Striker Neil Shipperley had a brief loan spell at Watford at the end of 1994. He scored one goal in his six appearances for the club. He went on to play for a number of clubs including Southampton, Crystal Palace and Wimbledon.
Now a London cabbie, he spoke to Watford Legends in 2013.
Hi Neil. Thanks for talking to Watford Legends. We will forgive you for your close association with Crystal Palace. How did your loan from Chelsea come about?
I got a call in to the office at the Chelsea training ground one day and the staff told me that Glenn Roeder had enquired about me, and that they wanted me to go, so that was fine by me. I met up with Watford and in the end I played 6 games across a month or so.
I was in the squad with Tommy Mooney, Dave Holdsworth, Andy Hessenthaler and co. So there were a lot of characters at Watford at the time. I was in and out of the side at Chelsea, so to go to Watford was good to get a run of games.
You are in a rare club of players who scored just once for Watford. Do you remember it?!
Yes I do. It was a good goal. A lob, and I think it was against Portsmouth during the Christmas period. Being a striker you are desperate for a goal so it was nice to get one!
How did Watford and Chelsea differ day-to-day?
It was a real eye opener for me, having come from Chelsea. On the coach to away games we watched some films that we would never have watched on the Chelsea bus, put it that way! Watford at the time were training in parks, so that was a far cry from the Chelsea training complex. So yes it was very different, but it was a fun time.
I think Glenn did want to buy me after the loan, but couldn’t afford the fee. Not long after I signed for quite a lot of money for Southampton, so there may be some truth in that.
Do any games stand out for you other than the one in which you scored?
I remember travelling to Grimsby for my debut, which is a long way from the Chelsea training ground at Cobham! I don’t remember everything to be honest, other than it was quite different from what I was used to, but certainly very friendly at Watford.
How did you enjoy the recent play off final?
I went to the game and thought that overall it was Palace’s day. Watford did have a few chances but couldn’t get over the line.
How do you think Palace will do in the Prem?
I think they could do ok. We have seen clubs go up and spend nothing and come down, and clubs that have blown the bank and still come down. I think Palace have good owners who are business men, and I think that they will balance it well. So I think the owners will get their business heads on, and I really think that they could do well.
So what’s the day job now?
I’m currently doing The Knowledge and failing miserably. And this was not helped by the fact that my scooter blew up recently.
Football wise I am managing North Greenford, who are in the Southern League. It’s usual non-league stuff, lots of passion and no money. My passion for the game is still there though and I would like to eventually manage at a bit of a higher level.
Is being a cabbie something you’ve always fancied?
No of course not! No kid dreams of being a cabbie, it’s always football. But I love London and the history of London and I like the idea of being able to work when you want. However you have to get there first and I think I need to be a bit more disciplined to get qualified.
Well thanks for your time Neil and good luck!
Thanks a lot lads.
Quick Fire Round
|Favourite Ground (apart from the Vic)|
|Best Ever Player|
|Team you supported as a boy|
|Chateauneuf de pape|
|Old Range Rover|
|Anything bar dubstep|
|Favourite Holiday Destination|
|Favourite TV Show|
|Never happier than when|
|...I'm eating my fillet steak. Followed by some cheese and biscuits|
|Desert Island Woman|