Ex-England boss Graham Taylor 'honoured' by Watford gesture

Graham Taylor
The Rous Stand was renamed the Graham Taylor Stand in a ceremony before Saturday's 1-0 loss to Cardiff

Legendary Watford manager Graham Taylor has spoken of his pride at having a stand at Vicarage Road named after him.

The ex-England boss, 70, who had two successful spells as Hornets manager, has also been Watford's chairman.

He was warmly greeted by supporters on Saturday as the Rous Stand was renamed the Graham Taylor Stand.

"In this day and age, when a stand is named after somebody it's for commercial reasons. I felt honoured," he told BBC Three Counties Radio.

In his first spell as Watford boss between 1977 and 1987, Taylor took the club from the fourth division to the top flight.

Graham Taylor and Elton John
Manager Graham Taylor and owner Sir Elton John oversaw five separate promotions across two spells at Watford

And in 1983 the Hornets reached their peak in the league, finishing second only to Bob Paisley's Liverpool.

Taylor returned to the club in 1996 and led the Hornets from the third tier to the Premier League, before leaving in 2001.

Both of these spells were overseen by pop star Sir Elton John, who was owner on both occasions, and will have the Community Stand named after him this weekend.

"I think the understanding and the relationship and the friendship that developed between Elton and myself was very important for the development of Watford," said Taylor.

Taylor himself was chairman at Vicarage Road for three years from 2009, but has not worked at a club since.

"One of the reasons I stepped out of the game is that I didn't like to see the way it was going with so many non-football people beginning to run our football clubs.

"As manager I had overall power. All the football matters were down to me.

"As far as Elton John was concerned, I ran the football side of the club. That has changed now."