Excerpt from an article in the Watford Observer.....
Racing resumed in 1974 on a purpose built sand track running around the pitch, with kennels and related buildings now situated behind the Rookery stand. Just five contracted trainers would supply the dogs, and on October 14, Lee’s Lucy was the first winner at the newly revamped track. From the outset it was clear that things were far from perfect. The new track running around the pitch had created four very tight bends, which would earn the Vicarage Road venue the nickname ‘The Wall of Death’. It generated a high rate of injuries among the racing dogs, as they careered into each other or the fencing. As the racing continued, there was little sign of the new stand, or any investment beyond what had been essential to reinstate the sport at the ground. The venue gained a reputation for unpredictable results, as doping allegations and finishing times varying dramatically from previous races dampened the faith of punters who weren’t ‘in the know’. Tales of betting irregularities proliferated, with one scam apparently involving ‘time travel’, whereby races were being completed before actually being relayed to betting shops, with unscrupulous punters placing off-course bets on known winners.
Popular wisdom has it that it was Graham Taylor who cleared the dogs out of Vicarage Road, but according to reports at the time, by 1978 the track had lost its BAGS contract, a doping scandal had tarnished its reputation, and crowds had dwindled. It was already over. Chad Supreme would win the last race ever held at Vicarage Road on October 30, 1978, but as Watford forged ahead to reach new heights on the football field, all traces of greyhound racing at the ground would be gone within months.
Excerpt from an article in the Watford Observer.....Racing resumed in 1974 on a purpose built sand track running around the pitch, with kennels and related buildings now situated behind the Rookery stand. Just five contracted trainers would supply th