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They would pop up a couple of times in the Premier League over the next several seasons. Sir Elton sold the club in 2002 but remains its honorary life president. They got back in the Premier League in 2015, and lost the final of the 2018–19 FA Cup, and stayed in the top flight for five seasons. The magic ran out when they dropped back into the Championship after finishing 19th in the Premier League in 2019-20, but a second place finish last season has Watford back up in the top tier for the 2021-22 season.
The media also like to call it the M1 Derby for a highway that passes near each ground. They do the same thing, by the way, with the Crystal Palace – Brighton rivalry, calling it the M23 Derby even though it’s the A23 that comes closest to connecting the two. First, as we do with all of our posts on the top derbies in English soccer, let’s review the history of each club in excerpts from our book, The Groundhopper Guide to Soccer in England.
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The next year they made the League Cup Final again but lost to Forest. Some might suggest that their success in these years owed in part to an artificial surface at home (very rare then and now) and the club banning all away fans for a couple of years due to hooliganism. They climbed to the top tier again in the 2000s, but then a crazy owner left them in administration. Then came the thunderbolt of an FA investigation into illegal payments to players’ agents, which resulted in a ten-point deduction one season and thirty the next — the largest amount in the league’s history. Although they won the League Trophy in 2009 in front of 40, 000 Hatters supporters at Wembley, they dropped out of the Football League days later and spent the next five seasons in what is now the National League.
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Kenilworth Road, home of Luton Town FC. Luton Town FC History If we told you Luton Town was founded in 1885 and have been playing at Kenilworth Road since 1905, and then you walked into the place, you’d probably say, “Yeah, that seems about right. ” In fact, you would be at the first club in the south of England to go fully professional, in 1891. And no, those seats are not from those days. For more on their fabulous dump of a ground, check out Groundhopper Paul’s visit to Kenilworth Road. Known as the Hatters because the town was once home to a straw hat industry, their first glory days were the 1950s, when record goal-scorer Gordon Turner was banging them in and the Hatters were in the First Division.
Groundhopper Soccer Guides | Getting to Know the Luton Town vs Watford RivalryThe rivalry between Watford and Luton Town, sometimes known as the Beds-Herts Derby, goes back over 100 years and is one of the more bitter derbies in English football. Chances are, though, you don’t know much about it. The two teams will not meet in the 2021-22 season after Watford was promoted to the Premier League. But, we still want to share this north-of-London battle. The two stadiums are just 20 miles apart, with Watford in Hertfordshire and Luton in Bedfordshire, leading to the nickname Beds-Herts Derby.
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Incredibly, that season they finished second behind Liverpool, thus qualifying for the UEFA Cup (today’s Europa League). So in seven years, they went from playing Hartlepool and Northampton Town to losing to Sparta Prague in the third round of Europe! They lost the 1984 FA Cup final to Everton, but of course this couldn’t last. Taylor left for Aston Villa in 1987, and Watford were relegated the next season. They were back in the third tier within ten years. Taylor came back in the late ’90s, secured two straight promotions to the new Premier League, then retired for good in 2001.
They finished second in 1955 and lost the 1959 FA Cup Final to Nottingham Forest when Turner was out injured. When that team broke up, the Hatters dropped pretty quickly down to the fourth tier. They climbed slowly back up starting in the 1970s, making the top tier again in the 1980s and beating Arsenal in a 3–2 thriller to win the 1988 League Cup. That year they also made the FA Cup semifinals and were ninth in the league.
Getting to Know the Luton Town vs Watford Rivalry The Watford vs Luton Town rivalry, sometimes known as the Beds-Herts Derby, goes back over 100 years and is one of the more bitter derbies in
Anyway, they got back to League Two in 2014, then successive promotions in 2018 and 2019 landed them in the Championship, where they have played the last two seasons, finishing nineteenth and avoiding relegation by just three points in 2019-20 and climbing up to 12th place last season. Vicarage Road, home of Watford FC. Watford FC History We can kind of skip ahead here. Watford was formed in 1881, joined the Football League in 1921, and basically spent the next sixty years in the third tier.
Watford vs Luton Town: Live Score, Stream and H2H results Match Watford vs Luton Town in the Championship (10/23/2022): Live score, stream, statistics match & H2H results on
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