‘One-club’ players are a rarity in the world of football these days but for Watford’s very own Lloyd Doyley, this isn’t the case.

Lloyd Doyley has now racked up over 400 appearances for Watford Football Club and already has a testimonial under his belt at the age of only 30.

Lloyd joined the club’s academy at just nine years old and admitted he’s always been fond of the game.

“I started playing football for a team when I was quite young. I grew up watching lots of football on the weekends like Match of the Day, so I’ve always wanted to be a professional footballer.”

Back in 2001, Watford chairman Sir Elton John appointed Gianluca Vialli as the manager, which saw an influx of foreign players on high wages which put the club into great financial woes in the years to come. At the time of Vialli’s arrival, many of the existing players did not have their contracts renewed so when Lloyd made his debut only nine games into the new season, it came as quite a surprise to him.

“When I found out I was on the bench for the match I was quite shocked because at the time Gianluca Vialli had brought in a lot of new players. When I came on I didn’t have much time to be nervous as we were against a tough Birmingham side. We managed to get a draw in the end so it was a really good debut.”

In his time at Watford, Lloyd has seen seven managers come and go through the doors of Vicarage Road, but has always managed to be in and around the first team.

“I’ve got a good attitude, I might not be the best technically but I’m always willing to work hard and willing to learn. In football you’ve got to listen. If you don’t listen then you don’t know what the manager and the coaches want from you. I’d say these things have helped me to be involved with all the managers that have been here.”

The seven managers that Lloyd has played under might have not been as successful as one another, but there are two particular managers he had a special mention for.

“Every manager is different. Obviously Aidy Boothroyd had the most successful time at Watford and you enjoy it more when you’re playing every week in a winning side. We got promoted to the Premiership under him so I did enjoy that quite a lot. I also enjoyed playing under Brendan Rodgers. He was only here for six months, but he had really great management skills with how he spoke to the players and there’s no surprise seeing him at Liverpool now. It’s also good working with Gianfranco Zola at the moment as well!”

There was always a long running joke with the Watford fans as to whether Lloyd would ever score a goal for the club.  This often prompted the Watford faithful to scream ‘SHOOT’ every time he received the ball in the opposition’s half. Every Watford fan’s prayers were answered in a midweek clash in 2009 against Queens Park Rangers when Lloyd scored with a diving header.

“Scoring my first ever goal was a huge moment for me. It was on Sky Sports at the time so everyone was watching. I’ll never forget when we were promoted to the Premiership either as we were playing at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff where 70,000 people were watching. That was a great memory for me.”

It’s well documented that professional sportsmen and women find it hard to keep sport from taking over their lives but with Lloyd this isn’t a problem, who sees himself as a family man.

“It’s pretty easy to switch off from football when I’m at home. I’ve got two children, a five year old and an eight year old and they allow me to switch off when I’m at home. I’ve always had that in me, when I get through the front doors I forget about football and just get on with normal life.”

Football is a tough industry and match days are not usually a place for humour. However, this incident couldn’t help but bring laughter at the expense of Lloyd.

“We played QPR at home three or four seasons ago. The ball was cleared out from a corner to me where I was the only man back on the half way line with five QPR players running towards me. I thought I heard a whistle from the referee so I picked up the ball and everyone was thinking: ‘what is he doing?’ I saw all these players running towards me so I chucked the ball away into the stand and got a yellow card for it. Everyone was taking the mick out of me and they still do to this day!”

Joking aside, Lloyd did have one last message to give.

“I never thought I’d make 400 appearances in my career because you don’t plan that far ahead in football. I have though and I’m very grateful to have played all these matches for Watford Football Club.”

Lloyd Doyley, what a remarkable and committed man who will always be a Watford Legend.