A new Watford Football Club mural adorning the subway leading to Vicarage Road Stadium, which reflects the history, the passion and the pride felt by fans of the Hornets throughout its history, was officially unveiled last week by club legends and co-funders Hertfordshire County Council and Watford Borough Council.
To help celebrate the successful completion of the mural, ex-players including long-serving club legend Nigel Gibbs and cult-hero Tommy Mooney, joined attendees from the club and council representatives to view the spectacular canvas painted by the talented artists at MurWalls.
Completed during the club’s ‘100 Years at the Vic’ celebrations, as well as the borough’s centenary, fans can now expect to see a permanent reminder of the club’s journey over the century. The amazing portraits start with Cliff Holton – who scored a record 48 goals in the 1959/60 promotion season – and take in the Graham Taylor and Elton John years, which saw Watford rise from the fourth tier to the first, thanks to key players such as Luther Blissett and Tony Coton.
The club’s recent history from Tommy Mooney helping revitalise a team seemingly slipping towards relegation, to Troy Deeney spearheading the side on their journey to the Premier League, has also been immortalised on the walls of the underpass. Former club captain Nigel Gibbs, who served the Hornets so diligently as a player, coach and assistant manager over the years and has the second highest number of appearances for the club, is also featured and has been painted in the theme of the popular Panini stickers.
To ensure the murals are protected for generations to enjoy and learn about the club’s history, the repainted walls all have anti-graffiti painted coatings. New frames have also been installed throughout the tilled section, denoting the history and community involvement of the club and they will be continually updated as the club moves forward.
Phil Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, Hertfordshire County Council said: “The murals are a fantastic addition to Watford and will hopefully encourage more people to walk, especially to and from West Watford and the Stadium. Our aim is to offer all residents a cleaner, greener, healthier Hertfordshire. Providing attractive places to walk encourages more active travel, protects the environment and helps reduce traffic congestion.”
Nigel Gibbs, ex-Watford FC said: “Watford Football Club has a long and proud tradition of serving its community and has established a reputation as the ‘Original Family Club’, something I felt keenly having followed in the footsteps of my father Dennis, who served the club as a scout and youth coach. The mural showcases the club and town’s sense of community by improving the subway, as well as highlighting those players who had an ever-lasting effect on both.”
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: “I am delighted that Watford Council, working with the Club and the County Council, was able to support this. There’s no doubt it has helped brighten up the area and I’m sure it will be enjoyed by lots of Watford FC fans for years to come.”