Friday, 26 July 2013

WFC in 100 Objects - #33 The Old Vicarage Road Scoreboard

"(Annoying opposition player name) what's the score? (Annoying opposition player name), (Annoying opposition player name) what's the score?"

Most football fans chant this to wind up the opposition player or manager, but for Watford fans it has been an honest question since 1993. Why? Well in 1993 the old Vicarage Road terrace was demolished to be replaced by the Paul Furlong funded, all seater, Vicarage Road stand. At the same time an Vicarage Road icon was removed - The Old scoreboard. It was the size of Star-Destoryer and made up of a bunch of filament light-bulbs, that using 1970 programming they displayed informative and motivational messages to Watford fans.

It was put up in 1978 and for many Watford fans it was key in knowing the score, the number of the last goal scorer, the number of the last substitution and how far into the 90 minutes the game was. For you Hornet fans like me, Jason and Mike it was what the scoreboard did after a Watford goal that made us love those flashing lights. Everytime a goal went in, three little yellow men, similar in look to an rave happy face with arms and legs, would appear jumping up and down, waving their hats enthusiastically. It was magical. So magical that a while back we asked Watford commentator Jon Marks to produce a special documentary about where those three jumping men are now.


Forward wind to the start of 2012-2013 season and a conversation at Opta (the sports stats people) about what makes your club iconic. Watford fan Matt Furniss, Opta Editor, brought up our old scoreboard and was enthused to try and get the scoreboard back. He started an online petition to get Watford fans behind the idea of getting the scoreboard back at the Vic. One man who saw the petiton was Chris Bratt. Chris is the man behind the fans run Watford FC Facebook page and is a bit of a technical whizz. Chris was able to produce a copy of the jumping men that he animated so the three men where jumping again.

They returned on 25th August 2012 when Almen Abdi put his penalty past Jack Butland in the 4th minute of Watford's 2-0 win over Birmingham.

It may not have been the return of the Old scoreboard, but the true essence of the old girl was back at Vicarage Road - Welcome back boys!

100 Object rules state that you can't put in an item that is still in use. We can't put the jumping men in, but we can put in the Old Vicarage Road Scoreboard.

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