Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Memories:

The Personal Touches
By Sarah Jones

For me, it's the personal touches that make a visit to Vicarage Road - how each fan makes the experience their own. For some, that can be revelling in the potential and very possible miseries of each match with a 'voice of doom' running commentary. For others, it's the traditional bet on the first scorer. For me, it's the security of my lucky scarf and flag.

My scarf is a masterpiece, crocheted in Watford colours and trimmed with pom-poms by fellow fan, Kimberley Lawson. As well as warmth it provides entertainment during less exciting moments with the power to flick the pom-poms at my friend sitting next to me. However, the pom-poms were nearly the scarf's literal undoing when one got accidentally pulled off when someone sat on it at the Chelsea replay. My precious scarf has since been mended and strengthened to avoid further traumas and I continue to wear it with pride.

Like the scarf, my flag signifies friendship and belonging, as much as football allegiance, and is no less a work of art. I've always been fascinated by national flags in Euro and World Cup matches. I often find I've missed vital action during England games because I've been too busy spotting the names written across the flags of St George.

My national flag is a somewhat rarer example of a popular theme - Watford FC proudly emblazoned across the Cornish flag of St Piran. A white cross a black background, it is most often seen outside Cornwall as a car sticker or on a Ginster pasty. The flag reminds me of my Cornish family and heritage, of happy times spent by the sea and visits to Uncle Beville and Auntie Hettie, with a beehive in the front garden and a pigsty out the back door.

The flag was a surprise engagement present from master banner and flag-maker, Farzana Chaudry. Like my scarf, it was made by hand and with love and is now a permanent feature in the Rookery on match days. It came with me on my last visit to Cornwall where it was admired by Cornish friends and was photographed in terrifyingly windy conditions at the Lizard Point - the most southerly point in mainland Britain.

You never find items like my scarf or flag in a shop, but I think that's the point.

Added to the exhibition on 14/12/2004