Famous Watford Fans

Geri Halliwell Horner

Watford FC may not be a globally recognised team but the same cannot be said about some of the club’s supporters. From legendary pop stars to champion boxers, the Hornets have some very famous fans cheering on the club. Admittedly, the list is not particularly long, but given the size of the town and the fact they have often been outside of England’s top division, Watford have done quite well for themselves.

Elton John

Elton John
Elton John (Richard Mushet | commons.wikimedia.org)

It only seems fair to begin our list with club legend and two-time former chairman Elton John. Reginald Kenneth Dwight, as his real name goes, was born on the very edge of northeast London, in the suburb of Pinner. This put him within just a few miles of Vicarage Road growing up and subsequently, Watford ended up becoming his boyhood club. This affinity with the Hornets did not subside when John became a global pop sensation either. In 1976, a time when his career was very much thriving, John decided to become the club’s chairman.

This was not some sort of vanity project for the Tiny Dancer star either as he was genuinely invested in the club’s success. When taking over he wiped clear £200,000 in debts the Hornets had amassed under previous owner Jim Bosner. This was a small price though compared to the £8-9m total he invested during his first spell as chairman, but John was happy to take a loss in order to see the club thrive.

Under his leadership, the Hornets played in the top tier of English football for the first ever time in 1981/82. He also watched in the stands as Watford competed in their very first FA Cup final (1984), not bad for a team that was playing in Division 4 just six seasons earlier.

Most fans can only support their club by regularly attending matches and cheering the team on. Thanks to his fame and fortune though, John was able to have a much more pivotal role in the history of his favourite club. It is a situation many fans dream about but for the global icon, it was a reality and one that he looks back on extremely fondly.

Although he has long since stepped down from his position as chairman, John’s love for Watford is still evident. When performing a concert at Vicarage Road in 2010, the proceeds went towards the cash-strapped side. This helped fund part of the transfer of club legend Troy Deeney two months later.

Geri Horner

Geri Halliwell Horner
Raph_PH | Wikipedia

Today she is most often referred to as the partner of Team Principal and CEO of Red Bull’s F1 team, Christopher Horner, but many of you will recognise her better as Ginger Spice. The former Spice Girl singer, also known as Geri Halliwell, is a Watford local, having been born in the town in 1972. This is where Halliwell grew up too, attending Watford Grammar School for Girls, so she has a strong connection to the town.

This does not always translate to a love of the local football team of course, but it has in this instance. Although Geri’s fondness of the Hornets has seldom been reported, her partner Christoper, gave us some insight when talking about the Championship play-offs in 2023. Despite it being his side, Coventry, who lost in the final, he told TalkSport that his wife was just as crushed. This is because it was Watford’s main rivals, Luton Town, who booked their place in the Premier League. Horner also added that his stepfather was annoyed at the result so it would appear supporting Watford runs in the Halliwell family.

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua
Bill | Wikipedia

There is no doubt that two-time unified world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medallist has enjoyed a fine career in the ring. Whether or not to call him a true Watford supporter though is a little less clear. Responding to a tweet in 2012 asking about which football club was his favourite, Watford-born Joshua responded that he did not have one. Skip forward to 2015 though, and answering effectively the same question on on Twitter, he claimed to support Watford.

This affiliation with the Hornets is something he reaffirmed in a 2017 interview. The champion boxer said he supported the club, partly because a lot of the players used to get their hair cut at the same local barbers. Obviously. Additionally, Joshua had become good friends with club legend Troy Deeney, so perhaps this provided an avenue for taking a greater interest in the Hornets. He did add in this same interview though that his ‘overall favourite’ team was Real Madrid due to them having Cristiano Ronaldo! On balance it seems fair to consider Joshua a Watford fan, just not a particularly big one compared to the other celebrities on this list.

Chris Stark

Although not as famous as the first three names mentioned here, Chris Stark is a well-known radio presenter. Formerly a co-host on BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills show, he now works for Capital Breakfast as a co-presenter. Stark was born in Watford but grew up just a few miles south in Pinner, the birthplace of Elton John. The two actually got chatting extensively about Watford in a That Peter Crouch Podcast episode.

When contributing to a BBC Sport “Premier League predictions” piece in 2017, Stark called himself a “massive” Watford fan. His love for the club seemed to be matched by his optimism too as he put the Hornets to finish in third place, behind Man City and Man Utd. This may have been more wishful thinking on his part but in any case, his hope was misplaced as Watford finished 14th that season.

Stark’s enthusiasm for Watford has rarely been a secret and on occasion, he has attempted to persuade celebrity guests to start supporting Watford. With Jennifer Aniston, he gave her a home shirt with her name on the back. It’s not clear if the former Friends star did end up wearing it though. In any case, it would be very misleading to call her a supporter based on this one interaction. Show up to a game or two and maybe we’ll add you to the list, Jennifer!