It was a real toss-up as to who won Watford’s first-ever wheelchair pancake race on Tuesday.

First reports declared dynamic duo Watford FC manager Graham Taylor and wheelchair-bound Scot Neil McDonald of Kytes Drive, Watford, victorious.

But the football club’s explosive talent Luther Blissett and his partner Brian Hunter disputed their win.

Eventually the only solution was a play-off, and Luther and Brian, 42, who works as a payroll officer at Rolls-Royce and lives on the Kytes estate, won the day.

The wheelchair race was organised alongside the annual pancake race at the pond, which is sponsored by the Watford Observer and Watford Chamber of Commerce, to mark this year’s International Year of Disabled People.

Altogether 12 wheelchair-bound people, including eight from Abbots Langley Workcentre, competed in three heats.

Crowds of shoppers gathered (despite the cold and rain) to watch what has become one of the highlights of the year. A mishap occurred in Heat 1 when the enthusiasm of Northern Ireland international Gerry Armstrong accidentally toppled his partner Rosemary Holmes out of her wheelchair.

In the traditional race, Watford full-back Keith Pritchett repeated his 1979 pancake race victory to win four bottles of wine, £10 from Jif and tickets for Baileys, the Odeon and Watford Palace Theatre.

He will be presented with the Jif bronze frying pan at Saturday’s match against Cardiff.

[From the Watford Observer of March 6, 1981]