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Top facts about Vicarage Road, The Hornets Home

Sat 26 February 2022 | 20:29

Read on to delve into some of the most fascinating top facts about Vicarage Road, The Hornets Home. So without further ado come along with us for the long ride ahead.

Vicarage Road is an all-seater stadium located in Watford, England, being the home stadium of

Premier League

club Watford.

The stadium has been the home of the Hornets since 1922, from the time that the club moved from Cassio Road.

This stadium has consisted of the following four stands: the Vicarage Road Stand, The Rookery Stand, The Graham Taylor Stand and The Sir Elton John Stand.

With a capacity of 22,000 seats, it has been developed and evolved over the years so as to become the current stadium.

Top facts about Vicarage Road, The Hornets Home

Here you would find everything there is to know in line with the Top facts about Vicarage Road, The Hornets Home.

Vicarage Road history

It has been Watford's home since 1922, at the time that the club moved from Cassio Road. The stadium was formally inaugurated by Col. Charles Healey of Benskins Brewery following his visit to Millwall on August 30, 1922.

Besides to being the host of Watford since its opening, it has also hosted Wealdstone FC. between 1991 and 1993, as well as the home of rugby union side Saracens since 1997 until their movement to the new home of Copthall Stadium in north London in February 2013.

Following that they bought the freehold of the stadium from Bankins in January 2002, Watford's financial condition coerced them to sell and lease the stadium later that year.

Be that as it may, after a campaign called "Let's Buy The Vic" with the help of donations from fans and also from the former well-known owner Elton John, who donated all proceeds from the concert held in the stadium, the club could buy the stadium in September 2004.

Among

top facts about Vicarage Road

, it is notable to suggest that on September 1, 2011,

England

U21 2013 UEFA was held for Group 8 qualification for the European U21 Championship against Azerbaijan U21.

In this encounter, the hosts beat the visitors 6-0 with two braces from Craig Dawson and Henri Lansbury as well as single goals from

Jordan Henderson

and Martyn Waghorn in front of 7,738 spectators.

The Vicarage Road Stand

The Vicarage Road Stand was built after the end of the 1992-1993 season. Formerly an outdoor terrace, the all-seater stand was built to meet the requirement of the Taylor report so as to raise the standard of the pitch.

Building this stadium with a capacity of 5,800 people, cost the amount of £2.3 million, while the construction was primarily financed by the £1.2m sales of Bruce Dyer in 1994.

Initially, when the club moved to the ground, it was just an earth bank, but with the passage of time, it gradually turned into a regular terrace. In 1978, an electronic scoreboard was installed, as it went on to become a symbol of Watford's heyday in the 1980s.

In solidarity with the home support, Graham Taylor insisted that the coaching and substitute benches on the sides of the pitch will remain exposed to the elements until the time that the host's end was covered.

Their last game as a terrace was a 1–0 defeat to Oxford United on 8 May 1993. It was reopened to the public on September 18, 1993, when

Watford

beat Notts County 3-1.

While formerly it was the homestand, it is currently the place of the away support. After that a section was added, the stand can house both home and away supports.

Half of the stands were given to the away fans, and the other half is allocated to the family area of home fans. While there are also fans of both teams in wheelchairs, since August 2012, the stand has housed the Hornets store too.

The Rookery Stand of Vicarage Road

The Rookery Stand was constructed during the 1994–95 season, while it was also another previous terrace that turned into the all-seater Rookery with a capacity of 6,960.

While it is bigger than the Vicarage Road stand, it is equipped with facilities on two levels holding most of the club's administrative areas.

It took £1.6 million to build this stand, while around 300,000 of this figure was provided by the Football Trust, while the rest of the money came from the £2.3m sales of Paul Furlong by then-owner Jack Petchey in 1994.

At the time that Watford was transferred from Cassio Road, this end of the ground had a roof above a cinder bank, yet with the passage of time the roof ended up being removed for safety measures.

The Supporters' Club finally provided funds to equip the Rookery End with the feature of concrete terracing undercover, and this had implemented in 1959.

The new stand, in replacement of the 1959 model was employed by Watford fans for the first time on 22 April 1995, for the visit of

Bristol City

.

As part of the redevelopment work, in collaboration with the Watford Health Campus, 164 affordable housing units, recognized locally as The Wrap, were constructed in and around the Rookery side, while the completion of the work took place in 2009.

The Rookery is the "home end", earning this name from the Watford fan podcast From The Rookery End. This stand is also recognized as Rover South for Saracen matches.

The Graham Taylor Stand of Vicarage Road

Graham Taylor has been renamed for the 2014-15 season, in honour of the club's most successful manager, Graham Taylor.

It was initially called Sir Stanley Rous which was the name of the former FIFA president Sir Stanley Rous. Yet, the official renaming ceremony occurred on November 29, 2014.

The stand has a unique wavy roof that runs along the side of the pitch, toward the west side of the ground. As a two-tiered stand, it has executive boxes and a TV camera gantry. It was constructed in 1986, in replacement of the Shrodells Stand.

A loan from Elton John provided the funds for paying the £3 million necessary for its development. In the first step, the upper-tier along with executive boxes were built and later temporary seats were established so as to form a lower-tier.

Afterwards, they were substituted with permanent seats, being used for the first time in a game against Notts County on 18 September 1993.

At the time of the club movement from Cassio Road in 1922, the Union Stand was transported and reconstructed on this side of the ground.

Later the Shrodells Stand, was built in its place during the 1930s. It was also expanded in 1979 with a further 2,200 seats in replacement of the standing enclosure in front of the stand.

As one of the other

top facts about Vicarage Road

, one can suggest that the last match for its Shrodells Stand was a 1–1 draw against

Manchester United

occurring on 3 May 1986.

The Graham Taylor Stand was inaugurated on 23 August 1986, at the time that Oxford United visited Vicarage Road, while Watford eventually earned a 3–0 triumph.

The Sir Elton John Stand of Vicarage Road

The Sir Elton John Stand is located on the east side of the ground, as it has consisted of the changing rooms & tunnel. The stand was entirely inaugurated on 13 December 2014, in a ceremony with the attendance of Sir Elton John.

Before the development of the Sir Elton John Stand, the east side of the ground had hosted the Main Stand, which was built in 1922 after that Watford FC's transferred from Cassio Road. The Main Stand was shut down in 2008 because of safety measures.

After that Pozzo family acquired Watford FC in 2012, the club managed to fund the development of a new stand to be substituted with the Main Stand.

They started redeveloping the east side of the stadium in 2013, in so far as to develop a 3,000 seater capacity stand that would also house the players changing rooms, television gantry as well as a tunnel.

In May 2014, it was confirmed that the stand would be recognized as The Watford FC Community Stand. However, the club declared in November 2014 that the new stand would instead be called in honour of the former chairman Sir Elton John.

On 2 August 2014, in a friendly match of Watford against

Udinese

, for the first time, they put in use the changing rooms.

On 8 June 2015, the club announced that 700 additional seats were established in the recently constructed Sir Elton John Stand. Just after a year, the number was modified to about 1000 extra seats, after a report of development in the northeast corner.

Vicarage Road floodlights

The first game under floodlights at Vicarage Road was held in 1953, at the time that lights were established on top of the Main Stand.

These were renovated in 1960, as four pylons were created in the corners of the ground. For the time being, these floodlights are fixed on the top of the Vicarage Road and Rookery Stands.

New LED floodlights have been installed for the 2015/16 season consisting of lights on the top of Sir Elton John and Graham Taylor stands.

Vicarage Road accessibility

Among top facts about Vicarage Road, it is notable to suggest that in 1982, it started to have its own railway station, Watford Stadium Halt.

In order to manage the crowds who attended

football matches

it was introduced, so as to provide an alternative to Watford High Street and Watford Junction, being only open on match days.

Football Trust, Watford Borough Council, Watford F.C. as well as British Rail contributed to the provide funds for the development of the station. Elton John and Lord Aberdare, chairman of the Football Trust formally inaugurated the station on 4 December 1982.

While the opening train rolled into the station five minutes late, it brought the fans of Manchester United to Vicarage Road so as to watch Watford's 1–0 defeat against them.

With the closure of the railway line in 1996 by the British Rail, the station remained without any usage, becoming derelict ever since then.

Yet, it was set to have a new London Underground station, opened in 2020 for the Watford Vicarage Road on the opposing side of the Vicarage Road bridge which was part of the Croxley Rail Link project for extending the Metropolitan line to Watford Junction.

Be that as it may, since March 2017 the project has been suspended owing to a substantial shortfall in funding from numerous government entities.

As part of the top facts about Vicarage Road, it is worth suggesting that despite that,  the stadium is very accessible too.

That is to say, since Vicarage Road is situated at a short walking distance from Watford’s High Street, the walk west from the town centre takes less than 15 minutes.

Regular trains run from London Euston to Watford Junction Rail Station. The journey takes approx 20 minutes. While the stadium is a 20-minute walk from the station, you can take bus number 10 towards Holywell as buses run regularly.

You have another option in London Overground as it stops at Watford Junction and Watford High Street Station. High Street Station is just adjacent to the ground since it takes a 10-minute walk. Yet, the London Overground journey takes twice as long as that by the National Rail journey.

From Watford, you can also reach London by the way of the underground. Watford tube station is the last stop of one of the branches of the Metropolitan line.

From Baker Street, the journey to Watford takes about 40 minutes. The station is about a mile northwest of Vicarage Road, which means it is about 20 minutes on foot.

In case of driving by car, you can take either junction 19 or 20 from the M25 motorway. You can follow for A41 Watford and after approximately a mile for A411 Watford.

Following that you passe about 2.5 miles, at the roundabout, turn right onto the A412 Rickmansworth. From here follow the signs to Watford General Hospital. Following a few turns, you would be driving past the stadium on your left. Its exact Address is Vicarage Road, Watford, WD18 0ER.

Vicarage Road Greyhound racing

It could be considered as one of the

top facts about Vicarage Road

that at this stadium Greyhound racing was originally started on 20 October 1928.

The racing took place according to National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) rules while it was held on the occasion of four-race nights per week taking place every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7.45 pm.

Yet, the provisional NGRC licence was suspended as early as 1 November 1928, urging the track to race independently (without any affiliation to a governing body).

The racing continued for many years with the football team and remained active for the next forty years before an interim closure on June 28, 1969.

On October 14, 1974, racing came back under NGRC rules, organized by the industry's leading promoters, the Greyhound Race Association.

Derby-winning coach Barbara Tompkins took to the field and won the Buckinghamshire Cup at Slough Stadium in 1975 with Houghton Girl.

The shape of the track was too steep owing to the nature of the bend design around the corners of the

football pitch

, so as to put its security and safety under question.

Nevertheless, a contract was signed with Bookmakers Afternoon Service (BAGS) at the track. In 1977, the club revealed its plans to end greyhound racing in so far as to see the continuation of the stadium's improvements.

The last race event was held on October 30, 1978, and the last winner was a greyhound named Chad Supreme.

Watford rivalry with Luton

It is no wonder to see the two

clubs

have a little sort of hatred for one another in as much as both are on the border of the capital, both were founded in the same decade in the late nineteenth century as well as there is only 18 miles between the two clubs.

Therefore, the two of them have coped with each other in the same league too, on numerous occasions.

 

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source: SportMob

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