Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Terry Challis RIP

I’ve been on holiday for the past 10 days, and it hasn’t been a good time to be a Watford fan. First we lose 4-0 at home to Cardiff (a good one to miss, from the sound of it), complete with a howler from Scott Loach; then Scott repeats the trick in the England under-21 international, helping to inspire a Macedonian fightback; and now, just to put the tin lid on it, Terry Challis has died.

For anyone who doesn’t know (though what you’re doing reading this if you don’t, I can’t imagine), Terry ’s topical cartoons about Watford adorned the sports pages of the Watford Observer for many years – he was already there when I started reading it as a child, and still going until a couple of years ago, I believe.

As a result, he’s one of those people who have always seemed to me to be part of the very fabric of Watford FC, along with the likes of Elton John, Graham Taylor and Oliver Phillips (whose heartfelt tribute to Terry is well worth reading). His affection for the club was obvious in every cartoon he drew, and his mischievous take on the previous week’s game was always the first thing I read in the paper.

A couple of years ago, the paper mentioned the possibility of reprinting Terry’s classic poster, first published in the early dawn of the Elton and GT era, depicting the road ahead for the Hornets in an allegorical manner. I put my name down for one, but nothing ever happened. I hope they reconsider now – I suspect it would sell out. And I hope the club finds a suitable way to commemorate him. He deserves it.