This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

Henry Grover - The Founder

The original founder of Watford FC, Henry Grover, passed away 75 years ago today, on March 22nd 1949. Here’s what we know about the man who created the club.

In 1881, when he was 15, Henry purchased a football and held a kickaround with his friends in Cassiobury Park. He’d got permission from the Earl of Essex who owned the land.

Henry called his team Watford Rovers and they started playing friendly matches. He played as a defender and often captained the side. He and his team-mates would travel to local away games by horse and cart. 

His team soon attracted the best local players. He entered them into cup competitions. In 1886, he played in their run to the Herts County Cup final and played against Swindon Town in the club’s first-ever FA Cup match.

Towards the end of the decade, he sat on the committee that successfully acquired a permanent home ground for the club after years of playing matches in various meadows. His team could now settle at Cassio Road.

By the time Henry stopped playing, in February 1890, the club had won its first trophy - the Herts County Cup. He was only 24, but he’d played in more than 70 matches. 

After that, he wasn’t involved. But his club had the momentum to start playing league football in 1896. It became known as Watford FC in 1898 and won the Southern League in 1915. In 1920 it joined the Football League.

Henry was never far away, though. He lived on Cassio Road and Upton Road, near the club’s first home at the West Herts sports ground. 

And when he died, aged 83 in 1949, he was buried in Vicarage Road cemetery. He’s at rest within 300 metres of the club’s current stadium — the length of three football pitches.

So, today, in 2024, we should be grateful for a young man’s vision and drive that, from a kickaround in a park, created a football club that has given the town and its community so much pride and joy. Thank you, Henry Grover.