A stunning world title victory for Anthony Joshua, another huge blow to the Met Line extension plans, a denial of claims that Watford FC may be sold and an award for the town’s nightlife were among the stories making the headlines in the Watford Observer five and ten years ago this week.


Joshua beats Klitschko in Wembley thriller

Anthony Joshua heralded the start of a new era of heavyweight boxing by dramatically knocking out Wladimir Klitschko in 11 rounds.

Making the third defence of his IBF title, the Watford boxer also became the WBA champion after recovering from the first knockdown of his career to impressively win at Wembley Stadium.

Watford Observer:

Picture: Action Images

In only his 19th professional match-up and in front of an estimated 90,000-strong crowd, a post-war record for a fight in the UK, he was at severe risk of his first ever defeat after hitting the canvas in the sixth following a huge right hand.

A period of survival followed before, as he recovered his confidence and ambition in the final rounds, he secured two further knockdowns and forced referee David Fields to intervene with Klitschko unable to defend himself from another heavy barrage.

Watford Observer:

Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London washes his hands of Met Line extension

The Mayor of London has washed his hands of the Met Line extension.

The future of the multi-million pound scheme was in doubt after Sadiq Khan omitted it from the TfL draft business plan in December.

It was dealt a further blow earlier this year after Transport for London revealed there was a £50 million black hole in the funding.

And now Sadiq Khan has said that because the project lies outside of London, the responsibility lies with the Government.

Watford Observer:

A memorial for George Michael will be held at St James' Parish, Bushey followed by refreshments at The Three Crowns Pub

The Simpsons writer to help fund George Michael Memorial

A writer of The Simpsons is supporting the campaign to restore the Scout Hut that George Michael first performed in.

Carolyn Omine is donating tickets to her up-coming one-woman show to a raffle to raise money to treat structural problems in the hut.

The tickets will be auctioned at the Three Crowns Pub, High Road on Sunday, April 30 from 4pm following the memorial to be held in St James’ Parish, Bushey at 3pm.

Carolyn’s show One Night Only at the Mermaid will take place in The Mermaid Theatre, Puddle Dock on Saturday, August 5.


Watford Observer:

Laurence Bassini. Picture: Watford FC / Alan Cozzi

Bassini denies takeover and investment claims

Watford owner Laurence Bassini has vehemently denied claims he is looking to sell the club or seek new investment.

Rumour and speculation surrounding a potential new owner and investment has increased in recent weeks.

Sources also told the Watford Observer that Bassini has been in discussions with a potential investor for some time.

But the Stanmore businessman, who took over the club in March last year, has strongly rejected the claims.

Bassini told the Watford Observer: “There is no truth in me trying to get investment.

“Somebody asked me if I wanted to sell the naming rights for the stadium but I told them I am not interested.

“There is nothing in it at all. I am not seeking investment. What for? I do not understand where all these rumours come from.

“I hear every day that those sort of things are going on but those people making up rumours on forums are keyboard warriors.”

Watford Observer:

Sun clock tower

Row threatens landmark's restoration

The restoration of the iconic Sun clock tower in Watford will grind to a halt unless a dispute between the developer and Watford Borough Council can be resolved.

Builder and landlord Stuart Taylor, who has undertaken to convert the locally listed building in Ascot Road into offices, has said the project has stalled over its planned car park.

The parking area drawn up in the original plans, which were agreed with a different developer in 2009, is partly on council land.

When Mr Taylor started to build on the area the council stopped him and threatened legal action.

The result is a stalemate which is threatening to derail the project to restore the dilapidated building to its former glory.

Watford's night-time entertainment takes a bow with Purple Flag

Watford’s nightlife has received an award for the ‘appealing and diverse’ entertainment it offers to visitors.

The town has been given a Purple Flag, an accreditation that recognises excellent management of popular night time areas around the UK.

To achieve the status towns and cities must prove that they are welcoming to all visitors, offer safe ways for visitors to travel home, provide a good mixture of venues as well as generally being appealing after dark.

Dorothy Thornhill, the town’s elected mayor, said: "We believe in trying to do things that matter to the best of our ability.

"We want people that come for a night out to feel safe.

"It is a credit to all the staff and the police who are working their socks off - it’s a real pat on the back for them.”