Football League Division 1, 25/9/82
Team: Sherwood, Rice, Rostron, Taylor, Bolton, Jackett, Callaghan, Blissett, Jenkins, Lohman, Barnes
Scorers: Blissett 4, Jenkins 2, Callaghan 2
Team: Turner, Venison, Munro, Atkins, Hindmarch, Nicholl, Buckley, Rowell, McCoist, Pickering, Cummins
Report by Ian Grant
Absolute annihilation. I can remember little about this game - I was just thirteen at the time - but I do recall that the scoreline flattered Sunderland rather. This was a time before the great gulfs opened up between sides in the top division, before all the money and players were concentrated in the hands of a few - results like this were practically unheard of.
I do remember that Sunderland attacked first, nearly scored and I thought, "This is going to be a tough game". It was four at half-time and we kept going after the break as the Sunderland fans did a conga on the away terrace.
Lest we forget, this was the seventh game of our first ever season in the top flight - that puts the result in some sort of perspective. Nor were Sunderland pushovers - their side included Barry Venison, Ally McCoist and Jimmy Nichol. The result reverberated around the football world - the upstarts from Watford were about to make their mark.
It was Luther Blissett's day - he was at his blinding best and had been denied his first hat-trick by a disallowed goal just two weeks earlier. This time he got what he deserved.
Total bloody football, mate. Utterly beyond criticism, I still believe that this Taylor-built side was responsible for some of the finest attacking football the English game has ever seen. Seriously. Think about the score - EIGHT FLAMING NIL - and then think what other newly-promoted side would be capable of that. See what I mean?
(Pictures supplied by Richard Mortimer)
Daily Telegraph match report
Watford Observer pictures of the goals...