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Ex-Watford wide-man chooses the three defining moments from his playing days at The Vic

Defining Moments | Peter Kennedy

  
    

GRAHAM TAYLOR SIGNING ME 

I was still quite young and in my first season at Notts County when Sam Allardyce came in, but for whatever reason he didn’t fancy me as a player.

I hadn’t been playing for a couple of months and that summer I was back in Northern Ireland and I was very close to staying over there, even though I had a couple of years left on my contract at County. I didn’t really see myself getting an opportunity under Sam and thought to myself, who’s really going to take a chance on me?

But fortunately for me, I had a good game against Watford that season and I think Kenny Jackett put in a good word for me. Luckily Graham took a punt on me and it gave me the opportunity to have a fresh start somewhere else. I’d like to think I repaid his faith and enjoyed four years of good football at the club.

BEATING LUTON 4-0 IN 1997/98

It was my first season at Watford and we’d started the season quite well, but I think this was still a defining moment in that campaign as a whole.

I scored two goals that day, but more than that it was the atmosphere, the fact we won 4-0 there and at the time, I probably didn’t realise just how much the derby match meant to supporters.

I think it was a big moment for me and for the club in the context of that season too. Going and beating your rivals by that score-line really helped us kick on and showed the fans that we were a serious threat that campaign. 

1998/99 PLAY-OFF FINAL V BOLTON

This is probably the biggest moment during my time at the club, as it was an accumulation of two years of hard work.

When I joined the club we were in League One and then within two years we were in the top-flight, which is a pretty special achievement.

It was a big moment for me, but also for the club. To get back into the Premier League after a few tough years where things had started to go downhill a bit was huge for the club and the town, and it was a bit of a catalyst for what’s happened since.

But personally as well, to play at Wembley and achieve something you worked so hard for is something I’ll never forget.

Kennedy in action during the play-off final at Wembley

Article first published in The Hornet (Watford FC match programme)

    
  

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