Hell freezing over
By Jason Standen
Since moving from Harrow to Finland with my young family nearly three years ago, my regular season ticket days at Vicarage Road have been replaced by listening online to Simon Oxley's commentary and receiving DVDs and info from family in and around Watford.
Regular checking of the upcoming fixtures led me to hatch a dream early on in the season that if we somehow made it to Cardiff nothing would keep me away from seeing my third major final involving the Horns. So after lying awake all night after listening to the Palace home game, I booked flights and my dream weekend would become a reality. Luckily my brother is a season ticket holder so my getting a ticket was assured. I was on my way to Cardiff!
I kissed goodbye to the wife and kids on Saturday morning to begin my 2,800 mile round trip. Memories of all those big victories under GT came flooding back as I sat on the plane. Would the young players freeze on the day like at Wembley in '84 or would they seize the moment as they did at Wembley in '99? I just hoped Aidy could continue his wonders and remove any hints of nervousness from the Golden Boys.
After sinking a few jars of ale with family and friends in Hatch End on Saturday night and seeing hell freezing over as Finland won Eurovision, the weekend was already reaching dizzy heights!
Some of my memories of Cardiff include...my jaw dropping as I walked into the stadium...Jay Demerit walking on air and winning every header...the supreme confidence and work rate of all the Watford players...Leeds never looking a major threat...not being nervous at all watching the clock ticking down...Leeds fans streaming out after the third goal...the dancing players and directors after the final whistle...Marlon throwing his shirts into the crowd.... I could go on. What another amazing day Watford FC had given me....
On Monday, I bought all the newspapers with great back page pictures on my way home at Stanstead airport. Warren Barton was filming some kind of World Cup advert there and he noticed my yellow shirt and congratulated and wished us well for the next season. My shirt got plenty of notice as I too nodded and winked at a couple of other 'Orns making their way home....
From the North of Europe, thank you Aidy, the players, directors and the staff. The future really is Golden! Let's go sting the Premiership!