is that in his second appearance for the Hornets he hit the winning goal to clinch promotion, the shot coming down off the bar. After the pitch invasion, presentation of the champagne-swigging players in the directors’ box, Plymouth claimed the ball did not cross the line, but who the hell was listening.
“Sadly for the player, it was downhill all the way and he also missed out on the subsequent FA Cup run to the semi-final in 1970, mainly through injury, after which he never made an impact.”
The Liverpool-born player joined Tranmere as a teenager in 1962 and helped the club to win promotion from the fourth division to the third in the 1966/67 season. A favourite with the Prenton Park fans, he scored 18 goals in 166 appearances before moving to Vicarage Road.
Following his departure from Vicarage Road, Sinclair moved to America and played for a number of clubs before retiring from the game in 1981.
He went on to become head coach of Seattle University but after returning to this country, was a regular guest at the club where he first made his name.