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Division 1 Playoff Final, 31/5/99
Watford 2(1)
Team: Chamberlain, Bazeley, Kennedy, Page, Palmer, Robinson, Ngonge, Hyde, Mooney, Johnson, Wright
Subs: Hazan (for Wright), Day, Smart (for Ngonge)
Scorers: Wright (38), Smart (89)
Bolton Wanderers 0(0)
The best day of my life
Report by Richard Wilson

I'd already marked the 31st May 1999 in my diary to be the best day of my life. I'm on my way to see the mighty Hornets play at Wembley and I'm taking my eight year old son Paul, who has, over the last few years voiced his allegiance to all the major Premiership clubs. In the last couple of months, building up to the end of season, he's finally decided he's a Hornet. But eight year olds change their minds a lot, believe me I know. I figured that if Watford win at Wembley, then Paul should be hooked and a Hornet for life. I can't tell you how it cheered me to see him singing "Watford till I die" at Wembley. He's a Hornet now for sure.

Paul, my friend Mark and I all headed off for Wembley at around eleven-ish. After departing the train and with Wembley Stadium in sight we stumbled across some face painters. Paul had his face painted and one of those silly wigs were purchased and placed on his head (see photo). What a proper little Hornet! We then headed for Wembley Way to get a look at the Twin Towers and were soon queueing at the turnstiles.

We were in the Stadium very early and there was not much noise yet. Gradually the stadium filled and gradually the volume rose. The pre match entertainment came and went and included an under-eleven game in which Watford lost 1-0. Some years previously I was at the Everton v Man Utd FA Cup Final and they had a veterans game as pre-match entertainment. In this game Everton were the victors by a goal to nil as were Everton in the FA Cup Final. I was hoping this was not a bad omen for the Golden Boys today.

And then kickoff. There I was in a sea of Yellow and Red watching Watford with the company of a good friend and my son. What could be better. I'll tell you what! Watford winning 2-0 and gaining promotion to the Premiership.

Early on I felt Bolton perhaps should have scored but it wasn't to be. Bolton started the brighter but Watford gradually imposed themselves on the game and deservedly went a goal ahead in the 38th minute. A Kennedy corner was half cleared and the ball fell to Nicky Wright with his back to goal. Nicky did a bicycle kick, "that's going over", I thought, but instead it cleared the goalkeeper and a defender on the line, to tuck in just below the bar and inside the post. Cue utter madness and a sea of Yellow jumping up and down and screaming with delight! I was so pleased for Nicky, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I've been very impressed with his commitment, skill and work rate this season. So utterly deserved. Usually I lift my scarf above my head while celebrating, this time it was my son Paul who was lifted and he had my scarf above his head. I couldn't believe it! What a fabulous goal! Watford's first ever goal at Wembley, scored in magnificent style. This was one of the best goals scored at Wembley and it was scored by the Mighty Hornets.

Then the second half in which Bolton had more of the possession but we kept hitting them on the break, a bit of a reversal of the first half. This was forty-five minutes of nail biting drama. On 89 minutes Kennedy broke on the left with Smart making a run on the right with only one Bolton defender between them. Kennedy curled the ball around the defender into the path of the advancing Alan Smart who smacked it first time, low and hard into the corner of the net. 2-0 to the Golden Boys, more jubilant scenes. Paul let out a such a scream of delight, a real lung full of volume from such a young lad and then seeing 35,000-plus fans going completely bonkers, I was in heaven.

Knowing that very recently Man Utd and Man City scored two goals in injury time, the last few minutes passed very nervously, and I was willing the final whistle. Lightning may very occasionally strike twice, but three times? NO! The final whistle, Watford in the Premiership, 35,000-plus jubilant raving nutcases dressed in Yellow jumping up and down. Half of Wembley disappeared while the Yellow half stayed to watch the Mighty Hornets lift the trophy and perform a lap of honour. The best day of my life? I think so!

On our way home we passed some Bolton fans who were standing and applauding Watford fans as they walked by, a nice gesture, I thought.

As for my Son, he's now a Hornet till he dies.