“If I could go back and play there [at Watford] again, I would walk from Italy right now because it's what I know, it's where I come from and it's what allowed me to be who I am and get where I am. It gave me a humble beginning.”
Those are the emotional words of former winger Ashley Young, who is the special guest on the second episode of our brand-new monthly podcast series, 'Golden Tales'.
Every month we will be speaking to a former Hornet, hearing in forensic detail about life at Vicarage Road and getting an honest assessment of their time as a Golden Boy.
In the first episode we heard from former striker Kevin Phillips on how three years at Vicarage Road set him on the path to become one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League. Now, from his new home in Milan, England international and Premier League winner Young talks for the first time in great depth and with refreshing honesty about...
- How he “always wanted to set the record straight” about that celebration at Vicarage Road in 2017 while playing for Manchester United.
- The exact circumstances that led to him leaving Vicarage Road in January 2007.
- Whose boots he had to clean as an apprentice and how the school of hard knocks shaped his career.
- The stunning free-kick he scored at Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-final and how it didn't go to plan.
- Just how hard the news hit him when he was released by the club as a 16-year-old – and the gratitude he owes Ray Lewington and Nigel Gibbs in his subsequent rise.
- The teammate he spent most time with and why they were like “an old married couple”.
- The rather warm welcome an opposition player gave him when he came on for his goalscoring debut against Millwall.
- And which female popstar he hilariously dressed up as at a Christmas party – and which former teammate reminded him of it recently with an embarrassing picture.
It really is a must listen for all Watford fans.