After covering Australian rules football for seven years in Melbourne, John's love of Watford, and ‘real' football, drew him back to these shores in 2010. An editor on the sports desks of several national newspapers, he worked for the London 2012 Organising Committee before taking up his current role as sports director at Touchline. John has written and edited books on a wide range of sports, from tennis to test cricket and athletics to Aussie rules, but none have resonated so personally as Tales from the Vicarage.
John's essay ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, published in Volume II, focuses on something that, whether we like it or not, is close to every Watford fan’s heart – our rivalry with Luton Town. On the surface, the clubs couldn’t be more different: yellow v orange, Hertfordshire v Bedfordshire, Elton John v Eric Morecambe. Yet at the heart of it, we’ll always be two small-town clubs who hit the big time together in the 1980s. Whatever the gulf in table-placings or indeed class, we remain forever linked. You might not care to admit it, but the Luton score remains the first result most of us look for on a Saturday afternoon.
Like many Hornets fans, John sat through countless forgettable Vicarage Road derbies in the 1990s where Watford failed to beat the old enemy. His first trip to Kenilworth Road was different, however – that glorious afternoon in October 1997 and has said he's "never felt the need to go back".You can buy Tales from the Vicarage here.