Beds, Herts & Bucks

Sir Elton John pays for park tribute to Graham Taylor

A bench in Watford and tribute plaque to Graham Taylor from Elton John. Image copyright Richard Short
Image caption Watford Borough Council said an official unveiling was being planned

Sir Elton John has dedicated a park bench to former Watford FC and England manager, Graham Taylor.

The tribute appeared in the town's Cassiobury Park with a plaque bearing a short message from Sir Elton, The Watford Observer reported.

The singer appointed Taylor as Watford manager in 1977, a year after he took ownership of the club.

Taylor died in January of a suspected heart attack, aged 72, and Sir Elton said "he was like a brother".

'Touching tribute'

The bench and four newly-planted trees are located at the Rickmansworth Road entrance to the park.

Watford Borough Council confirmed they had been paid for by Sir Elton and "an official unveiling" was being planned.

Photos of the tribute appeared on a Watford FC fan's forum website run by Richard Short, who called it a "touching tribute".

A message on the website reads: "Thank You Elton for allowing us to to remember GT in the heart of Watford forever."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Elton John said that Graham Taylor had been "like a brother" to him

Taylor started his managerial career at Lincoln City before being appointed Watford manager by Sir Elton in 1977.

Within five years he took the Hornets from the old Fourth Division to the top flight, a rise peaking in a second place finish in 1983 and, a year later, the FA Cup Final.

He moved to Aston Villa in 1987, where he won promotion at the first attempt and led the side to second place in the top flight in 1990.

He was appointed England manager in 1990 but resigned following the squad's failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup.

He then took over Wolves before a further five-year spell at Watford, between 1996 and 2001.

Sir Elton sold his stake in Watford in 1987 but he returned again as chairman in 1997.

Image caption This is one of many Graham Taylor quotes affixed to the outside of The One Bell pub in Watford
Image caption Fans lined the streets of Watford for Graham Taylor's funeral on 1 February

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites