Leading your team out at Wembley is an ambition for any footballer and one which Adrian Mariappa fulfilled on Monday night.

The long-serving Watford defender had the honour of captaining the Hornets as he stood in for Troy Deeney as they took on Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night.

While a 2-0 defeat at the iconic ground took the sheen off the evening somewhat, wearing the armband under the Wembley arch was still a memorable moment for Mariappa.

“I’ve said it before, but I’ve managed to captain the club in the youth team, the reserves, the first team and now in the Premier League,” Mariappa told the club website.

“To lead the team out in the Premier League at Wembley, it’s moments like this that money can’t buy.

“It’s something I am very proud of and my family are very proud of and it’s a huge honour for me. I know what it means. Words can’t really do it justice.

“Captaining your boyhood club in the Premier League, you can’t help but be proud. I’m just disappointed not to get the result today because that would have made it extra special.”

Watford were competitive throughout the clash against top four hopefuls Spurs and could easily have taken something from the game had Hugo Lloris not been on form in goal.

The French stopper made some smart stops to keep Watford at bay in the first half and Mariappa felt the Hornets created enough to earn a share of the spoils.

He said: “My focus is on helping the team get the points that we need, and we didn’t get those points today.

“Obviously I am disappointed because I thought we did well and we deserved to get something out of the game.”