Graham Taylor was thought by many to be a God. I don't know about that but he was certainly omnipotent as this tale will tell.
By Adam Cummings
The date was February 1st 1987, it was my 30th birthday, and Watford were beating Chelsea 1-0 at half time in their F.A. Cup 4th round Clash. As the voice of Radio Hornet, I was out on the pitch supervising the penalty shoot-out and announcing requests.
The previous day the mighty Glasgow Rangers (some of whose fans had close ties with Chelsea) had been beaten 1-0 in the Scottish Cup by the minnows of Hamilton Academical, with the only goal being scored by one Alastair Sprott. For some reason (I had possibly been put up to it the night before and it seemed like a good idea at the time) I announced a request for the Chelsea branch of the Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club wishing them good luck from Alastair Sprott. There was no significant reaction and I thought no more about it.
The following Saturday we were at home again and I was on my way up to the Radio Hornet box when around the corner and out of the blue comes Graham. "oh, I'm glad I bumped into you" he says and proceeds to ask about how the request from Alastair Sprott arrived in my possession. I fibbed and said that it was with the others, but I knew that he knew, and I'm sure that he knew that I knew he knew!
How did he find out about the fake request? I have never dared ask him. And how many other football managers would have gone out of their way on a busy match day to find out more and, in his own way, give me a right b********g!!
Click here to return to the memories page