12th January - 23rd February 2002 at Watford Museum
GOAL-DEN YEARS, 1977-1987
Re-live the excitement of Graham Taylor's first period in charge of Watford Football Club through this exhibition of memorabilia and memories
"Watford almost expelled me!"
By Robert Alexander

During the autumn of 1978, I wore the Official Watford shirt that you see here to school practically every day. I also insisted on wearing a very long 'Doctor Who' type yellow, black and red college scarf, and I would rarely be seen anywhere without one or other or both.

However, I attended The New School, Kings Langley, a private school based on the principles of one Rudolph Steiner who, in his 'wisdom' decreed that soccer was not a sport for young gentlemen, and that Rugger and Cricket only should be played in his education establishments.

Never being one to bow to authority, I proceeded to bring a football - not an egg-shaped one - to school every day for over a year, and played and encouraged 'soccer' in every break, much to the disgust of the teachers and principles of my school. The somewhat over diligent attitude of these teachers, who blindly followed instructions laid down by Mr Steiner as long ago as 1920, now ensured that the balls were confiscated almost as fast as they were brought into school. Luckily, they were being purchased (reasonably cheaply), at the Sunday markets in the East End of London, and so as fast as they ended up in a cupboard at school, I had a brand new one to bring in the very next day.

I still wore my shirt and scarf undaunted and, after finally being threatened with expulsion in early 1979, should I continue to do so, my mother intervened. "Why can't they just play football?" she enquired "It is the National sport you know, and its not as if you even play Rugby or Cricket is it?". Eventually, the teachers of The New School capitulated. We organised class football teams and eventually even a school team, in which I played - in Watford colours of course.

One final irony. The school refused to buy footballs for 'school use'. However, when they looked in the 'confiscated' cupboard, they found that they had more than twenty near perfect footballs that had originated from my brother Simon and I. So, in one way, Watford football club, and my brother and I, are responsible for bringing the game of football to The New School in Kings Langley where, I understand, they play the game to this day.

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