Time Capsules: Kenny Jackett's Magic Moments (1985)

By: Watford FC Staff

In our 'Time Capsules' series, we dive into the Watford FC archives to re-publish a classic interview from an historic matchday programme.

For our fourth instalment, we re-visit a Player Profile interview with former defender and midfielder Kenny Jackett.

After an impressive two seasons which saw the Hornets finish as top-flight and then FA Cup runners-up, Jackett reflects on some of his best moments as a Golden Boy, as well as his experiences as an international player for Wales...

The Programe

  • Season: 1984/85
  • Match: Watford 5-0 West Ham United
  • Date: Tuesday April 2, 1985
  • Manager: Graham Taylor
  • Competition: Canon League Division One

The Interview


The statistics show that one aspect of Kenny Jackett's game has improved by 100 per cent this season - but he still isn't satisfied.

“Yes, last season I scored once – against Brighton in the FA Cup, and this season I've scored twice so far (Chelsea, away and Sunderland, home). But my goalscoring needs working on and I've been trying to get in the box a bit more – that's how my goal against Chelsea came, from being free in the box to knock in a loose ball.”

At Chelsea, Kenny wore the no. 10 shirt and played on the left side of midfield, but he has worn two other first team shirts this season – no. 3 (left back) and no. 6 (centre of defence). “Really I'm just happy to get a place in the side,” he notes.

Getting a place in another side is now a regular occurrence for Kenny, for his inclusion in the Welsh line-up is fast becoming automatic. But there are disappointments. “I regret the end of the Home International championships,” he says. “It means you don't get a regular chance to play at the big stadiums like Wembley and Hampden Park. Instead, we have to rely on drawing one of the home countries in the World Cup or European Championships.

“Ironically, that's what has happened with Scotland in the World Cup, but it's sad that we can now only have chance meetings.”

However although Wales may only meet England, Scotland and Northern Ireland infrequently from now on, there's one country Wales can't seem to avoid – Norway.

“We've played them at least four times since I made my debut, twice in the European Championship and twice in friendlies. It's difficult to remember the individual scorelines, as they've all been close matches.”

Close matches are something Kenny has had with several opposing midfield players this season, so who are the players who have impressed him?

“Stewart Robson of Arsenal and Ricky Hill of Luton,” he says after reflecting on a season that may not include past glories, but will still see Watford play a total of 52 games – only five less that 1983-84, a season which included a Wembley run and the UEFA Cup.


“Obviously top of the list comes my marriage to Sandra last year. Getting married is a special moment in anybody's life.

“In football, I've had quite a few magic moments. One of my first came when I'd just got into Watford's first team and we beat Southampton 7-1 in the League Cup, having been 4–0 down after the first leg.

“Making my debut for Wales in September 1982 was a highlight and the season that followed was full of highspots. First, playing in the UEFA Cup, particularly our 3-0 home win over Kaiserslautern. That was a tremendous night.

“Then came the FA Cup. My goal against Brighton in the fifth round was an important one, but obviously I was disappointed to miss the semi-final against Plymouth.

“As to the final itself, I felt Everton were the better side on the day, although with a little luck when we needed it, it could have been different. Neville Southall saved from John Barnes in the opening minute, Les Taylor had two close shots and then they got a goal off a post and a controversial second.

“People talk about Peter Reid, Everton's midfield man, but I thought he had a better game when they drew 4-4 at Vicarage Road in the league.”

Keep an eye out for the next historic interview in this series, coming soon.

In football, I've had quite a few magic moments. One of my first came when I'd just got into Watford's first team and we beat Southampton 7-1 in the League Cup, having been 4–0 down after the first leg.
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