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The GT Years Ranked: 14 - 2000/01

Nick Catley presents his list of GT's greatest seasons at Watford


Every Taylor season has something good to look back on. In 2000/2001, that was the first 15 games, which earned us 39 points from 12 wins and three draws. Combined with our run-in two years earlier, by Bonfire Night our previous 23 second-tier matches had brought 61 points. The tide turned with an innocuous-looking midweek game against a poor Sheffield Wednesday side, a bizarre evening in which Richard Jobson scored an own goal on his 39th Watford appearance, more than 16 years after his 38th, while Espen Baardsen should also have had one – a clearance was blasted against the back of his prone body and rebounded into the net, but the goal was credited to Tony Crane because no one in the press box saw what had happened. It triggered a run of one point from eight games, culminating with a cold, miserable 5-0 defeat at Fulham on Boxing Day. My trip was bad enough, getting up at the crack of dawn to catch the National Express coach from Norwich, where I’d spent Christmas with my in-laws, but it was worse for my friend Chris, who did all of that but also had to hitch-hike the 25 miles from his parents’ place in Cromer to Norwich first. 

We stopped the rot at Barnsley in the next game, on a night when freezing temperatures would have seemed positively balmy, but never got going again, and after that lightning start, we limped to the end of the season with 30 points in 31 games – relegation form, and sadness as we realised that this time GT wouldn’t be able to turn it around. The last day at Burnley was memorable and emotional as we celebrated his achievements, already knowing we wouldn’t see their like again.