Why Are Watford Called ‘The Hornets’?

Introduction: The Buzz Behind Watford’s Nickname

Today, we’re diving into the world of Watford Football Club and unraveling the mystery behind their nickname – “The Hornets.” We’ll explore their historical kit changes, the reason behind the Z-Cars theme, and their rivalries. Even if you’re a proper football enthusiast, there’s a huge chance you’ll learn a thing or two after reading this article.

Join us as we embark on this fascinating journey into the heart of Watford FC.

From ‘The Brewers’ to ‘The Hornets’: A Colorful Transformation

Back in the early days, Watford FC was known as “The Brewers,” a nod to Benskin’s Brewery, which owned the leasehold of Vicarage Road – the club’s home since 1922. During the 1920s, the team sported blue shirts and white shorts, earning them the nickname “The Blues.”

However, in the 1959-60 season, a significant transformation took place. Watford switched to gold shirts and black shorts, and a popular vote by the supporters’ club led to the adoption of the new nickname, “The Hornets.” The buzzing moniker was a perfect match for the team’s revamped look, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Z-Cars Theme: A Tune That Stands the Test of Time

You might be wondering, “What’s the deal with the Z-Cars theme tune that was mentioned in the brief introduction?” It all started with the person who managed the team during the 1960s – Bill McGarry. McGarry was a big fan of the TV series “Z-Cars,” a British police drama that was quite popular in the UK. It ran from 1962 to 1978. After a defeat to Peterborough in 1963, McGarry chose the theme song for his players to exit the tunnel. The result? A 29-match unbeaten run and the tune has been a Watford staple ever since.

It’s worth noting that Watford wasn’t the first club to adopt the Z-Cars theme. Everton, after winning the league in the 1962-63 season, also began walking out to the catchy tune. The theme itself is based on the traditional folk song “Johnny Todd,” which Liverpudlians would learn as children.

Rivalries, Friend or Foe: The Teams Watford Love to Hate

When it comes to football, rivalries are a big part of the game. Watford’s longstanding history with Luton Town goes way back. The Hornets have also developed a rivalry with Bournemouth and still maintain minor rivalries with London-based clubs like Arsenal and QPR.

The rivalry between Watford and Luton escalated following a heated match in 1969, which saw three players sent off. Although the two clubs have spent much of their recent history in different divisions, their clashes in the 2020-21 Championship season ended in a 1-0 victory for each home side.

As for Watford and Bournemouth, their rivalry goes back to the 2014-15 English Championship campaign. On the season’s final day, Watford conceded a last-minute goal, handing the league title to the Cherries. This event ignited a grudge between the two sets of supporters, which continues to this day.

The Power of Fan Engagement: A Winning Strategy for Watford

Football is nothing without its fans, and clubs like Watford know the importance of engaging with their supporters. From the nickname change to “The Hornets” to the iconic gold and black kits, Watford has shown that listening to fans can have a significant impact on the club’s identity and success.

Premier League clubs like Watford, burdened with debt, need their supporters more than ever to help them climb out of financial challenges and secure their future. By embracing fan feedback and maintaining a strong connection with their loyal followers, Watford can continue to thrive both on and off the pitch.

Conclusion: Hornets’ Legacy

Watford FC’s incredible odyssey from being “The Brewers” to transforming into “The Hornets” is a captivating narrative encompassing growth, adaptation, and the indispensable role of fan interaction. The club’s distinctive hallmarks, such as the unforgettable Z-Cars theme tune and the striking gold and black kits, have etched Watford’s identity in football history, setting them apart from the crowd.

As Watford keeps adapting to new challenges and evolving, there’s one constant that remains: the club will always cherish the support of its fans. It’s this unyielding devotion that fuels the Hornets, keeping them abuzz and ever-prepared for whatever hurdles lie ahead on the football battlefield.

So, the next time you find yourself watching Watford charge onto the pitch, take a moment to appreciate the intriguing tale behind their nickname, the catchy Z-Cars theme, and the spirited rivalries that stoke their competitive fire. Remember, as a fan, your unwavering support is the lifeblood of the club, playing an essential part in shaping Watford’s destiny and preserving the Hornets’ storied legacy.