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The Hall Of Arse:
Perry Digweed
by Will Holman
"I'm going to ask Digweed for his gloves. I'll do the washing up in them." That's what my friend Andy said as we waited outside the players' entrance at London Road, Peterborough, ready to greet our heroes. It had just been the scene of one of the great Watford nights; spirits were high, but he still had it in for poor Perry Digweed. With good reason: in short, Digweed was the most inadequate player I have ever seen in a Watford shirt - and I've seen Devon White attempting an overhead kick.

How Digweed managed to hold down a regular place in a Watford team remains a mystery. Perhaps the ineptitude of Mssrs Sheppard and Suckling bore some reasoning, but this isn't school football. It's not like you have to pick him because he turns up to practices, his dad is hard, or nobody else wants to go in goal - this is a professional football club. And Digweed was to talent what El Fathead is to honesty and integrity.

The catalogue of Digweed's errors is huge. In that 1993-4 season, Watford were very close to conceding the highest number of goals in the Football League. Who could forget Leicester away (4-4)? Derby home (3-4)? Grimsby home (0-3)? Perry rarely made spectacular David James- style blunders, but he had slower reactions than my grandfather (deceased), and his competence in marshalling the defence reminded me of Mrs Cook, a particularly control-less French teacher. When everything seemed to boil down to that fantastic game at Peterborough, with the whole relegation issue seeming to hinge on the outcome, Digweed was the man for the occasion... for Peterborough. Lavin, Drysdale, Page, Dublin, Millen, Hessenthaler, Ramage, Furlong, Porter, Mooney, Johnson and Bailey were heroes, putting everything in to secure the 4-3 victory, setting the ball rolling for Division One survival. Sure, Digweed put the effort in, but he was still directly responsible for two goals from a pathetic Peterborough team.

His 'big hair' hairstyle added to the cult of anti-hero that surrounded Digweed. "Clap Your Hands, Stamp Your Feet" (when it was good) referred to him simply as 'the bouffant'. A boy at my school relentlessly had the piss taken out of him because his hair resembled that of Digweed.

The season after that Peterborough spectacle, Perry Digweed played three times for the Hornets and conceded twelve goals. Kevin Miller played in the rest and Watford finished seventh in Division One. Draw your own conclusions.