A former newspaper assistant editor who is remembered by many for his coverage of Watford FC is celebrating his 80th birthday.

Oliver Phillips had already been covering Watford for eight years for the West Herts Post before joining the Watford Observer in 1968.

He would go on to chronicle the club’s golden era under Graham Taylor and Elton John and, as sports editor and then assistant editor, was the authority on events at Vicarage Road, writing the Hornets’ official centenary history.

During his later years with this newspaper, Oli spent much of his time on the history of the area and researched and wrote the three-volume series Watford in the 20th Century, as well as other popular supplements.

Oli moved to France in 2005 after retiring but he continued to pen a regular column until 2018, when he reflected: “I loved my job and I loved to write. I look back with pride on a few articles, which I felt hit the spot with Watford fans.”

“Away from football, I was also very pleased with the numerous nostalgia books and supplements and the Centenary History of the club and Golden Boys. I was especially proud of that and perhaps my finest work as a researcher, the Sandringham Road VI saga.”

Happy birthday and best wishes, Oli.