Now I'm personally not superstitious, though I would never pooh-pooh those who have their lucky shirts or lucky half-time chocolate rituals. While I used to have a lucky scarf, losing it on the way to my end-of-term exams seemed to do me no harm. Besides, if it was so lucky how come it didn't find its way back?
However, there are a number of signs and omens that point to Watford having a very successful return to football's First Division, and peering down on our London neighbours as the best southern team in the division. These corollaries relate, of course, to the first time Watford graced the top tier of English football, and not the brief visit of 1999/00. What are these signs you ask? Well, read on, because here are just fifteen.
1) The World Cup - The first time Watford gained promotion to the First Division was also a World Cup year. Not one Watford player was in the England squad then either. The competition was being held in Europe, and England had high expectations. The manager then also couldn't make much in the way of conversation, and press conferences were as boring as hell.
2) Army in action - The British army was in action beating the crap out of some military power. Okay, on this occasion the Yanks were late, so late that the war was over before they arrived. They made up for it this time by starting the current conflict instead.
3) "Late Night with Letterman" was on TV - it actually had its debut that year.
4) European Cup competition - The season's top European competition was between teams whose first letters were 'A' and 'B'. In addition, the 'A' team was from the English league (Aston Villa). The previous year, Liverpool were European Champions - 'nuff said!
5) Star Trek was on TV - and still is as far as I can tell.
6) Afghanistan was occupied by a foreign power.
7) Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) made headlines for the wrong reasons - he burnt down his house.
8) Paul McCartney was in the news and in the music charts - nothing changes here!
9) Liz Taylor was divorced again (okay - so there is still another six months to go!)
10) My contemporaries and I are now twice as old as we were then.
But most important of all,
11) We had the best, forward-thinking young manager in the Football League, then and now.
12) We had a strike force that could put the ball in the net and all together the team scored seventy-seven goals (seventy-six were scored in league matches this year).
13) We didn't go up as champions. From the forty-six league games, though, we scored eighty points, losing only eight league games and winning twenty-three, compared to eighty-one points this time with nine defeats.
14) We played in the regular season the likes of Luton, Norwich, QPR, Leicester, Palace, Derby and Cardiff. We also played Charlton that season.
15) The media thought we were a bunch of football-upstarts gate-crashing the purist party with a long-ball style that would be found out by the top class teams and that we would go straight down.
See! Some things never change!