After reading a report in the nostalgia page of the Watford Observer I have to point out that the article regarding Watford FC’s pre-season training trip to the Lake District is not entirely accurate.

The report says that the pre-season trip to the Lake District took place in preparation for the new 1964-65 season. In fact, this pre-season trip did not take place until the following close season (and was in preparation for the 1965-66 season).

Preparation for the 1964-65 season was actually supervised by a strict, regimental sergeant major-type of individual called Bill McGarry, who was manager of Watford FC at the time, and not, as the article suggests, Ken Furphy.

Tough as teak, McGarry had failed by a whisker in the 1964-65 season to take Watford FC into the second tier of the English Football League for the first time in the club’s history. In October 1964, McGarry turned his back on Watford FC, headed for pastures new in Suffolk and became the new manager of Ipswich Town.

Ken Furphy then became Watford FC manager and spent the remainder of the 1964-65 season clearing the decks of McGarry signings. Just before the end of the 1964-65 season Ken had managed to prise Dave Carr away from his old club, Workington Town, where Carr was a prolific scorer of goals. Along with the recently re-signed Cliff Holton (Watford FC’s prodigal son), Carr was an integral part of Ken’s plans for the 1965-66 season.

Carr and Holton were doing the business for the Hornets in the 1965-66 season until disaster struck following a 3-2 victory over York City at the Vic on October 30, 1965. On his way home after the York game, Carr had a horrific motor car accident that finished his professional football career. After this tragic accident, the goals dried up for Holton and two months later he was sold to Charlton Athletic. The reserve striker, Roger Hugo, couldn’t replicate the form that Carr was in at the time of his accident.

The 1965-66 season ended, failing to meet the expectations and hopes of all the pre-season work and commitment that took place in the Lake District during July 1965

Ernie MacKenzie

Gammons Lane, Watford