This was reported by the Watford Observer of 7 May 1898. It was agreed that the two clubs should complete their remaining fixtures for the season. The new club was named Watford Football Club.
Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and First Division top scorer John Goodall. He led Watford to a promotion, and kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914 – 1915 season under his successor, Harry Kent. Watford held the title for five years following the suspension of the Southern League during the First World War – after finishing the 1919 – 2020 season runners-up on goal average, the club resigned from the Southern League to join the new Football League Third Division.
Following the relegation, Taylor became Director of Football, with former Watford midfielder Kenny Jackett as manager. After a mid-table finish in Division Two in 1996 – 1997, Jackett was demoted to the position of assistant manager. Taylor returned as manager and won the Second Division title in 1997 – 1998 – Watford’s second league title under his management. A second successive promotion followed in 1998 – 1999, thanks to a 2–0 play-off final victory over Bolton Wanderers. Watford’s first Premiership season started with an early victory over Liverpool, but Watford’s form soon faded, and the club was relegated after finishing bottom. Graham Taylor retired at the end of the 2000 – 2001 season and was replaced by Gianluca Vialli. Wage bills at the club rose by £4 million during Vialli’s tenure, and the club finished 14th in the division in 2001 – 2002. Vialli was sacked at the end of the season, following a dispute with the club’s board over the wage bill. He was replaced by Ray Lewington, who had joined the club the previous summer as Vialli’s reserve team manager.
The club recognises its foundation as 1881, aligned with that of its antecedent, Watford Rovers, and was established as Watford Football Club in 1898. After finishing the 1914 – 1915 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at several grounds in its early history, before moving to Vicarage Road in 1922.
Graham Taylor’s tenure as manager at the club between 1977 and 1987 saw Watford rise from the Fourth to the First Division. The team finished second in the First Division in 1982 – 1983, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, and reached the 1984 FA Cup Final. Watford declined between 1987 and 1997, before Taylor returned as manager, leading the team to successive promotions from the renamed Second Division[a] to the Premier League for one season in 1999 – 2000.
1898 – Present / Watford Football Club
1896 – 1898 / West Hertfordshire
1881 – 1896 / Watford Rovers
The nickname for Watford was also taken from the colors of their kit, yellow and black – making them ‘The Hornets’. The crest of the club used to have a hornet on it until it was changed to picture a hart, (a male deer) as the county of Hertfordshire, where Watford is, contains many deer.
Premier League / 0
FA Cup / 0
Premier League – FA Cup Double / 0
1922 – Present / Vicarage Road
1890 – 1922 / West Herts Sports Ground
1889 – 1890 / Colney Butts Meadow
1883 – 1889 / Rose and Crown Meadow
1881 – 1883 / Cassiobury Park
2012 – Present / Gino Pozzo
*Blue is this team’s history