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Gone but not forgotten:
Ronny Rosenthal
Position: Striker
From: Spurs - Free transfer - August 1997
Record: Played: 32(7) Scored: 11
To: Retired - July 1999
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: Rocket Ronny

Given all that's happened, it's easy to forget just how brilliantly it started.

Recently (and with exceptions) we've grown used to praising Watford sides for their undying spirit - Red Bull aggression at Vale, unflinching courage at Birmingham, sheer ultra-desire in that magnificent second half underneath the Twin Towers. Less sexy football, more lusty football.

But it started with Ronny Rosenthal. It started with lethal, piercing raids on the opposition goal, with football that was more than occasionally dazzling.

The first half against Brentford at home - and I make no apologies for continually going back to it - was glorious payback for the decade of waiting. Football as pure and thrilling and beautiful as if it had been a gift from heaven. If you want to remember Ronny Rosenthal, remember him on that summer afternoon, a player at a late career peak, a player who lit a fire that's still burning so fiercely.

Don't remember him for what followed during the subsequent eighteen months - the injuries; the sudden slowing to a standstill; the laughable second half appearance at Spurs, playing like it was his bloody testimonial match. By the time, at the age of thirty-six, his contract was ended by mutual agreement, he was a completely spent force.

But you can't judge a player on the dying embers of his career. The real Ronny Rosenthal is there on video whenever you want him, screaming through the Blackpool defence to score the goal of the 97/98 season. The real Ronny Rosenthal was a swashbuckling, rampaging superstar. If only in spirit, the real Ronny Rosenthal lives on in this mighty Premiership-worthy Watford side.

He's left it to others to finish what he started.