Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Pre-season in Florida. It was cold. 
Rejoice, for football is back! Sort of.

This week sees the start of Watford's pre-season fixtures, with games against St Albans and AFC Wimbledon providing some welcome actual, real-life football to think about. The visit to Wimbledon is particularly noteworthy as not only does it coincide with a beer festival, not only does it provide an opportunity to win the first silverware of the season but it will also see us recording our first podcast of the new season. Plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

Which is rare for this stage of the season. You see, I've fallen out of love with pre-season friendlies. To be honest, I can't remember a good one. I remember going to Amersham Town to watch us in action shortly after a previous promotion to the Premier League. I was young, excitable and hoping to see the new kit. Watford wore their old one. For some reason my brother and I drove to Northampton for a pre-season game. We were on the M1 before we realised our brains were broken. I even went to see some pre-season baseball, but had to leave early because it was so cold. In Florida. It's never cold in Florida!

In fact, the only fond pre-season memory I can muster is a home game with Charlton some years ago. The game was instantly forgettable, but a meeting with John Motson and the taking of a rather stylish photograph of Vicarage Road rescued the visit from the usual disaster and disdain.

Am I alone though? There must be some of you out there with happy memories of some of these games? Here at FTRE we want to know, so here's our question to you:

What's your favourite ever pre-season friendly and why?

Leave your answers by posting a comment below and maybe, just maybe, you'll persuade me that these games aren't so bad after all...

Come on you Horns!


  1. Kettering Town away, must have been 22-23 years ago, proper football ground

  2. Can you remember what the score was, Chris? I guess that is something that pre-season friendlies are good for - getting to grounds you wouldn't ordinarily visit.

  3. Andrew Mitchell7 July 2015 at 22:20

    I remember when Hearts visited the Vic in the late 80s (for Steve Sherwood's testimonial I think). I was only about 10 and stood on a bar crate on the family terrace with my Dad. Watford was/is my English team but I also loved Hearts for some bizaare reason and my Dad got a Hearts scarf from a travelling fan. John Colquhoun was a legend in my book!

  4. It was 0-2, don't recall the scorers unfortunately! Its also an opportunity to get a football fix, I appreciate some enjoy the mental break but after two months im ready and looking forward to Wimbledon!

  5. Favourite friendly –that’s difficult, as I‘ve done so few. There was Redditch United, one of Junior’s few Watford appearances and a mate of mine is the Redditch physio. Burgess Hill Town, to open their new floodlights or something similar, we won both games. Or, perhaps a game against Tottenham, Jurgen Klinsmann made one of his first appearances for Spurs. I was accompanied by a rather lovely Italian girl – we lost and she is now consigned to a byroad in my past.

  6. Oxford Utd in the early 80's , (G.Taylor era) , cannot remember the score , but remember being pelted with cabbages from the allotments . Was also at the Klinsmann game, remember a ferret running across the pitch .

  7. Gillingham away. Must have been 20/25 years ago.