Mine was a very small contribution to an excellent publication, which has been made available by Watford FC in celebration of their Community Sports and Education Trust’s 25th anniversary.

I received my copy in the post last week and was very impressed with the glossy publication, which traces the development of Watford within the community from the days before the Trust was founded. Written and compiled by Mike Raggett, who has done a superb job, it is well worth looking out for. The book is not on sale and the 10,000 print run was financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Premier League Charitable Fund, but season-ticket holders should have received their copy.

It is a remarkable story when one thinks back to the days of Ken Furphy and Jim Bonser and Watford’s 1969 promotion to the then Holy Grail of the club’s aspirations: second tier football. Ken engaged the Watford public from the off. He wrote a column for me in the old West Herts Post, which was a first for a Watford manager.

Through his initial columns and with our support, Ken launched Meet the Manager Evenings. This involved some 30 fans being selected from those who applied to attend the meeting. The evening was chaired by director Doug Broad in the vice-presidents’ suite at Vicarage Road.

Chairman Bonser was all for keeping the public at bay. Meeting the shareholders for the annual general meeting was sufficient contact in his book. Indeed, later when the fans’ Action Group was formed, Broad and director Jim Harrowell invited the leaders down for a chat in the boardroom one evening – a move criticised by the chairman who regarded the fans as “rabble-rousers”.

Marketing Watford was not a concept embraced by Bonser. The nearest they came to marketing was when the pools department issued some car stickers stating in the hip language of the late 1960s: ‘Hornets are Go’.

No, it is not a misprint. The Watford Observer had launched its own entertainment supplement within the Friday paper, listed as ‘Go’, and the fact was emblazoned across the Rookery Stand for years.

Graham Taylor, supported by Elton John, who had always been impressed by how US soccer fans had shared the food from their barbecues in stadium car parks with rival fans, launched the community aspect.

Watford embraced their fans for the first time in the club’s history and it was the first time in most clubs’ history, as evidenced by the numbers of club representatives who visited Ann Swanson over the subsequent years, trying to understand the basics of community revolution.

By then, the Hornets were Go – a remarkable story of development.

On a final note, before this column takes a summer break, I referred to Tom Walley’s contribution to ensuring Luther Blissett stayed at Watford in 1977.

Talking to Luther this week, he told me he was aware that at 17, the management was thinking in terms of releasing him. Mike Keen and coach John Collins had little faith in the young striker. Keen in fact had all but ruled Luther out of consideration for the first team from November to March by opining: “He prefers to play with the sun on his back.”

Luther remembers it well. “It is amazing when you look back and recall the daft statements people made.”

Keen, however, was axed after the bid for promotion from Division Four hit the rocks over Easter, which left Collins as caretaker. Collins continued employment into the reign of new manager Graham Taylor that summer, but was soon on his way.

While it had been the intent to let Luther go, in the summer of 1977 he still had his contract, which was to expire in 1978, so he continued in limbo, eager to prove himself to the new manager when pre-season got underway.

I suggested he only had a short window in which to achieve that for by the end of October the sun would no longer be on his back.

Luther chuckled at the concept. “I just had pre-season and a month or so. Actually I did not know anything apart from the fact Tom Walley had put in a strong word.”

That word counted for something, particularly as they wanted Tom to become the youth-team manager, whose job it would be to coach young players and recommend them to the professional ranks.

“I didn’t have to do anything. Just report back for pre-season training but I was aware that but for the change of managers, I could have been looking for a job that summer. I just reported back, met the manager and that was that. I did not have to sign anything for another year,” Luther recalls.

Graham repeated Luther’s full name as if in deep thought before suggesting: “That name would look good in lights.”

Indeed it did. Luther got his chance.

Now he is doing early morning shifts on the Love Sport 558am radio programme, which necessitates an early start to report to the London studio of the three-month-old station.

“Long may it continue,” says Luther, whose qualities and abilities have never been fully appreciated by those outside SW Herts. He should have had a few stints in management and coaching, which leaves me, among others, questioning whether prejudice played a part in denying him progress.

On that note, I will close. Enjoy the summer. It seems there may be a little stability in the management at Vicarage Road. When the Premier League is becoming almost littered with successful ex-Watford managers, stability would be a change.