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Sponsors evening
A bit of a do
By Simon Devon

Although I'd never been to anything like this, I'm always a bit suspicious of such events. Are they just PR fronts put on by the club to 'sweeten' the major sponsors, or are they really concenred about people who fork out their hard earned cash to sponsor a player? Well, the 1997 Sponsors Dinner was my first one, and I was pleasantly suprised!

The Watford Mailing list and Blind Stupid and Desperate sponsor two players. Stuart Slater is one and the other was Devon White, but he's just been sold. Oh well, seeing as Colin Simpsons move to Barcelona has fallen through, I guess we've got him again! The mailing list bods in attendance were myself, Leo Mindel, Kevin Blake, Brad Flack, Leon Lewis, Dr Dave, Adrian Spender and Kate Holmes.

The first players we got chatting to were Wayne Andrews and Paul Robinson. Both seemed like nice lads, but seemed a bit out of their depth! They both said how they enjoy playing under Kenny and they then told us who went out on the piss at Kudos after Saturday's game, seems like it was most of the first team. They went off to mingle (ie, prop up the bar with the rest of the team who weren't drinking BTW), after telling us what fun it was to coach the Junior Hornets, and so I went off to chat with Kate Holmes (who used to write the BSaD match reports) and she also told me who was at Kudos last night. Seems like it's the in place for Watford people.....

Anyway, a few seconds later someone came up to me and said "At last, one of my sponsors!!", it was our own Stuart Slater! (I been given a badge on the way in with Stuart's name on it) So, I took him over to the rest of the WML gang and we got talking. After about 30 seconds we realised that Stuart really is a great bloke. I'd read the stuff in the papers where he'd been praising Luther and Kenny and I just thought he was sucking up, but I realise he really does mean it, his heart really seems in Watford. He said that the reason he came here was that he had a look round the club and was impressed with both the management and the facilities. He also said he liked the area and would be moving here anyway as his contract said he had to live within twenty miles of the ground. The players he rated most were Super Kev (who isn't fully fit according to Stuart) and Bazeley. He also thought we should sign Kevin Scott (as did all the players)

We then got talking about the rest of his career. He said that West Ham was great (he got into the team at seventeen) as he got to play with some great players but the pressure was immense. He got fed up with seeing stories about himself in the papers every day. Celtic was another high point but again the pressure was immense. He had to admit that playing in an old firm derby was more intense than against Luton. Ipswich didn't work out for him as he was their record signing and so when the team played badly he got all the stick and so he lost form badly. He reckons that out off all the managers he's had (which is quite a few....) Kenny is the best one for man-management and one of the best coaches. His injury is getting better fast and he's seeing a specialist (one of the quotes of the night "I heard some stories about your last physio...") but he doesn't know if he can get back into the team, mainly because of the form of Bazeley and Easton (who he also rates highly).

At this point Stuart went to the bar to buy us all a drink, so I went to give him a hand, and this is where me and Adrian heard our first exlusive. Apparantly, Ramage hasn't been to the club for weeks and wants to bugger off ASAP!

Exclusive #2: We got talking to a very pissed off David Connolly. Apparently he wanted to accept the Wolves offer, but couldn't. When asked about Super Kevs hat-trick, he said he was pleased, but what he really meant was "Shit, I won't be getting back into the team!"

We then had loads of cheesy pictures taken with most of the players, and chatted to Kenny, Bazeley, Gifton, Porter (who will go up in all our opinions as he called Luton "F**king Scum"), Mooney, Gibbsy and Stevie Palmer who said he'd seen BSaD and thought it was great. His dad reads the match reports and then phones Steve to tell him what we thought about him! :-) Bazeley was also a nice guy (if a bit drunk...) and he also made some interesting points. We asked him about Ramage and he said, "Err... I dunno, what do you lot think?" Gifton said that although he is finding it hard in the first team, Kenny knows him so well from the youth team that he can tell when he is pushing him too hard.

Okay, that's about all that happened (apart from Darren Ward winning two prizes in the raffle. FIX!!) but roll on next years sponsors dinner!

See: Photos