Watford Ladies FC Club History
Formed in 1970 in response to a demand for a ladies football team at Watford FC, the Club was originally called the Supporters Ladies Club before being known as ‘Willy Walker Wonders’ after manager Doug Hewish and trainers John Williams and Mike Walker.
There was a merger with Watford Town Girls in 1997 before a link with Watford FC through its Community, Sports and Education Trust saw Watford Ladies gain support from the men’s club for the first time since the 1970s.
Promotion to the top tier of women’s football was achieved in 2006/2007, with Sian Williams leading her side to 19 wins in 22 games.
The Club competed at the top level in England for three seasons, finishing seventh twice and ninth in the 12 team league. After a memorable spell in charge, Williams departed in November 2009.
With the introduction of the Women’s Super League, Watford returned to life in the National Division of the Premier League.
The 2011/2012 season would see a remarkable escape from relegation. Only one point in the first 11 games had seen the team stranded at the bottom of the table, however a record of 5-1-1 to end the season meant the great escape had been achieved.
John Salomon had taken over the managerial position during the season and was rewarded with the FA Women’s Premier League Coach of the Year for his efforts in steering his side to safety.
The momentum carried on the following season, with Watford finishing second and only behind perennial title winners Sunderland.
On the pitch success was matched with off the pitch success, as the Lady Hornets were granted a license to the newly formed Women’s Super League 2. Salomon increased his role at the Club, taking on the role of General Manager.
A new main sponsorship deal was agreed with McGinley Support Services, who have continued their backing of the Club to the present day.
It would be a seventh placed finish for Watford in the opening season of WSL2. Some of the best moments in that campaign included a then Club record crowd of 330 in the first fixture and seven away wins.
While the follow up season proved to be a difficult one on the pitch, it proved to be a remarkable one elsewhere.
The game against Aston Villa was held at Vicarage Road and attracted a fantastic crowd of 1,102. It wasn’t a flash in the pan, as the record at Berkhamsted FC was also broken, with attendances of 465 and 514 respectively.
At the end of the season, Salomon stepped down from both of his roles to pursue a new opportunity with the FA, with Ellie Kemp taking on the position of General Manager.
Watford Ladies FC will enjoy plenty of support from the men’s set-up, with the Club now coming under the umbrella of Watford FC for the first time.
Watford LFC Hall of Fame
In 2013 Watford LFC launched its Hall of Fame, to remember and acknowledge the achievements and efforts of those who have helped shape our club since it formed in 1970.
2013 - Ann Swann & Holly Miles
2014 - Doug Hewish & Sian Williams