The Cother brothers

The first black players in Watford FC were the Cother brothers, who began playing with the team in 1898.

by Watford Museum

The first black players in Watford FC were the Cother brothers, Edwin and John, who began playing with the team in 1898. Their father was born in India and the two dark skinned brothers became widely known as ‘Darkie’.

Edwin, the younger Cother, was frequently in trouble and his career was ruined by criminal convictions. He was described as a ‘versatile footballer’ andĀ also played cricket. His last days were spent in the Watford and St Albans workhouses and he lies in a pauper’s grave.

John was a beefy full-back and a great favourite of the Cassio Road crowd. He was employed by Watford Council and later became a programme seller at Vicarage Road.

This page was added on 17/08/2006.

Comments about this page

  • Hi, My name is Julia Adams, I live in Cardiff now but was born in Watford. My father is David Cother (now passed) son of John (Jack) Cother and Ethel Cother (both passed). I would be interested to know of any family members I may have.

    By Julia Adams (14/05/2020)
  • The top photo is of Watford St. Mary’s prior to the 1898 amalgamation with West Herts to form the new club, Watford F.C.. John Cother played for Watford St. Mary’s from at least 1891 and Edwin from 1897. I have a photo of Watford St. Mary’s from about 1895 on my website which is advert and sponsor free.

    By Brian Webb (31/10/2018)
  • truly Awesome.

    By safes Sean (28/03/2016)
  • Hi my great grandad was Edwin cother my Nan was Maud his daughter

    By brian lavender (13/07/2014)
  • Hi my great grandad was Edwin Cother. My Nan was Maud, his daughter.

    By brian lavender (13/07/2014)
  • hi im alan cother my brother is micheal orig; from sandringham rd watford my father was charles herbert cother i know his father lived nr watford market…and i’m interested in anyone that’s connected to our family name. please email me….many thanks …and good luck…alan

    By alan cother (25/11/2013)
  • Hi christine my name is alan cother i am 58 orig from watford my farthers farthers from watford lived nr watford market as a child i lived at sandringham road and went to parkgate road school ,my mother died wen i was 11 she was from alton hants where i was born, i got married and moved to essex i now have 2 children kiara and daryl im also interested in my family name origin please feel free to contact me ,,,alan cother 07771733354,,,

    By alan (06/01/2013)
  • Hi I’m Leanne Cother, I know I’m related to you Jade. My dad is Christopher Cother, he has 2 sisters Billy and Mandy and a brother called Ado, and their parents are Jean and David Cother. We all live in Evesham. I could find out granddad’s brothers and sisters; if interested, please email me.

    By Leanne Cother (29/11/2011)
  • Hi i am jade, i am also a cother living in tamworth, i am 12 yars of age and am also trying to trace my family with my nan Joyce Cother who married Len Cother who was originally from eveshem worcestershire. I have two sisters one who is 14 and one 5, leanne cother (the eldest) and Amy-leigh Cother (the youngest) my mom Marie Cother is Married to Mark Cother. If you find any interesting family members please get back to me on my email address (

    By Jade Cother (28/02/2010)
  • Our hero Heidar Helgusons is in the thick of things again. Been a brilliant weekend. Not been to a game for about two years as I live in Scotland but me and two mates traveled down and thankfully were not disappointed (far from it). A 3-0 win against Scunthorp is no easy task but we made it look easy at times at Vicarage road. I could name 5 or 6 players who played out of there skin. The after party was even better. Stayed at one of the Village hotels in elstree. How we managed to find our way back to the hotel I have no idea. Hopefully be back down for a game after new-year.

    By Gavelect (23/11/2009)
  • Hi Christine
    My father is John (Jack) Edward Cother (now aged 77 years) I believe John (Darkie) William Cother was his grandfather. Please feel free to contact me.

    [Message from the editors: If you do want to contact each other, drop a line to and we’ll gladly pass on your email addresses. We don’t ever publish email addresses on the website.]

    By Jacqueline Thompson (25/02/2008)
  • If anyone wishes to get in touch with Christine, please leave a comment on this page and we’ll make sure that it’s passed on.

    By Ian Grant (Webmaster) (20/05/2007)
  • I am the second grand-daughter of John (Darkie)William Cother and
    am trying to research my ancestory. Both his sons and daughter
    (my mother) have passed away. My grandfather died before I was
    born but my older sister remembers him very well.
    If anyone has any information please e-mail me.

    By christine ashworth (19/05/2007)

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