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Players: Tributes:
Stewart Scullion
Farewell Cliff, enter Scully
By Chris Salter

When Holton left Watford for good in February 1966, manager Ken Furphy cemented the 4,000 pound deal by asking Charlton to, "Throw the lad Scullion in as well." Stewart Scullion had been spotted by perennial trainer, Pat Molloy, and if he was good enough for Molloy, that was good enough for Furphy, even though he had never seen the youngster play! The "lad" in question had been born in Bo'ness, Scotland, nineteen years earlier, though a southern shift meant that he came to Charlton via Chesham Utd, turning professional for the London club in March 1965.

At Watford, Stewart found a team that had serious problems finding the net with Holton gone. That season they scored only 55 times in the league, the lowest total in over a decade. Attendances slumped below 8,000 but Furphy was not idle and in the close season Keith Eddy arrived as club captain, and a player who Scully will always be linked with, Terry Garbett, was also signed. 1966-67 was very different to the season just past, with the team producing a mighty challenge for promotion, only to be pipped at the post by a single point. My own strongest reminiscence of that year is not of a league match, but the 3rd-round cup replay at Anfield, after Watford had held the mighty 'Pool to a goalless draw before 33,500 at the Vic. By miscalculation, I watched the replay from the Anfield Kop, and still glow at the memories with Scullion, seemingly everywhere, driving the team beyond their normal games to a performance that had the Liverpool fans applauding them off the pitch at the end. It didn't seem to matter that Shankly's Army had won 3-1, the Hornets' performance had been magic enough.

Scully was not the prolific scorer that Big Cliff had been, his fundamental skills lay elsewhere. However, in 1967-68, after the team had its worst start to a season since 1934, he scored one of Watford's greatest-ever goals v Stockport County. As Olly Phillips describes it, "Scullion weaved a magic dribble past five visiting defenders before being dispossessed by the County keeper, who threw the ball out to his full back. Scullion raced back to the flank, dispossessed the defender and proceeded to slip past the already demoralised defence again. He beat five more including the keeper who, contrary to folklore, did not applaud the event until after his despairing dive failed to stop the winger scoring the goal of the season and certainly a candidate for the decade". That was the season in which Watford scored more goals at home than in any other season in their history, except for that graced by Holton and Uphill (1959-60). Prophetically, Stewart starred in a 7-1 victory over Grimsby, where he roasted the opposition full back, one Graham Taylor, all afternoon!

In the middle of all this, the club cut a 26,000 pound deal with first-division Sheffield Utd for Scully's transfer to Bramhall Lane. Amazingly, the player turned the move down. If ever there was a moment when the fans recognised not just a talented player, but "one of their own", this was it. The story shocked us fans to the core, and a supporters' petition was presented to the club lamenting the folly of selling "the family silver". Sheffield Utd were not to be completely rebutted, however, and it was Tony Currie who bowed to the incentives and made the trip to Yorkshire.