Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Books do furnish a room

A conversation with Lionel Birnie on Twitter today reminded me that I meant to finish off my inventory of the Watford-related items in my home with a list of the relevant section of my bookshelf. So here it is, in no particular order:

Drawn Game – Terry Challis
A selection from 25 years of weekly cartoons in the Watford Observer. The sports pages still don’t seem the same without them.

The Official Centenary History of Watford FC – Oliver Phillips
A magisterial (and often moving) account of the club’s history. I’m shocked to realise that it’s now 20 years since this came out. High time for an update.

Four Seasons – Lionel Birnie & Alan Cozzi
Subtitled ‘The remarkable story of Watford Football Club from 1997 to 2001’. In hindsight, maybe that should have read ‘Where did all the money go?’

You Are My Watford – various
A compilation of memories in aid of WST. Includes an account of the incident that gave this blog its name.

The Golden Boys – Oliver Phillips
Another lovingly crafted and beautifully produced official work from Oli. It’s a shame the club doesn’t commission books like this any more.

Watford: A Tale Of The Unexpected – Geoff Sweet & Graham Burton
The story of the 1982-83 season – much of which I missed by virtue of it being my first year at university.

Watford FC On This Day – Matt Rowson
On this day in 1889, Watford Rovers beat Buckinghamshire side Schorne College 2-1 in an FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round tie. I love the fact that I can find that out from a book.

Enjoy The Game – Lionel Birnie
A great tale, superbly told. I refer you to my review.

Watford Season By Season – Trefor Jones
One of the standard works of reference for any Watford fan. Only goes up to the end of the 1997/98 season, though, so another that could do with an update…

The Watford FC Illustrated Who’s Who – Trefor Jones
… As could this, the other standard reference book, published in 1996. In an ideal world, the club would fund the publication of updated editions at regular intervals – say, every 10 years.

Team Shirts To Ticket Stubs – Nick Davidson
A real gem to finish with; a great idea, lovingly realised.

Although they’re not strictly books about Watford FC itself, honourable mentions also go to Nick Corble’s novel Golden Daze, and to Dave Hill’s thought-provoking biography of John Barnes, Out Of His Skin. As far as I know, it’s still the only biography of a player who is mainly associated with the Hornets. (All right, I know Liverpool have a claim too, but we had him first.)

As to what’s missing, the obvious gap in the market is for a biography of Graham Taylor, which would make for fascinating reading. Or maybe an autobiography, which would be even better – but maybe we’d better let GT concentrate on running the club for the time being.

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