Watford fans bid to recreate 1984 'buzz' for FA Cup Final
As Watford FC prepare for their first appearance in the FA Cup Final for 35 years, fans are trying to emulate the atmosphere of 1984 in the town.
Volunteers from fan group, the 1881 Movement, have put a kilometre of bunting in the High Street and a flag on the town hall ahead of the game against Manchester City on 19 May.
Their efforts have inspired further displays in shops and businesses.
"It's about trying to recreate that feeling of 1984," its founder said.
Roy Moore, who set up the 1881 Movement in 2013, with the aim to improve the atmosphere at the club's Vicarage Road ground, added: "It's about galvanising people to come together."
Watford FC last played in an FA Cup Final in 1984 when they lost 2-0 to Everton.
Mr Moore, aged eight at the time, said he "still remembers walking through town and seeing all the displays and flags in shops".
"Looking at the town a couple of weeks ago I thought - 'It can't be like this,'" he said.
"So I contacted the mayor and said that as we have such a large collection of flags and banners we should give a bit to the town."
Mr Moore said that as his group made their way down the High Street giving out flags to businesses, many asked if they could help.
"Watford as a town doesn't often get the chance to come together as a unit and people are now taking that on," he said.
Watford General Hospital has also joined in, allowing the BBC to to paint a mural on the side of its administrative block on Vicarage Road. Nurses, patients and parents on the children's Starfish Ward have put up decorations.
Elected Liberal Democrat mayor, Peter Taylor, praised the fans for "putting on a fantastic display across the town".
He has also unveiled plans for a big screen in Cassiobury Park which will broadcast free to those unable to get tickets to the match at Wembley Stadium.
There will also be a screen at the outdoor Atrium in the Intu shopping centre.
"Reaching the FA Cup Final is a massive achievement for our town," Mr Taylor said.
"There's a real buzz, a lot of excitement and anticipation. There's no illusion that it will be a tough match, but there's a quiet optimism."
The 1881 Movement
- Set up by Roy Moore a couple of days after the Watford v Crystal Palace play-off final in 2013 (which Palace won 1-0)
- The aim was to create a better atmosphere at Vicarage Road because Mr Moore thought "the Crystal Palace fans won it for them"
- The club blocked off 500 seats for the group which has now risen to about 2,500
- Fans come together to create flags and banners and work on songs and chants