Watford have been blessed with some fine goalkeepers over the years. Names including Tony Coton, Kevin Miller, Alec Chamberlain, Heurelho Gomes and current number one Ben Foster will be among those that spring readily to mind for many fans. But for older supporters there will be other shot stoppers who deserve to be mentioned alongside their more recent counterparts.

Having previously highlighted the strikers whose job it was to put the ball in the back of the net at one end of the pitch, the Watford Treasury has again been looking back through the archives at three other goalkeeper who played their part in the club's journey to becoming an established presence in the top two divisions of the English game.

Steve Sherwood holds a unique place in the story of the Hornets' rise through the divisions in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the only player on the club's books for the entirety of Graham Taylor's first spell as manager at Vicarage Road.

Watford Observer:

Signed for £3,000 in November 1976 by Mike Keen, it took Sherwood until the 1981/82 campaign to establish himself as the clear number one when he played in all but one of Watford's league games as they were promoted to the top tier for the first time in their history.

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He then missed only two Division One games over the next two seasons as the tale of the unexpected continued, with Taylor guiding the Hornets to runners-up spot in Division One, into Europe and to their first appearance in an FA Cup final.

Watford Observer:

Andy Rankin was long since established as the number one when Sherwood moved to Vicarage Road - and it was the former Everton custodian who would play the majority of the league matches in Taylor's first two seasons as Watford stormed to successive promotions.

A popular figure with the fans, Rankin won the inaugural Player of the Season award in 1973 and repeated the feat two years later.

Watford Observer:

The goalkeeper had been signed in November 1971 but his arrival was not enough to prevent George Kirby's side being relegated from Division Two as they finished 14 points adrift at the basement.

Watford Observer:

His arrival also marked the beginning of the end of the Vicarage Road career of the man who had become the first goalkeeper to represent the club in Division Two, Micky Walker.

The shot stopper had signed from York City in September 1968 and went on to become an ever-present as Ken Furphy's side won the Division Three title.

Watford Observer:

The father of former England goalkeeper Ian Walker would go on to play in the club's first FA Cup semi-final the following season after enjoying a memorable sixth round triumph over Liverpool.

Watford Observer:

The latest volume The Watford Treasury — a visual history of Watford Football Club — is out now. It’s a 96-page full-colour magazine of photography and articles covering almost every decade of the club’s existence. Highlights include a piece on the Watford Observer’s former cartoonist Terry Challis, written by Oliver Phillips. There’s also an interview with Steve Palmer about Graham Taylor's 1990s side; reflections on the late Alan Garner by his team-mate Ian Bolton; and, looking further back, an article on 1950s goalkeeper (and GB Olympian) Ted Bennett. 

You can order Volume 6 of The Watford Treasury via this link.