There are so many views and description of Nick Wright’s overhead kick for Watford against Bolton in the 1999 Play-Off Final at Wembley.

Countless camera shots, a range of different TV angles, the player himself, the rest of the team and 30,000 individual memories among the Watford fans there that day.

But one view that isn’t often asked for is someone who was closer to the ball as it entered the net than just about everyone else.

Neil Cox was later to join the Hornets and eventually become club captain, but that day he was in the Bolton defence and was standing on the line as Wright let fly.

As those many pictures show, Cox jumped but the ball cleared him, hit the net and the rest is history.

However, what does Cox remember about the goal?

“We knew that Watford were going to be good at set pieces,” he said.

“We’d watched them in the games leading up to the end of the season and it was obvious set plays were important to them.

“I was positioned on the near post, and then if the ball went over my head it was my job to drop back onto the goalline.”

That’s exactly what happened, as Peter Kennedy’s corner was flicked away towards the back of the area.

“So went the ball went over me,” said Cox, “and I did what I’d been asked to do. I got on the goal line. Unfortunately for me, Wrighty has then managed a piece of technique that has led to one of the best goals ever scored at Wembley.

“We see overhead kicks every week, but to do it on that day, in such an important game and at Wembley – you just have to take your hat off to Wrighty. That was just a superb piece of skill.

“And the thing is he hit it so sweetly and got so much power behind it, I didn’t even have time to think about punching it or anything like that. It didn’t loop over me, it flew over me. There was nothing I could have done about it.

“Wrighty will always be remembered for that goal. He was a really good player who just had that knee injury. It’s a shame he didn’t get the chance to play for longer.”

When Cox joined the Hornets in November 1999, he was not surprised that his new teammates reminded him of Wembley.

“Oh yeah, I got a bit of banter, from the other Watford players and the fans too,” he said.

“I even got it from the gaffer and Kenny, and Luther in particular. But I never minded that, I love a bit of banter. It helped me when I arrived at the club because the jokes started and that broke the ice.

“It’s never easy joining a club in the Premiership, especially then they’re struggling a bit. Everybody checks the new boy out: whose place is he going to take, what wages is he getting, that sort of thing. So the banter about the Wembley goal made it a bit easier.”

The Hornets were struggling when Cox arrived at Vicarage Road, but he moved south in the belief they would survive.

“When I joined, I honestly didn’t think we’d be relegated,” he said.

“I’d played in the Premiership and been relegated from it before, and been part of good squads that had gone down. I’d also seen good squads with a fighting mentality manage to stay up, and I thought we had that.

“In the end, a couple of signings didn’t work out, we didn’t have much luck with injuries and we put in a couple of bad performances.”

The current Watford squad is now in the same position as Cox and his teammates were 22 years ago.

“The first thing people always say is that the three teams who have come down should always be at least in the play-offs,” said Cox.

“But in any relegated squad you’ll have some lads who don’t want to be there anymore, others who stay but think they are too good for the Championship, and some who think it’ll be easy to get back to the Premier League.

“Put all that together, and it isn’t straightforward that the relegated teams will finish in the top six.”

Having said all that, Cox is quick to give Watford fans, and new head coach Rob Edwards, plenty to feel encouraged about.

“It’s good to see Watford giving a young British manager an opportunity,” he said.

“He’s got a good pedigree having worked with the England set-up, and he did very well in a lower division last season. The key thing is the club has to give him time.

“With the squad of players Watford have got, even before they sign anyone - and if they have a bit of luck with keeping everyone fit - then they should be looking at top six at least.”

The Watford team of 2000/01 didn't make it back up, and Graham Taylor retired to be replaced by Gianluca Vialli. The new manager told several of the established players he didn’t want them, and Cox arrived for the annual team photo day in the summer with a ‘for sale’ sign that he held above his head!

“That was great banter, and the manager took it very well and had a laugh about. He told me he’s still got a copy of that picture at home now.

“Luca had come in and told me and a few other senior players we weren’t part of his plans. I didn't have a problem with being told that, I prefer the honesty. You can’t be the right sort of player for every manager, and if you’re not then you have to get on with it.

“I came in and worked hard, got my head down. No moaning, just worked hard. He played me in a couple of pre-season games because he was struggling at left back, and I just got on with it and played. I think he respected that.

“My feeling was that I was fighting for my career, and if I worked hard in pre-season, played when I got the chance and didn’t let my head get down, someone might come in for me.

“In the end, I earned myself another chance at Watford with Luca, and I think he appreciated the way I had dealt with things when he first came.”

If ever there was a season where the club over promised, and then under delivered, that was it.

“The problem was that when Luca came, there were a lot of changes, not just on the pitch,” said Cox. “He made lots of changes at the training ground, he had a big gym built because he was really keen on weights work. We had chefs and doctors and masseurs, things we’d not really had before.

“On the pitch, he wanted to play out from the back. He wanted his team to play through the thirds, retain possession. A lot of the boys in the squad at that time had come through the likes of League One and League Two. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but you tend to play in teams that want to get the ball in the box quickly, get it forward and see what happens.

“I think the fans found it difficult as suddenly they were watching a team that was playing the ball around at the back, and if you’re doing that and you’re not winning games then the atmosphere isn’t great.”

If there was a highlight for Cox personally that season, then it was playing in defence with Filippo Galli. Having won five Serie A titles and three European Cups with AC Milan, the Italian defender was in the twilight of his career when he arrived at Watford – but it was a twilight that still shone.

“He was absolutely unbelievable,” enthused Cox. “He was 38 and had played his career in Italy, yet he arrived in England and immediately understood the game in this country, the banter and the challenge.

“In everything we did in training, he was at the front. He was a leader by example. Any of the younger boys that played with him would have set off on their career having been shown exactly how to handle yourself.

“He was a top, top professional, not just on the pitch or at the training ground but in the way he looked after himself with his diet and doing the right things away from football.

“Galli was an unbelievable signing for Watford, even if it was just for a short time. You don’t play for Milan for 13 years because you’re average, do you?”

Looking back on a Watford career that spanned six years and almost 250 appearances, how does Cox feel?

“I loved my time at Watford. There were ups and downs, but I know I always went in every day with a smile on my face and I always gave 100%,” he said.

The ups and downs included, as captain during the 2002/03 season, having to call the players together to agree a wage deferral to help the club stave off administration.

“I was proud to captain the club, and that was the case even through tough times like that. I didn't want to be put in that position but I felt as captain I had to step forward and do my bit to help.

“I was the captain but taking the wage deferral wasn’t about me. It was a whole squad thing. We had to show a bit of spirit and love for the club, both in making that decision and in the games. Would that happen at clubs today? I’m not sure it would.

“As captain, I got a bit of praise for my role in it, but I have to say it was a thing that we decided upon as a squad. There were boys at the club who loved it, and we all united as one to do our bit.”