The club recognizes its establishment in 1881, in line with that of its predecessor, Watford Rovers, and was founded as Watford Football Club in 1898. After concluding the 1914-15 season as Southern League champions under the leadership of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football Club League in 1920. The team played in a variety of grounds in their early history, including what is now West Herts Sports Club, before moving to Vicarage Road in 1922. They have a long-standing rivalry with nearby club Luton Town.
Watford promoted under coach Graham Taylor from the fourth division to the Football League First Division (later premier league). In 1984, the club had its best season. The final of the FA Cup was reached, but lost to Everton FC. The club also finished second in the league, the highest ranking ever.
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