The debate over who will lead the line in this all-time XI is a few days away from starting but, first, let’s think about who would supply the ammunition from the right wing for the strikers.
How Troy Deeney would love to be on the end of the first-class service once provided by Nigel Callaghan on the right flank. He created countless goals for Luther Blissett, Mo Johnston, Ross Jenkins and George Reilly and weighed in with the odd spectacular one himself, most notably against Notts County. Scored the sixth in the 7-1 win over Southampton but, by his own admission, did not have his best day in the ’84 FA Cup final. Central to the way Graham Taylor wanted the team to play and embodied everything that was good about Watford during that golden era.
As good as Callaghan was (he was damn good, by the way) many long-time observed of the boys in yellow feel he was not in the same league as Stewart Scullion. His goal at Old Trafford in the fourth-round of the FA Cup in 1969 is still talked about by fans of yesteryear, earning a replay that brought a record 34,099 fans to Vicarage Road. His 300 appearances for the club came either side of short spell at Sheffield United, a move that came about because contract talks with Watford broke down because the two parties were £5 apart in their expectations. He was on £20 a week with a £4 win bonus.
Micky Benning would have been on even less than that, having started his Watford career ten years prior to Scullion, but his role in the career of Cliff Holton was priceless. Watford born and bred he laid on countless goals for Holton while also diligently tracking back to provide cover for his full-back. Almost joined Tottenham Hotspur for £40,000. Played a vital role in the historic run to the fifth round of the FA Cup, the furthest a team from the fourth division had ever got.
Like Callaghan and Benning, Tommy Smith was another reared in the area and he made more than a century of appearances in his two spells with the club. He rose to prominence in the FA Youth Cup win over Manchester United and played in both of Watford’s first two campaigns in the Premiership / Premier League. Tricky, with a turn of pace and an eye for goal, Smith scored against Manchester United and Arsenal at Vicarage Road and played more than 500 times in the top two divisions of English football for seven different clubs. Landed Watford a transfer fee of £1.8m in 2009.
You’ve had the background info, now draw on your own knowledge and cast your vote for the right-wing slot:
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