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Celebrity links to Watford

There are many celebrity links to Watford, with many celebrities being born there or growing up in the area. Unfortunately, we don’t know of any celebrities who currently live in Watford itself, but there are plenty of footballers and actors who’ve made their homes in Hertfordshire. So who knows, if you’re visiting Watford, you may spot some of them in the city centre, relaxing in Cassiobury Park, or cheering on their team at Vicarage Road

Watford FC

Known affectionately as the Hornets, Watford Football Club is in the Premier League. This means you’re more likely to spot Premier League footballers in Watford’s local shops, restaurants and clubs. Of course, the most famous celebrity who’s ever been associated with Watford FC is Sir Elton John

A lifetime supporter of the Hornets, Elton John has been a regular visitor to Vicarage Road from the age of five. After he found fame in the 1970s, Elton staged a concert at Vicarage Road in order to raise money for the club. He played to 30,000 fans. In fact, he liked the club so much he bought it in 1976 and became Chairman and President.

His role was hands-on, and he brought in Graham Taylor as manager. Together they took the club from the bottom of the Football League to the top, getting the club to an FA Cup final and into the First Division (the top division at the time). Elton sold the club in 1990, but he bought it back in 1997, then took it into the Premier League. He stepped down as Chairman in 2002 but remains an ardent supporter. His contribution to the club’s fortunes was recognised in 2014 when the East Stand was renamed in his honour. 

Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John will be back in concert at Vicarage Road at the beginning of July as part of his 2022 Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. It will be nearly fifty years after his first fundraising concert – the sign of a true fan of the Hornets! 

Watford FC’s other legend

Special mention must also go to Luther Blissett, Watford FC’s all-time top scorer, who became Graham Taylor’s assistant manager in the 1990s. Since being signed for Watford at the age of 17, Luther has adopted the town. In 2021, he was awarded the Freedom of the Borough – the highest honour the borough can give – in recognition of his work for the local community, his work to make Watford a dementia-friendly town, and his fight against racism. 

Celebrities born in Watford

There are a fair number of celebrities who were born in Watford – who knows, they may still come back to the town to visit relatives and old friends. Here are just some of the Watford-born celebrities linked with the town. 

The missing manager

The England manager Gareth Southgate was born in Watford in 1970. The lowlight of Southgate’s career as a footballer came in the Final of the 1996 Euros when he missed a vital penalty kick and England lost the match. Whilst he gained credibility by poking fun at himself in a subsequent TV ad for Pizza Hut, it was as the England manager that he finally redeemed himself. Already well respected for his compassionate leadership style, in 2021, he took his team all the way to the Finals of the 2020 Euros. Unfortunately England lost, ironically on penalties, but the way he handled this loss earned him universal admiration. 

Spicy Girl-Power

The world-famous singer Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, was born in Watford in 1972. She spent her childhood living in North Watford and went to Watford Grammar School. She moved on to spicier things and in the 1990s became a member of the biggest-selling female group of all time.

Boxing clever

Professional heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua was born in Watford. His early school years were spent in Nigeria, but he returned to Watford as a teenager and went to Kings Langley Secondary School. In 2012, he won a Gold medal at the London Olympics, which gained him the further accolade of having a post box in Watford painted gold in his honour. 

Chasing Watford

Actor and quizmaster Bradley Walsh was born and raised in Watford, attending the Francis Combe Secondary School, Garston, in his teens. Before becoming an entertainer and actor, he was a professional footballer, playing primarily for Brentwood. In recent years he has found fame as an actor in Law & Order: UK and Doctor Who, as well as being the presenter for The Chase

Other celebrity links to Watford include: footballer and actor Vinnie Jones, comedian Cyril Fletcher, Labour politician Mo Mowlam, comedian and actor Terry Scott, actor Robert Glenister, and rapper and viral YouTuber Olajide Olatunji, better known as KSI. 

If you are coming to immerse yourself in the celebrity links that Watford has, make sure you book your stay with us at Your Apartments

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