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Players: Tributes:
Ross Jenkins
Contemporary tributes

Elton John
"I don't think anyone would have thought Ross would be playing Division 1 football but he is. Personally, when we gained promotion to Division 1, Ross was one of the first people I thought of. It is great for him. He's made it through sheer determination and hard work and his playing ability has improved as well. You can't say more than name him among the all-time greats."

Graham Taylor
I wonder what I would say if I was delivering a team talk prior to playing against him now! Well, here goes!

"Perhaps one of the most underestimated front runners in the game today. Because of his height it is easy to recognise that he must be a threat in the air, but too many people think that this is the only danger he poses. He has excellent ability to lead his forward line - making himself available for all his colleagues to find him. His control with his back to the opposition's goal has improved beyond recognition, whilst his timing of his runs in and behind defenders is of the highest standard.

"He knows how to pull away from defenders - especially in the penalty box thereby creating space for either himself or a teammate.

"Do not be fooled by the fact that he is not the smoothest mover - at 6 feet 4 inches he is bound to be ungainly at times. This also on occasions prevents him snapping up the very sharp loose chances that occur in the goal area - but this is a small price to pay for a man who can now be truly termed - a bloody good centre forward!"

On re-reading both sets of comments, I think that I have sold Ross short, but at times it is hard to put on to paper an accurate and exact assessment. All I can say is that there are many centre halves - from the Fourth to the First Division - who have not been able to contain him.

For most of us with football memories, when I think of Torres and Eusebio of Portugal in the World Cup in 1966, I very easily convert those thoughts to Jenkins and Blissett of Watford. It is very easy to dismiss these comments as those of a biased Watford manager - but who can say that a First Division Jenkins and Blissett of 1982 is all that far behind a Torres/Eusebio combination of 1966.

What I do know is that Eusebio to my mind always looked a better player when playing alongside the underrated 6 foot 4 Torres!!

Finally, from a very personal point of view, I would like to wish Ross great success and enjoyment in this his testimonial year. Many thanks for everything you have given Watford over the last ten years and for the commitment to my own particular cause during my managerial time.

You now deservedly reap the rewards of your own efforts. Many congratulations.

Luther Blissett
"They watched him and picked him up which gave me the chance and space. Then they started keeping half an eye on me and he scored even more. In the end they didn't know who to keep an extra eye on. Ross has scored some goals but I couldn't pick out one in particular. I've just stood there and seen the ball go in the net, celebrated and thought, well I would have liked to have scored one as good as that. And I've thought that a few times."

Oliver Phillips
When was I converted? Well, not completely in the Division 3 campaign despite his runaway triumph in the Player of the Season Award. Nor was I carried away by the hat-trick against Forest. No, for me there was that night against Southampton when corporate will and the majesty of Ross Jenkins made possible the most spectacular single result in the club's history.

I did not admit it however until one night in the summer of 1982 when I suddenly looked at the line-up of England substitutes on the bench in Spain, and felt disappointed that Ross was not among them, to be brought on to salvage a dead cause.

Taking in the workrate, the application, the goals, the skills and leadership of the line, Ross Jenkins was the worst Watford centre forward I have seen.

He is also the best.

David Pleat
I remember when one well-known manager was asked if he was going to try and sign Jenkins, he replied to the effect that he would be better off signing the politician Clive.

Well, Ross Jenkins has proved them all wrong. For a man who is not a fashionable player he has done tremendously well playing an important part in a club which has risen up the Football League. That is a credit to his ability and application.

Taken from Testimonial Souvenir Brochure and Testimonial match programme.