The Watford Treasury was created by a like-minded group of enthusiasts, both of Watford Football Club and the club's history, in February 2018. The first volume was published in August of that year, and almost immediately sold out, requiring a reprint.
Built around the basis of representing the club's history in a visually appealing manner, the Treasury has garnered a loyal and enthusiastic readership over ten volumes. Renowned for its high quality writing as well as stunning images, the magazine has now become an annual event, much anticipated by all.
Having built up a close partnership with Watford Museum, the Watford Observer and Watford Football Club, edited by Geoff Wicken the Treasury is able to reflect Watford FC's varied history in not just an authoritative fashion, but also with an affection and fondness that can only come from those who truly love something.
Watford Gold developed as the Watford Treasury diversified. An opportunity was seen to showcase collections of Watford FC related memorabilia and tell some of the stories behind them.
In collaboration with Watford Museum, https://oldwatford.com, the https://watfordfcarchive.co.uk and with huge support from the football club, Neil Dunham and Tom Brodrick have been able to develop a free to access website that features collections from many collectors in many wide-ranging categories, as well as a host of articles on the history of our club.
You can find Watford Gold here: https://watfordgold.org.uk
YBR! was born through the 'lock down' during the COVID pandemic, and HOME TIED the fanzine the Treasury created to fill the void between volumes postponed due to the lack of live football. Created to be lighter and more personal than it's 'sister' publication, edited by Nick Catley and Colin Payne it lived true to that ideal, and featured dozens of contributors sharing everything from tall tales, personal experiences, and fantastic photography, to out and out love and rage, although mostly love. It ran for 39 issues, sold on a subscription model. The last issue was published in December 2023, however all back issues are still available, and just as relevant as the day they were published.
Created by fans...
Name: Geoff Wicken
Position & Magazine: Editor, The Watford Treasury
Earliest Watford FC memory: At the first match I watched, Stewart Scullion’s maverick behaviour in wearing his shirt outside his shorts
Why you support Watford: Mum and Dad started bringing us, and I never stopped. Beyond the emotional attachment, there always seems to be something interesting happening (except for 1991/92 and 1992/93 – if I look at the results for those seasons I can’t recall anything!)
Best Watford game: The 1999 Play-Off Final at Wembley. I still go a bit wobbly thinking about it even now.
All time favourite player: Ross Jenkins. His Watford career started underwhelmingly, shall we say, but he matured into the best centre-forward I’ve ever seen for the club.
All time favourite manager: GT of course, although were I to come across a flux capacitor I’d set it for 1903 and visit the John Goodall era.
Why you love making the WT/YBR!: There are so many stories to be told about our club. It’s a joy to be part of such a great team and to have the opportunity to tell them.
Name: Neil Dunham
Position & Magazine: Article writer for Watford Treasury & YBR! Co-Webmaster of Watford Gold.
Earliest Watford FC memory: Duncan Welbourne passing me back the toy lorry I’d dropped when he really should have been taking a throw-in.
Why you support Watford: I was born in Shrodells Hospital and my first home was in Vicarage Road (I found out much later that an ex-player’s family lived next door). My Mum and Dad were both dyed in the wool Hornets, Dad since 1948.
Best Watford game: The 1999 Play-Off Final – The only time I ever shed tears over a football match.
All time favourite player: So many are legends in my mind, but Sir Nigel Gibbs pips Luther to the title.
All time favourite manager: GT is too easy an answer, the question should be second favourite, in which case, Harry Kent, a genius and a Gent. He led Watford to the first (then) major honour, The Southern League Title on a shoestring budget.
Why you love making the WT/YBR!: I’m an historian at heart and a memorabilia collector in fact. I just can’t help myself.
Name: Nick Catley
Position & magazine: YBR! co-editor, contributor to The Watford Treasury.
Earliest Watford FC memory: Moaning to my parents that I hadn't been allowed to go to Watford's 1-0 win over Bristol City in August 1980, while my older brother had. I went to my first match the next month. 2 September 1980 is a date that will live in Watford legend forever, as we improbably overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit by beating First Division Southampton 7-1 in one of the most famous nights in Vicarage Road history.
I didn't go to that game. I saw us lose 3-2 to Chelsea on the 27th instead. Probably better, in retrospect, in terms of expectations management. I was hooked anyway.
Why you support Watford: My mum comes from a Berko family who have supported Watford since the 19th century. Dad moved to Hemel in 1959 and started worshipping Cliff Holton shortly afterwards. I never stood a chance.
Best Watford game: The 1999 play-off final is hard to ignore, but amongst occasions that didn't complete the redemption arc of my all-time hero, I'll go for Peterborough United 3 Watford 4 on 5 April 1994. A see-sawing relegation six-pointer in front of a loud, packed terrace just as they were starting to disappear. That match had everything except, for the most part, basic competence. The football was dreadful, so was the view, and the game showed how little both those things sometimes matter.
All-time favourite Watford player: Tommy Mooney. Refused to be beaten, by opponents, loss of form, or time. Reinvented himself on numerous occasions to fit in with the team's needs. At his best, bent games to his will through sheer desire. A joy to watch.
All-time favourite Watford manager: This is no question at all for Watford fans, of course. My second-favourite manager is Ray Lewington. The overspending of the Vialli era, followed by the collapse of ITV Digital, should have condemned us to a spell in the third tier at the very least. But not only did Lewington's astute stewardship and signings keep us out of trouble for the next few seasons, he also gave us two hugely enjoyable runs to cup semi-finals. I choose to believe that the 'Ray Lewington' involved in the debacle that was Roy Hodgson's managerial spell was a doppelganger.
Why you love making the WT/YBR!: A chance to rid my mind of useless trivia, obscure flights of fancy and tortuous metaphors and inflict them on other people.
Name: Mike Raggett
Position & Magazine: Production editor The Watford Treasury, contributor to Treasury and YBR.
Earliest Watford FC memory: As a complete parvenu in this esteemed company, I first went to a Watford match in August 1995 against Sheffield United – ironic as I have a second cousin who supports the Blades. We won with a Jonno goal I think.
Why you support Watford: My main sports were cricket and rugby but when I became emotionally involved with the woman (Dee Lesley) who would become my second wife she suggested there were two options for Saturdays – “football with me or you’re on your own”. Her first game was in utero and she went regularly thereafter with her father, sister and cousin. So I joined her, loved the atmosphere in the town and at the Vic and then became gradually drawn into being active in the club initially through the Supporters’ Trust and later especially the Community Sports & Education Trust.
Best Watford game: Mooney’s win at Anfield – it was the first time we’d gone to an away game on the club coach together and will live long in the memory but the Bolton game at Wembley 1999 is probably the best of all. I had a great day out at Cardiff too in the next play off win in 2006.
All time favourite player: Lloyd Doyley closely followed by Micah Hyde.
All time favourite manager: Graham Taylor who I met a few times and was privileged to interview for a Supporters’ Trust video..
Why you love making the WT/YBR!:
I was invited by Geoff Wicken to help out with the production elements of the Treasury and have enjoyed contributing a few articles over the years. It’s a great team to work with. Being invited to work with Geoff and others on the 100 Years at Vicarage Road project was also a very satisfying collaboration.
Name: Olly Wicken
Name: Richard White
Position & Magazine: Contributor to the Watford Treasury and YBR, editorial (fact-checking) help to the Treasury, physiotherapist and manicurist to the group
Earliest Watford FC memory: Terry Garbett thumping in a header at the Vicarage Road end at my first Watford match, a 3-0 win against Gillingham on 4th May 1968, when I went with Dave and Barry from school who showed me the way to the ground. We stood outside the player’s entrance to get autographs after the game and following what seemed like an eternity, Bernard Lewis came out and signed my programme. I’d had enough of hanging about by then and decided autograph hunting definitely wasn’t for me!
Why you support Watford: I was brought up in Garston, Watford, and became football obsessed after watching England win the World Cup on TV in 1966. There was no hesitation in supporting my local team when I got old enough to go on my own, and I’ve never regretted it for a single moment. COYH!
Best Watford game: So many fantastic matches over the years, I can’t pick just one, so I’ll say it’s always the last win!
All time favourite player: Stewart Scullion. My first football hero, who showed me that highly talented players can raise the game into an art form, rather than just a workmanlike battle for points amid the muck and nettles.
All time favourite manager: GT of course, the only man I can remember shedding tears for at his passing, outside of my family. He brought us success and entertainment, and positively affected so many people’s lives, inside and outside of football - a truly astonishing human being.
Why you love making the WT/YBR: Apart from the joy of wallowing in blue, gold and yellow nostalgia, it has given me the opportunity to meet and write articles about past players who provided great insights into their experiences at the club over past decades. I find the many huge huge differences between football ‘then' and ‘now’ fascinating. But whatever the era, pro footballers were the best of the best in a sport everybody played and I am in awe of them.
Name: David Harrison
Position & Magazine: Occasional contributor to the Treasury and YBR, specialising in the 60’s and 70’s, old Watford programmes and, reluctantly, obituaries.
Earliest WFC memory: Watford 2 Darlington 1, November 1959. Remarkably Big Cliff didn’t score.
Why Watford: Down to my Dad who taught me about right and wrong. His last words to me, nearly 60 years later, were, “Watford will be OK this season, won’t they?” I promised they would. Some uncomfortable moments followed but they delivered.
Best Watford game: Southampton was the most extraordinary game I’ll ever see but, given the context, the 4-0 win over Hull City in May 1979 was the best.
All Time Favourite Player: What a ridiculous question. Can only be Holton, but don’t tell Big Ross.
Favourite Manager: I got to know GT a bit late on and will treasure those experiences for ever. He was gloriously indiscreet (“They’re paying Ellington how much, Graham?”), fantastic company and the best manager any of us will ever know. I also wish I’d met Neil McBain, the man with the best CV (and colourised braces) in football.
Why do I love the Treasury and YBR!: A group of very different people, with complementary skills, bound together by love for this unique football club. I moved away from Watford in 2012 but the Treasury has allowed me to stay involved and connected. I’m grateful for that and proud of what we’ve achieved.
Name: Colin Payne
Earliest Watford FC memory: Being taken with a friend, by his father, to see Bobby Charlton play for Preston North End against Watford, I've no idea of the year! My abiding memory was that I wanted to go home, I had no interest!
With the Treasury it was getting to know those in the team, and realise that I had made a dozen real friends. That we produced something that is such high quality is a bonus, but a big bonus!
With YBR! it's creating a community among those who buy it, write for it, and help us. Working with Nick Catley, who co-edits it is a pleasure, it's a lovely fanzine, and I'm so proud of it.
With both publications the support we've had, particularly from Watford Football Club, Watford Museum and the Watford Observer, has been tremendous, we are truly gifted with lovely people associated with this club!
When are the magazines issued?
Watford Treasury - once every 12 months or so, which equates to one issue per season
YBR! - Now no longer publishing, but all back issues are available.