As a Watford supporter of some 25 years plus, I was delighted to see that I could finally find an excuse to shoe horn in my love of the Hertfordshire club into my every day workload!
At the beginning of the year, football fans, warmed by nostalgia, often look towards the FA Cup 3rd round with a dual sense of both foreboding and excitement. Is this our year we foolishly ask ourselves, could we be a giant killer they ponder over a pint or two?
Watford FC, FA Cup finalists just once in 1984, this year are performing above expectations and sit nicely in the Championship Playoffs at the time of writing. This year though the FA Cup sees us welcome Hartlepool United to Vicarage Road on Saturday 8th January; and at a time when ticket prices and the cost of living are both under the microscope, its refreshing to see Watford doing something for a charitable cause.
Uniquely, the club plan to donate its share of the profits on ticket sales from the 3rd Round tie to Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Football League’s official charity for 2010/11.
Watford Football Club chairman Graham Taylor said,
It’s not every organisation that has the chance to bring thousands of people together behind such a great cause, so we’re delighted to be able to play our part by doing something unique in our industry.
I’m certain that Marie Curie’s work has touched the lives of many, many Watford-supporting families – so to do what we’re doing is our way of saying ‘Thank you and please continue your great work’ to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The Hornets’ officials agreed the gesture just before Christmas – and to ensure there’s definitely money to donate whatever the result, club captain John Eustace and all his team-mates have agreed to waive their appearance fees should the Golden Boys fail to progress. With match day tickets reduced to £10 for adults, fans on the terraces will be playing your part by helping to raise what is hoped will ultimately be a healthy five-figure sum for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Now whilst Watford don’t quite have the global or even national appeal of say a Manchester United, for those fans that can’t get to the game, or if indeed fans want to top up their support, the club have set up a JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/watfordfootballclub. Chairman and ex England Manager Graham Taylor has even kicked things off in style by making the first donation and he’s left a message on the site to encourage his fellow Hornets to join in.
Marie Curie’s spokesperson Rachael McCormack was enthusiastic about the decision,
It’s fantastic that Watford FC have pledged to donate their share of the profit from their FA Cup third round gate receipts to Marie Curie Cancer Care. The club has made it possible for fans that can’t make the game to support the charity by donating online to their Justgiving page.
All money raised will help the charity to continue delivering free nursing care and support. For people who want to go one step further and get involved in one of the fundraising challenges for Marie Curie this season, please visit: www.football-league.co.uk/mariecurie
So, if your club are already out of the FA Cup and you fancy some of the “magic of the cup” rubbing off on you why not take a look at Watford’s page and see if you can help them reach their £5,000 goal.