Paul Labbett

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Position – Left back
Apps – 76
Goals – 2
Debut v Arsenal – May 1997
Worldnets – 2
Nicknames – Ice

Paul was another of the intrepid squad that took to the muddy fields of Middlesbrough during EuroNET ’97, WIFC’s first venture to the tournament that became WorldNET. Left-footed Paul starred for the side for the first five years of it’s existence and remains one of the best defenders to appear in the colours of the Internet ‘Orns. Family commitments meant Paul left the playing squad, but he received due recognition at the Testimonial dinner in 2007 when he was inducted into the WIFC Hall of Fame. Paul threatened a comeback for a few years, and finally re-appeared at the WorldNET Vets in 2012 and added a first IFA league appearance in 10 years at Peterborough in 2013.

Jon Parry

Position – Striker
Apps – 60
Goals – 60
Debut v Arsenal – May 1997
Worldnets – 4
Nicknames – Chicken Legs, Sir

One of the original squad that played in Euronet back in 1997, along with goalkeeping brother Chris, Jon was WIFC’s leading scorer throughout the early years of the club. Having scored at an average of a goal a game, the thin-legged striker was the scourge of teams across the IFA and he remained the club’s record scorer for years after he last appeared. Work and family commitments took Jon away from the club in the early 2000’s, but his immense contribution was recognised at the Testimonial dinner in 2007 when Jon was inducted to the WIFC hall of fame.

Ian Lay

Position – Striker
Apps – 100
Goals – 40
Debut v Arsenal – May 1997
Worldnets – 5
Nicknames – Taz

Ian managed WIFC through the early years, and juggled the roles of three people in admirable fashion, acting as fixtures organiser, manager and treasuer at the same time. Ian also managed to find time to be a key player for the team, be that on the wing or in his preferred striker’s berth. Ian is also remembered for his on pitch explosions, which led him to the nickname Taz. Also a prolific smoker of dubious substances, he led many a player astray on the memorable Amsterdam trip in 2000. Ian stepped down when he moved away to Somerset in 2002.

Dave Perahia

Position – Goalkeeper
Apps – 124
Goals – 2
Debut v Arsenal – May 1997
Worldnets – 9
Nicknames – Dr.Dave, He-She, Ladyboy

One of the founder members of WIFC, the good Doctor was between the sticks for the club’s very first game and remained the undisputed number one for many years. Dave often drew gasps from the opposition, as from behind they could have sworn he was a girl, and his WIFC highlights were being names Man of the Match in both the 2002 IFA Cup Final against and the Gibbsy testimonial, the latter display drawing compliments from no less than Glenn Hoddle. Inducted to the WIFC hall of fame in 2005, family commitments and old age finally saw Dave hang up his gloves in 2006.

34. Adrian Spender

Position – Centre Back
DOB – 3/11/1975
Apps – 206
Goals – 35
Debut v Arsenal – May 1997
Worldnets – 17
Nicknames – Aidy

Inducted to the WIFC Hall of Fame in 2004, Aidy is the one person without whom there would be no WIFC, as the club was originally his idea. Since then, Aidy’s given sterling service and appeared in pretty much every position. Aidy’s hat-trick in a cup win at Leicester as a centre forward was a career highlight, he was also the defensive lynchpin for the B team in their consecutive runs to the main draw and performed the same role admirably for the Vets team in 2011 and 2012. Aidy also designed the new website and remains an integral part of the club he helped create, and made his 200th appearance for the club during the WorldNET vets tournament in 2013.

Aidy’s Q and A

Describe yourself in a sentence

Jack of all trades, master of none.

What was the first WFC game you went to and what can you remember about it?

I remember it being at Kenilworth road, standing on an open terrace which must have been the now home end at the time. My dad took me. He’s a Fulham fan so is not particularly minded to remember the occasion. My best guess would say it was the 2-1 win in April 1984, which would make me eight, but all I remember was it being sunny. Still, scum away for a first game is pretty hardcore.

Finest ever WFC memory

Wembley ’99. No question.

Worst away trip and why

Fulham on boxing day 2000. I took my uncle and cousin, both Watford fans, and my old man (see above) Not only did we lose 5-0 but it was about the coldest I have ever been at a football game. None of us enjoyed it, even my dad.

WIFC playing highlight

Second half hat-trick in a 3-0 cup win against Leicester.

Favourite WIFC moment

The entirety of the Amsterdam trip.

All-time favourite Watford player

Tommy Mooney

All-time favourite Watford XI (not the best players – your favourites)

Chamberlain; Robinson, Foster, McClelland, Gibbs; Young, R Johnson, Ramage, Slater; Mooney, Helguson

Red shorts or black?

I really, really do not care.

Which actor would play you in ‘WIFC – The Movie’

Matt Damon would be offered the role, but Adam Woodyatt would end up taking it.

Simon Neill

Position – Striker
DOB – 28/8/1979
Apps – 121
Goals – 17
Debut Unknown – v Derby – Jan 1998
Worldnets – 9
Nicknames – Big Nelly, Gollum

Nelly joined WIFC back in 1998, and quickly personified all that is good about WIFC as though he may not be the most skilful player, he always gives his best and was a much respected member of the full squad. In honour of this, Nelly was inducted to the WIFC hall of fame in 2007. Nelly will always be remembered for the “special haircut” he once had performed on his nether regions, falling over drunk in the reception at the Village in Leeds and can also be relied upon to turn up wearing the latest in hard clothes, from Burberry and Henri Lloyd to Top Man and George at ASDA.

Simon Devon

Position – Striker
DOB – 13/4/1975
Apps – 145
Goals – 9
Worldnets – 12
Debut v QPR – May 1997
Nicknames – Pikachu, Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimon

Few players, past or present, sum up the WIFC ethos better than Simon Devon. He’s been around WIFC forever, and his efforts for the club included a spell as the club’s first treasurer and a hugely successful spell as B team manager, during which he became the first to win a game at Worldnet and the first to steer the team into the main draw in 2007, a feat he repeated in the 2 subsequent seasons. Not only that, but he also appeared in the Gibbsy testimonial during which he memorably marked John Barnes at set pieces, has been voted clubman, most improved player and was also one of the first inductees to the WIFC hall of fame in 2003. Family commitments curtailed Simon’s full squad involvement in 2011, however we hope to see Simon back in action at some stage.

Simon’s Q and A

Describe yourself in a sentence
Run around a lot, problems start when I have to go anywhere near a football

What was the first WFC game you went to and what can you remember about it?
A 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest around 1985. Goals from George Riley and Worrell Sterling. I had no interest in football until I went to that first game and I was instantly hooked! WIFC related fact – the person who took me was WIFC youngster Josh Freedmans dad…

Finest ever WFC memory
Wembley in ’99 beats Fulham in ’98 by a whisker. I think people forget just how amazing Fulham was, it was the first time we had won anything in years!!

Worst away trip and why
The 5-0 disaster away to Wimbledon in the first prem season. I love GT but that was shit.

WIFC playing highlight
Hearing my name on the tannoy, Rupe booing, someone cheering, running on the pitch and marking John Barnes at a corner all within the space of a minute during the Gibbsy game. Really someone like me should not be playing football in front of a paying audience.

Favourite WIFC moment
The first time we got the B Team through the group at WorldNET

All-time favourite Watford player
Barnes for skill, Gibbsy for dedication

All-time favourite Watford XI (not the best players – your favourites)
James, Gibbsy, Page, John McClelland, Robbo, Young, Kennny Jackett, Johnno, Barnes, Luther, Helguson.

Red shorts or black?
Black. We’re hornets, not McDonalds!

Which actor would play you in ‘WIFC – The Movie’
Bez – the bloke in the background moving around but not really doing much…

18. Paul Watt

Position – Centre Midfield
DOB – 20/8/1985
Apps – 125
Goals – 36
Worldnets – 5
Debut v Millwall – Apr 2004
Nicknames – Watty, Old Man Watt

Joint Manager of WIFC in the success laden years between 2005 & 2008, Paul’s playing days saw him have the unique distinction of looking like one of the old lags despite his tender years. It remains hard to believe that Watty was born in 1985, the year after Watford’s FA Cup final appearance. A cultured player, who liked to get forward, he was WIFC’s player of the year in 2005 and in 2008 his missed penalty at a goal down in the Worldnet final was a pivotal moment. Voted into the WIFC Hall of fame for his efforts, Paul was also known to pick up his share of Evo’s, resulting in a 4 year hiatus from WIFC duty between 2010-14. Just keep him away from your sock drawer or the back seat of your car.

Watty’s Q and A

Describe yourself in a sentence
The oldest I’ve ever been.

What was the first WFC game you went to and what can you remember about it?
A last game of the season defeat at home to Oxford in the early 90’s…I wouldn’t have come back if I had the choice. If golf had been invented back then it would have been a different story.

Finest ever WFC memory
Wembley 99 wasn’t a bad day out…the Luton 4-0 not far behind due to us breaking them in 30mins.

Worst away trip and why
Anyone that involved Selhurst Park. Even the 3-0 playoff win was dampened by the surroundings. Derren Brown could have saved a lot of money on the apocalypse by waking the guy up there.

WIFC playing highlight
Attempting to do a team talk at WorldNET with Richard Murphy sat in a tree 10 feet above us and him not realising this wasn’t normal.

Favourite WIFC moment
The coach trips in Belgium to see URN…the songs,the beer,the club imploding before our eyes. Also,Mathers kissing a bloke…but I guess that will be covered elsewhere…

All-time favourite Watford player
Craig Ramage…always liked players that don’t need/want to move.

All-time favourite Watford XI (not the best players – your favourites)
Miller,Robinson,Foster,Taylor,Bazeley,Johnson,Hyde,Ramage,Rosenthal,Helguson,Mooney

Red shorts or black?
I tossed a coin,the answer was : heads.

Which actor would play you in ‘WIFC – The Movie’
Only if he was available and not too busy : Dean Gaffney.

Paul Karlsen

Position – Centre Midfield
DOB – 23/12/1977
Apps – 69
Goals – 5
Worldnets – 5
Debut v Crystal Palace – Sep 2002
Nicknames – PK, Scotch

Paul is something of a legend in IFA circles, having been a Worldnet regular with his first love Dumbarton, with whom he picked up a Worldnet winners medal in 2004. This may be more to do with his typically Caledonian drinking prowess, he and Fraz Clark memorably spent a night in a bin at a previous Worldnet after dispatching several dozen cans of Tennents apiece. Involved with WIFC since moving south, on the pitch Paul’s combative Scotttishness always shone through, while off it his spell as the chief fixture fixer for the club was a pivotal time, as we made the magical twenty league game mark for the first time in 2004. In 2012, Paul stepped down from the full squad prior to his impending move to Washington, and was duly inducted to the hall of fame in recognition of his efforts in providing WIFC a blueprint for it’s continued success.

PK’s Q and A

First WFC game
Dumbarton v Watford, friendly in 1984.  Too young to remember much but The Sons won despite a Mo Johnston goal for Watford.

Finest WFC memory
Play-off final in Cardiff

Worst away trip
There is always something good about every away trip.  Except Preston.

WIFC playing highlight
A swan landing on the pitch during a game against Coventry, my goal away to Ipswich, deputising as manager for a comprehensive victory over Brentford

Favourite WIFC moment
Leaving Fraz without his wallet or phone on a train somewhere in darkest Yorkshire.  Or the Orange of Justice in Belgium.

All time favourite Watford player
Ohhhh Stepehen Glass

All time Watford XI
Jim McLaren, Gerard Lavin, Joe McLaughlin, Malky Mackay, Willlie Falconer, Don Cowie, Ikechi Anya, Paul Devlin, Stephen Glass, Mo Johnston, Allan Smart.

Red shorts or black?
Black

Which actor would play you in WIFC – The Movie
Mike Myers, complete with dreadful comedy Scottish accent. (Heeeed – ed)

Dave Messenger

Postion – Right Back
DOB – 26/12/1972
Apps – 168
Goals – 2
Worldnets – 10
Debut v Arsenal – Mar 2001
Nicknames – Dolly, Spacehopper
Former Squad Numbers – 12, 52

Genunie club legend Dave joined the fun relatively late in 2001 and went on to play in the IFA Cup Final and Gibbsy game in 2002. Dave also captained the B team at Worldnet 2002 & 03 and went on to become instrumental in running the club. In recognition of 4 years of organising fixtures, during which he won three consecutive Clubman of the year awards, and the club won the coveted ‘IFA Team of the Year” twice, Dave was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2008 and added a 5th Clubman award in 2013/14.

Dave’s Q and A

Describe yourself in a sentence
A much better footballer in my head.

What was the first WFC game you went to and what can you remember about it?
April 1979 – Plymouth at home. It was a 2-2 draw and I remember the old man telling me to clap and cheer when Graham Taylor went to sit on the bench. Keith Mercer scored the first goal and I begged to go back the next week.

Finest ever WFC memory
Lots to choose from in childhood as Dad dragged us up and down the country watching Watford in the old first division. But the ultimate stand-out was Liverpool away in 1999. To go to Anfield, having grown up in the era when Liverpool dominated and see Watford stand toe-to-toe and win was brilliant.

Worst away trip and why
Hull, 2008, the league game not the play-off. The day the Hoofroyd era reached it’s nadir. Everyone who saw that one will carry the scars to their grave. Dan Shittu up front, worst funbus ever and the incessant, pouring rain.

WIFC playing highlight
From a team perspective, the 2002 IFA Cup Semi-Final v St Mirren in Leeds. We had our backs to the wall and were hanging on to a 2-1 lead. In those days, each team reffed a half and the opposition did the second half that day. We played at least 15 mins of injury time, repelling everything they threw at us until their ref could no longer swing it. On a personal level, captaining the B Team at WorldNET later that summer, and again in 2003 were highlights.

Favourite WIFC moment
So, so many to choose from, but how could I select anything other than the Dentists Ball at the infamous Village Hotel and the moment I ‘ruined 5 years’ of some silly female dentists life with some outrageous backwards dancing..

All-time favourite Watford player
Tony Coton.

All-time favourite Watford XI (not the best players – your favourites)
Tony Coton, Nigel Gibbs, Wilf Rostron, Steve Sims, Malky Mackay, Nicky Wright, Kenny Jackett, Craig Ramage, Glyn Hodges, Paul Furlong, Heidar Helguson.

Red shorts or black?
Black. Always.

Which actor would play you in ‘WIFC – The Movie’
Jack Black, apparently..