17 July 2024

Following Saturday’s thrilling win over Birmingham City, Watford will be looking to make it two from two when they host Carlos Corberán’s West Bromwich Albion back at Vicarage Road on Wednesday evening (September 20, 7.45pm KO).

Ahead of the mouth-watering second-tier clash under the lights, we take a look at some of the players to have worn both shirts during their careers.

Former Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster joined the club for his first stint in 2005 on-loan from Manchester United. The Hornets were promoted to the Premier League through the play-offs that year, with Foster extending his temporary spell at Vicarage Road into the following campaign.

Foster then won the club’s Player of the Season award for 2006/07 and even though Watford were relegated, the glovesman’s performances in goal won him many admirers.

After his spell with the Red Devils concluded, Foster moved to Birmingham City before making the temporary switch to West Brom for the 2011/12 campaign after the Blues were relegated from the top-flight. It would be at the Hawthorns where the shot-stopper would make over 200 appearances, winning the supporters’ Player of the Season award and being called up to the England squad.

He would rejoin the Hornets in 2018, departing in 2022 after a hugely memorable second spell which included promotion and an FA Cup final.

Matĕj Vydra

A lethal goalscorer blessed with ferocious pace and technique, Matĕj Vydra made a significant impact over two successful loan spells with the Hornets. The first in 2012/13 saw Vydra score over 20 goals as Watford finished third, falling just short of winning a place in the top-flight.

Despite this, his form earned him an opportunity to play for West Brom in the Premier League and, although the move was another temporary one, Vydra helped keep the Baggies up, featuring 23 times.

Upon the start of the 2014/15 campaign, Vydra returned to The Vic for his second loan spell and continued where he had left off. The Czech striker scored 16 as the Golden Boys were promoted to the top-flight, significantly notching a goal against Brighton & Hove Albion to secure the triumph.

Paul Robinson

Watford born-and-bred, defender Paul Robinson rose through the youth Academy with the Hornets. A key part of the double promotion in the late 1990s, which saw Watford rise to the Premier League, Robinson was a robust and popular figure at The Vic.

Currently a coach at Millwall, Robinson made over 230 appearances in yellow, cementing his legacy before making the move to the Midlands. He would enjoy similar success at West Brom, spending seven seasons in the top-flight and the second-tier, and playing a significant part in two further promotions.

For more on Robinson’s Hornets career, click HERE.

Kevin Phillips

Then a dynamic young striker, Kevin Phillips signed for Watford in 1994 from fellow Hertfordshire side Baldock Town in his first major transfer. He established himself as a regular for the Hornets, injuries permitting, racking up over 50 appearances in yellow and scoring more than 20 goals.

After moves to Sunderland, Southampton and Aston Villa, Phillips made the switch to West Brom. Although he would only spend two years at the Hawthorns, he scored more than 40 goals during his spell, notably winning the second-tier in his final season.

James Chambers

James Chambers was born in West Bromwich and worked his way through the academy system of his local side. After making his professional debut in January 2000, Chambers would earn two promotions to the top-flight in his five-season spell with the first-team.

After more than 50 appearances for the Baggies, the full-back moved to Vicarage Road in 2004, originally on a loan move before it swiftly became permanent a month later. After 40 appearances in his debut campaign, he played another significant part in a promotion season the following term as the Hornets jumped to the Premier League by beating Leeds United in the play-off final.

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