This season Prostate Cancer UK is the official charity of The
Football League. To celebrate, we've asked bloggers from each of
the 72 clubs to count down their top five strikers to have worn the
No9 shirt, in recognition of the fact that prostate cancer
affects one in nine men.
Hornets legend: Luther Blissett is Watford's all-time top scorer. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Here blogger Mike Parkin, of fromtherookeryend.com,
selects Watford's five best No9s… and one to forget!
5. Kevin Phillips
'Super Kev' was signed from non-league Baldock Town and provided
Watford fans with an all too rare hero during what were pretty lean
years at Vicarage Road. A complete unknown before his arrival,
Phillips quickly established himself as a lethal finisher, banging
them in from all corners, seemingly for fun. Seeing his smile after
scoring was almost as enjoyable as seeing the goals themselves.
Injury meant he didn't play as many games or score as many goals in
the yellow of Watford as we'd hoped, but his career since bares
testimony to the fact that, for a time there, we had a top striker
on our hands.
4. Heidar Helguson (1999-2005
An Iceland international, Helguson was signed during Watford's
ill-fated sortie into the Premier League in 1999, but memories of
weekly drubbings at the hands of the nation's top clubs were
quickly soothed by the realisation we had a gem on our hands.
Utterly fearless and seemingly able to hang in the air longer than
your average hot air balloon, Helguson quickly became a Hornets
hero. Once he had decided he was going to score, he would score -
nothing or no one could stop him. Inevitably this led to him being
snaffled by a Premier League club, but his return on loan in 2009
saw him snare a further 11 goals in one of the most enjoyable loan
spells known to man. Heidar, we salute you.
3. Tommy Mooney
Thomas John Mooney had an average start to his Watford career.
Signed from Southend, he failed to make an immediate impact after a
successful loan spell and spent a period playing as a defender
before Graham Taylor reintroduced him as a striker late in the
98-99 promotion season. Mooney scored in a memorable Premier League
win at Anfield, but it was his infectious enthusiasm, work rate and
obvious dedication to the cause that made him a hero to the
Vicarage Road faithful. Now 41, I can't help but think Mooney could
still do a job...
2. Ross Jenkins
In his time at Watford, Jenkins saw the lot. Watford's then record
signing, Jenkins failed to score until late in his debut season and
netted just four the following year as the Hornets were relegated
from Division Three. It was at this apparent low point that the
Jenkins Watford fans know, and love, was born. He played a vital
part in Watford's meteoric rise through the divisions, terrorising
defenders and delighting the Vicarage Road faithful in the process.
He ended his Watford career with 118 goals in 339 appearances.
1. Luther Blissett (1975-83,
1984-88 & 1991-93)
Mention Luther Blissett to any football fan and they will probably
think of Watford - and for good reason. In three spells with the
Hornets, Luther (no need for surnames here) cemented himself as a
true club great, with a host of honours and landmarks against his
name. His list of achievements include being the first Watford
player to represent England, along with the accolade of being both
the Hornets' top scorer and appearance maker of all time, amassing
186 goals in 503 games. There will have been no dissenting voices
at WD18 when Luther was the first inductee into the club's Hall of
Fame. L is for legend. L is for Luther.
And the worst…
Signed in 1987, Watford fans had high hopes for Senior, who had
scored an incredible number of goals for Reading. After his
superhuman efforts for the Royals, he scored four for Watford, of
which just one came in the league. Poor old Trev never looked the
part, on the field or off it, and it's fair to say that with
Watford fans smarting from the departure of legendary manager
Graham Taylor, Trevor Senior was not the man to ease our suffering.
He was sold to Middlesbrough in 1988, with Watford fans' only
quibble being that Ayresome Park wasn't far enough away.
Follow Mike on Twitter @RookeryMike