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Pat's happy memories

Pat Jennings can hardly believe it.

Whisper it - it's almost 50 years since he left Northern Ireland to join Watford and take the first steps on the road to becoming the world's best goalkeeper.

Born in Newry, County Down, Pat moved to England and Vicarage Road in April, 1963.

The Hornets were in the old Division Three at the time. Pat played the final two matches of the 1962-63 season before starring in the 1963-64 campaign - at the end of which, Bill Nicholson came calling.

Pat joined Spurs in June, 1964 and the rest is history.

He played 596 matches for us and won the FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Cup.

He was capped 119 times by Northern Ireland, played in two World Cups and won the prestigious individual honours of Footballer of the Year in 1973 and PFA Player of the Year in 1976.

And it all started at Vicarage Road.

"Fifty years - it seems unbelievable really, looking back," smiled Pat at Spurs Lodge, where he's still a regular in his role as goalkeeping consultant.

"One of our former players here, the great Ron Burgess, signed me.

"I've great memories of Watford, a smashing club. I could have gone to Coventry City as well at the time but went more or less straight into the Watford team.

"There were four games to go at the end of the season I joined, they were in relegation trouble but they got out of that in the first two games I was there, I then played in the last two matches.

"I played every game the next season. I loved the club. I couldn't have gone to a better place and had a great year there."

The teams meet again in cup competition on Friday night when we make the short trip to Vicarage Road in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

"It's Watford's cup final, getting Tottenham down to Vicarage Road," added Pat.

"What a fantastic draw from their point of view.

"They are mid-table in the Championship at the moment but that won't mean a thing when we go there.

"It will be about what we do on the night and I'm sure we'll have the right attitude."