20 July 2024

Deal agreed;Watford FC Finally purchase a £20 million-rated Striker signing from Leeds united.


Watford and Cardiff City face off on Saturday afternoon (October 7, 3pm KO), in what promises to be an enticing Sky Bet Championship clash.


As Head Coach Valérien Ismaël and his charges prepare to play the Welshmen at the Cardiff City Stadium, here are five who represented the Hornets and the Bluebirds during their playing careers.


Fred Pagnam


Scoring Watford’s last-ever goal at Cassio Road and their first at Vicarage Road, Pagnam netted a hat-trick to ensure “the Brewers” ran out winners at their stadium for the first time against Exeter City in 1922, writing himself into the club’s history books forever.


Pagnam had arrived from Cardiff City a year earlier, where he had plied his trade for only a year but enjoyed considerable success. Firing in eight goals in 14 games to ensure their promotion to the First Division, he left the Welsh side for £1,000 and a 50 per cent sell-on fee, one of the earliest examples of this clause in English football.


Heiðar Helguson


Icelandic striker Heiðar Helguson spent seven years at Watford over two spells. Helguson scored 75 times in a yellow shirt following a move from Norwegian side Lillestrøm Sportsklubb, and that kickstarted a memorable career in England which saw the powerful forward play for the likes of Fulham and Queens Park Rangers, joining Cardiff in 2012.


South Wales was his final UK destination before moving home, scoring eight goals as Cardiff earned promotion to the Premier League.


Jordon Mutch


Joining Watford as an exciting young midfielder on an initial one-month’s loan, Jordon Mutch arrived with little expectations but impressed Watford fans with his tenacity and creativity on the ball for a player of his age. Then 19, Mutch, parent club Birmingham City and the Hornets agreed to extend the loan further until January 2011, making 21 appearances and scoring five goals.


Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay, who coached Mutch at Vicarage Road, brought the midfielder to his new side in 2012 on a permanent deal from the Blues. Playing alongside Helguson in their promotion season, Mutch scored an unforgettable strike in the Premier League against Fulham in 2013.


Neal Ardley


Midfielder Neal Ardley played for Watford between 2002 and 2005, at which point the Golden Boys were in the second-tier under Ray Lewington and assistant Terry Burton, who managed him at former club Wimbledon.


Ardley, capable of also playing at right-back, provided Lewington with consistency during his three seasons at the club, and played 128 times before joining Cardiff soon after his manager’s departure. Spending a season-and-a-half with the Bluebirds, Ardley’s only goal for the club came against Leicester City a month after his arrival.


Don Cowie


Now assistant manager at Ross County alongside Malky Mackay, Don Cowie called time on his playing career in 2020 while at the Staggies, six years after leaving Cardiff City. Cowie joined Watford from Inverness Caledonian Thistle in 2009, gaining his first taste of English football in an FA Cup third-round tie against Chelsea.


Cowie assisted Lloyd Doyley’s famous solitary Watford goal against Queens Park Rangers, and scored nine goals in 94 games before a move to Cardiff in 2011. Cowie, one of several ex-Hornets to be snapped up by Mackay, spent three years in South Wales, playing a key role in their promotion to the top-flight, and making 10 appearances in their subsequent relegation campaign.

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