It was a simple message: ‘Best wishes Nic ‘Moo’. We are all thinking of you...From your Watford FC family.’ But the words displayed on the banner in support of Nic Cruwys were shared by everyone involved with the football club.

Whether it is the chief executive, head coach, club captain or the local media, everyone associated with the Hornets is rooting for the father of two who was brutally attacked on his way back to the train station following the 2-2 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers and remains in a critical but stable condition.

Saturday, March 7 was a dark day in the history of Watford Football Club. But the response since is an example of why most Golden Boys consider their club to be special.

It was a Wolves fan who was first to make a lovely gesture. Ollie Floyd, a 16-year-old who like Nic lives in Hemel Hempstead, set up a fund-raising page the day after the attack and it had resulted in more than £34,000 being raised for the hospitalised fan when the Watford Observer went to print yesterday (Thursday) evening.

Some of the Watford players were among those to donate and the squad has also agreed to pay for coach travel for the crunch away trip with promotion rivals Derby County on Good Friday. The club will do the same for the visit to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, April 15.

The 44-year-old’s family were guests of the club for Saturday’s match with Reading at Vicarage Road, as was Ollie. They were able to watch on first hand as supporters held up the banner before kick-off.

Yellow balloons were then released on 44 minutes, in reference to the milkman’s age, and the players wore t-shirts prior to kick-off with the message ‘For Nic’, which captain Troy Deeney passionately displayed after he scored.

Watford Observer:

Experienced midfielder Ben Watson acknowledged the build-up to Saturday’s fixture was different and said every win for the remainder of this season will be dedicated to Nic.

He said: “The whole place seemed to be together on Saturday and that is what we need every week now. On Nic, it is devastating. Nobody deserves that. He has gone to watch a game of football and ends up in a coma which is terrible.

“Hopefully he continues to get better and he can pull through. Every win now is dedicated to Nic. He is a huge fan of the football club, who has gone to do what he loves doing which is watching his team and is on the end of something he shouldn’t have been.

“So every win from now until the end of the season will definitely be for him.”

Watson confirmed the players and club staff met to discuss what they could do for Nic and his family following the brutal attack.

“It wasn’t just the squad [who had a meeting], it was everyone involved in the football club. Everyone does their part, from the top to the bottom,” Watson said. “We are all in this together and what has happened to Nic hasn’t only affected the players and the staff, it has affected everyone associated with the club.

“So we will all stick together and pray he pulls through and hopefully at the end of it there will be a big celebration.”

Immediately after the game both striker Matej Vydra and head coach Slavisa Jokanovic spoke about Nic to the media.

Vydra said: “That win was for him. I think we can help him like this because as players we work on the pitch. We wanted to win for him.”

On the t-shirts, he added: “For us wearing the t-shirts is nothing but we wanted to show we are behind him.”

Vydra was among the players to post an identical message on Twitter the night before and on the morning of the Reading win, which read: “Last 10 games. We are ready. #WatfordFC is altogether; staff, players, fans #fornicforpromotion.”

Vydra continued: “I don’t know whose idea it (the Twitter message) was but Troy is the captain and he helped do it and everyone followed. It is good to try to help.”

Watford Observer:

As Vydra spoke pitchside, Jokanovic was asked about Cruwys in his post-match press conference.

Jokanovic said: “My desire for Nic is that he recuperates as soon as possible. I hope this situation never happens again at any place in the world around a sporting spectacle.

“The Watford fans contributed their support today in a nice way and the only thing I want is for Nic to be back here with us soon.”

Jokanovic, Deeney and chief executive Scott Duxbury all had messages in Watford’s match-day programme relating to Nic.

In his programme notes Duxbury said: “Nic was simply enjoying a day out at an away match with his friends when he suffered a callous, calculated and unprovoked assault as he made his way from Saturday’s Wolves v Watford fixture. There were over 2,000 Watford supporters at Molineux. Any one of us coming away from the stadium could have suffered as Nic has.”

Duxbury also used his programme notes to ask anyone with information on the assault to contact the Police.

Those who want to donate to the fund set up for Cruwys can do so here.