Luther Blissett has helped a new lounge open in the Watford FC ground to honour war veterans from the town.

The ceremony to open the Forces United lounge was on the Vicarage Road pitch on Saturday, November 11, before the Watford v Rotherham match.

Several other dignitaries attended, including the King’s personal representative for Hertfordshire Lord-Lieutenant Robert Voss, and Watford MP Dean Russell.

Watford Observer: The opening of the event happened on Saturday. The opening of the event happened on Saturday. (Image: Dean Russell MP)

Blissett said: “The lounge was donated to the Former Players Club for Forces United by Watford FC, thanks to Scott Duxbury who I explained how we needed to honour and support fans who have served and still do. We are all eternally grateful to them and I wanted to bring these Hornet heroes to the forefront of our club. As I say often real heroes don't wear football boots."

This is in connection with the newly formed Royal British Legion branch for Watford, which has been set up by Luther Blissett along with other members.

The ceremony saw Clare Cordell, The Voice contestant, sing Abide with Me and the families of Captain Tom Sawyer and Graham Taylor OBE lay wreaths in their memory.

Watford Observer: The lounge was opened by Blissett. The lounge was opened by Blissett. (Image: Alan Cozzil)

Captain Tom Sawyer died in Afghanistan in 2009, and Graham Taylor OBE is remembered as a key figure in both football and civic life.

Watford Observer: Dean Russell and Luther Blissett at the event.Dean Russell and Luther Blissett at the event. (Image: Dean Russell MP)

Mr Russell said: “This is a special event that was made possible through the unwavering commitment of Luther Blissett OBE DL and Lauren Fox, who have emerged as champions for veterans in Watford.

“Their collaborative efforts with Watford chairman and CEO Scott Duxbury, Roy Moore, and the 1881, along with the entire Watford FC team, showcased the unity and pride of the Watford community.”

Watford Observer: The lounge is located inside the Vicarage Road stadium.The lounge is located inside the Vicarage Road stadium. (Image: Dean Russell MP)

The lounge is named after Forces United, a division of the Former Players Club community charity which was set up by Blissett and other “original Golden Boys” under Graham Taylor.

Watford Observer: Inside the loungeInside the lounge (Image: Alan Cozzil)

The space will become home to the Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club and will host regular events where local businesses and other services will meet to provide advice to veterans.

Blissett added: "Veterans from Watford FC supporters including Dougie Brimson (RAF) and Ray Cook (Army) were invited to attend as part of our overall Watford Remembers Day.  We were also delighted that the Watford Sea Cadets and newly formed Police Cadets were able to be part of the opening. The new RBL Watford Branch standard was on display and we had a fantastic bagpipe parade to the lounge for the dignitaries."

The idea of Forces United, a group which unites fans with a military background, was born as Blissett had been given feedback by Watford fans during lockdown for a group to support servicemen and women.

Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss has become its patron. 

This has tied in with the reopening of the Watford Royal British Legion branch, of which Blissett is the president, which supports current and ex-soldiers in Watford.