A fine start in Division III
By Chris Salter and Nicholas Ralph
During the close season, Watford's season-ticket sales leapt sixfold for the coming season. Meanwhile, Holton switched on to part-time terms to allow himself more time for his business interests. The players' maximum wage was still in effect, and it is perhaps small wonder that Cliff put plans for his long-term future so high on the agenda. However, the change in status didn't seem to seriously affect his appetite for finding the net. He hit his first hat trick of the season in the fourth game during a 6-1 thrashing of Brentford. Soon afterwards, when veteran keeper Dave Underwood broke his arm v Southend, the Big Fella donned the green jersey. Sadly, this unexpected role didn't mark a goal-keeping revelation as six goals entered the Watford net that day!
Then, an off-the-field move made the news as another star signing came to Watford. Burgess had captured another household name for the club; this time "the Little Fella", Tommy Harmer from Spurs. By now, Dennis Uphill had vanished from the first team, never to return, and while none of us doubted Little Tommy's silken skills, somehow he never really looked like a Division-3 player. With such a different style to Holton, a wave of apprehension swept the well-filled terraces. In retrospect, the arrival of Harmer was the beginning of the end of the golden "Holton Era". Against Torquay, Burgess dropped Holton, and despite a 3-0 Watford victory, a fans' petition promptly arrived on the Chairman's desk. Somehow "Harmer and Holton" never raised the pulse as had "Holton and Uphill", although the Hornets finished the season in 4th place again, just narrowly missing promotion this time. That season, Cliff scored 34 times in 48 appearances, out-scoring the next highest club marksman by 2 to 1.