R.I.P. Graham Taylor

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Aylesburyorn, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. nornironhorn

    nornironhorn Administrator Staff Member

    As someone who was not around during his first spell, and was too young in his second spell, I am really enjoying all of the posts on this thread.

    Of course, I know how amazing GT was as a manager. I've over 100 programmes from his time in charge that I have purchased over the years on eBay and I love reading up about the history of Watford, especially the glory years in his first spell.

    However, I think it speaks volumes that the majority of the posts on this thread aren't thanking GT for taking us to Europe or for taking us to our first, and so far only, FA Cup final. Most of the posts highlight what he was like as a person.. as an ambassador for our club. Yes, he was an exceptional manager. I doubt we will ever have a better manager, but from the sounds of it, he was an even more exceptional person.

    I imagine those who supported us through the 70s and 80s are feeling the pain more so than the likes of myself (Although even I have been emotional all day since I heard the news break). But you are also the lucky ones that got to experience our rise thanks to GT and Elton and see first hand what a gentleman Graham was. Unfortunately I was never lucky enough to meet him although, by chance, in our promotion season the match I travelled over for was a miserable 1-0 defeat at the hands of Cardiff. It was a freezing cold day, and we dominated the game but lost to a scrappy goal. However, this was the day that the Graham Taylor stand was officially named by the man himself (and other Watford legends). Now I know how lucky I am to have picked that match!

    Every single Watford fan, and in fact most football fans, will know just how good GT was as a manager. We all know the story of our rise through the divisions and European tour. However, we don't know the amazing and touching stories many of you have shared about your encounters with Graham, so please, keep sharing them so we can all realise what a special person he was.
  2. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Programme on 5live for an hour and a half with tributes to the great man starting at 7.
  3. leighton buzzard horn

    leighton buzzard horn Squad Player

    When we started the legends site we were put in touch with him and he invited us up to the Belfry for coffee. It was a surreal morning. He said he was tight on time and only had an hour or so but we ended up being sat for hours on end because his sheer enthusiasm for talking football was unstoppable. It was at the time he was about to return as a director and he seemed quite genuine when he was asking for our views on things at the club currently. He made it quite clear that he didn't harbour any real ambition to be a director but felt he had to as there was damage being done to his club and it had to be stopped and put right. I've never known a man with such enthusiasm for the game.

    He was an utter gent and told me to never be afraid to get in touch - sometimes said with hollow words but with that he gave me his mobile and his home number. The former England manager, Watford hero, GRAHAM TAYLOR giving little old me his number?! I was dumbfounded but to him that was the done thing - just being nice, being helpful, and being an all round bloody hero.

    Saturday will be a sad day but I'll feel proud as punch to be part of the day and remembering the greatest man to set foot inside Watford Football Club.
  4. nisman94

    nisman94 International Man of Mystery

    There's only one chant that'll be sung all game
  5. 3000

    3000 Reservist

    Absolutely devastated. This club wouldn't be anywhere near where we are without him. Rest in peace.
  6. Calabrone

    Calabrone Academy Graduate

    Absolutely spot on mate.
  7. onion8837

    onion8837 Reservist

    Me too mate - just dissolved watching all the sky sports stuff
  8. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Im sure i wont be the only one to shed a quiet tear on saturday. :(
  9. mcnamee19

    mcnamee19 First Year Pro

    Thanks wfc4ever.

    I think talksport are doing something similar with Mark Saggers at 7 although not sure if it will last as long as the 5Live show.

    This is an good article about his only full season in charge of Wolves if anyone is interested in reading about it - http://www.expressandstar.com/sport...ies-how-his-only-full-wolves-season-unfolded/
  10. artvanderlay

    artvanderlay First Year Pro

    A lot of good people don't get to find out how respected or loved they are until it's too late. I think we can at least be grateful that we had plenty of chances to let Graham know the high regard in which we all held him.

    This feels like a death in the family, I keep finding myself getting tearful at the thought of it, I can't imagine how I'll cope on Saturday.

    Thank you GT for so many good times, this club would have been a shadow of it's current self without you..
  11. Hussar

    Hussar Academy Graduate

    I am so sad tonight
    We have lost a great man.
  12. J.B

    J.B First Team

    Two particularly touching stories I've read amongst the tributes today.

    The first is from a Villa forum:

    And this is from the blog of a journalist who works for Villa:

  13. Calabrone

    Calabrone Academy Graduate

  14. Godfather

    Godfather bricklayer extraordinaire

    Followed by ten minutes of 'Elton John's Taylor Made Army' a la Wembley 84
  15. King Dev

    King Dev Squad Player

  16. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Fantastic post
  17. Travis Bickle

    Travis Bickle Reservist

    Me too. A great man.
  18. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    I think I enjoyed that a lot but as I blubbed all the way through it's hard to gauge.

    I was fortunate to meet him on a few occasions,the first time when as a young fan I'd drawn the title winning team. Mercer wasn't impressed with my picture of him.

    The last time I saw him I was on the way to Quuen's Club and spotted him on the tube. I approached him and introduced myself and we chatted for the remainder of the journey about Watford and mainly the Vialli appointment. He was unimpressed that Vialli did not receive an interview and was just given the job.

    Such an approachable,inspiring man and how fortunate we have been to have benefitted from his skill.

    Today has been a three handkerchief day so far. I fear Saturday will need a few more.

    Thank you Graham we are forever in your debt.
  19. Really special man. We were so lucky to have him at our club. He made the club what it is today. Pre SGT, 2 years in the top 2 tiers of football in its c100 year history. Post GT's first arrival and those first 2 promotions, only one year outside the top 2 leagues in the last c40 year. We would still be knocking around the lower leagues looking for the odd cup giant killing if not for him. But most of all he was a hell of a nice guy and he has gone far too soon.
  20. iamofwfc

    iamofwfc Squad Player

    About the great man on 5Live now
  21. Aberystwyth_Hornet

    Aberystwyth_Hornet Squad Player

    Saturday is going to be emotional as we Watford fans sing "Elton Johns, Taylor Made Army". Graham Taylor may not have won any major trophies but he and Elton John transformed my little old club both on and off the pitch. He saved the club 3 times most recently in 2012 as Director when he pulled the plug on 'Baz', allowing the Pozzo family to start a new era. He was our Busby, our Shankly. I missed the glorious 80's but I'll always treasure the memories of being in the crowd when we became Division 2 (league 1) Champions in 98 and Wembley 99. Hornet Heaven has gained a Watford legend. A true gent. Golden Boy forever. RIP GT (God).
  22. wfcSinatra

    wfcSinatra Predictor Choker 14/15


    Bless Adam.
  23. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    Wow. I wondered why he disappeared off SSN earlier and now I know why. A real visualisation of how we all felt at the news, I'm sure.
  24. Malteser

    Malteser Squad Player

    Seeing the trailer just now for tomorrow night's new drama about Bobby Moore made me realise just how different things could have been had Sir Elton not changed his mind about our manager's job!

    Thank Goodness he did!
  25. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    Great to see...

    EFL Verified account ‏@EFL 45m45 minutes ago

    As a mark of respect to the sudden passing of Graham Taylor OBE, the #EFL has requested all clubs stage a minute’s applause this weekend.
  26. ForzaWatford

    ForzaWatford Squad Player

    Like Norn, I'm too young to ever have really appreciated him as a manager. But his legacy is so clear. He IS Watford Football club.

    I'd give anything to have watched Watford in the 80's in GT's hayday.
  27. Layton

    Layton First Team

    I'm just gutted , and now living in deepest West Wales there's no chance of being there Saturday, I've not felt homesick till now , I know my mates Watford end will see the great man off as I would if I were there

    Very very sad , a massive part of my life as a youngster just by being who he was , and a lovely guy to boot

    I'm out tonight with a die hard villa boy later we shall both raise a glass to the great man

  28. Godfather

    Godfather bricklayer extraordinaire

    And to think I was disappointed Bobby Moore refused us ..... How wrong I was!

    The last time I blubbed was 16 years ago with the passing of my mother and brother within a week of each other. My tears now are every bit as real.
  29. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky First Year Pro

    Devastating news, it's like a death in the family. The saddest thing strangely is also the best thing and that is reading or listening to the tributes, quite simply one of the nicest people in the game and some one who rose above the abuse and ridicule to be remembered as such. The fans here and at Aston Villa have both lost a club legend today.

    R.I.P Graham and thank you for the journey
  30. IRB

    IRB THe artist formally know as ImRonBurgundy?

    I've emailed the club suggesting they consider a minute's silence as opposed to applause

    I know some might see it as not a big deal, but I personally think its important and more appropriate
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  31. Supertommymooney

    Supertommymooney Reservist

    I don't know what I can add but truly a Watford legend.

    My brother wrote to him when I got married in 2003 and asked him to send a card so he could read it out at the reception. Of course he did just that. Lovely guy.
  32. Manatleisure

    Manatleisure Reservist

    Just seen it on the news. Got a lump in my throat. He was Mr Watford and its really sad.
  33. DaveWFC

    DaveWFC Academy Graduate

    Incredibly sad news. Still can't really believe it. RIP

    I first started watching Watford the season when we won the 2nd Division title year 97-98, and so he's always been synonymous with Watford and football and what it means for me. Even at a young age, I always loved hearing what he had to say in interviews, he always came across as so clever yet down-to-earth, and in many ways made me understand football more. I was always spellbound when my parents told me about the rise from the 4th to the 1st divisions back in the 70s-80s, and though I'm gutted on some level that I wasn't born to see any of it, I've loved watching old clips where I can. Given that I've grown up with football since the 90s and have been very used to the idea of the top 6 clubs, the idea of such an astounding acheivement (4th-1st Division and a cup final!) just seems so unlikely and hard to believe. I think that says it all for me. Hope this doesnt sound cliche, but he made the impossible possible. I'd say that other than my parents, he was the person that made me love football as much as I do.

    Although it was a while ago (and I was about 9 at the time), I still clearly remember Wembley back in '99, just simply the best football experience of my life. A lot of wonderful things have happened for our club since then and there are so many great memories, but I really think that's the ultimate Watford memory. Though a close 2nd under his tenure for me is when we beat Chelsea, for purely selfish reasons.... I grew up in Reading, and was the only Watford fan at my school (And there were a few Chelsea fans), so after that 1-0 win (Allan Smart and all that!) there was plenty of bragging to be had! And there were so many more great moments on top of that that he was responsible for. Just an incredible manager.

    And as someone mentioned earlier, I was so greatful, as I think we all were, when he came back as Chairman during the dark times of the early 2010s (was it 2009 we nearly went into Admin?), when he really seemed to help to steady the ship. It must have been an incredibly hard time, and really, he was under no obligation to do it. The fact he did just says how much he loved this club, and I hope he knew how much we all loved him. The only real consolation (if you can even call it that) was that he lived to see the Stand being named after him.

    Its been really moving to read all these stories on here about what a great man he was on top of that. I've always loved the community feel of Watford FC, and so much of that credit goes to him. That Mirror article was a great read as well. I'd had no idea that he'd had that much influence over the safety in the stadium, for example.

    I've always heard first hand about how brilliant he was. A very good friend of my parents (and a good friend of mine) who they've been going to football with going years back, has over the last few years been quite ill, and so getting to matches has been a bit harder for him. I'm a little sketchy on when exactly this was, but another friend of ours arranged for GT to meet him. Apparently, he actually came to their house, and spent the day with them talking about all things Watford, and has said hi to them plenty of times after then when he was at matches (as they sit near the corporate area). I'm actually choking up thinking about it, just the incredible kindness of the man. I would dearly have loved to met him myself, but just hearing and seeing all these lovely stories about him (and indeed listening to Five Live at the moment) is good enough for me.

    I'm sorry if my post is a bit all over the place, its just a bit hard to express all this in an eloquent fashion. I have so much love for this club and Graham Taylor was always the centre point of that. Its good to be able to share thoughts with fellow fans here though. A great man and a huge loss.

    Suffice to say, I'll be there on Saturday, and will make sure to sing my lungs out. Hopefully the players can also step up and give a performance he would be happy with.

    RIP GT. And thank you for everything.

    Elton John's Taylor-Made Army.
  34. tonycotonstache

    tonycotonstache Reservist

    5 live tribute. Tears shed on the m25 tonight driving home
  35. Mighty Mo

    Mighty Mo Reservist

    The world is a little darker today. A true legend.
    I grew up watching his first reign and what an adventure it was. So many memories. I was so gutted when he left to go to Villa. Then when we needed him, he returned and so did the fun after so many awful seasons. And what a ride we had again.
    I met the great man a few times and what a gentleman he was.
    I'm so glad the club named the stand after him whilst he was still with us.
    Thoughts are with Rita and the family today and every Horn who is feeling this loss.
    Thank you Graham, thank you. You will be greatly missed.

Share This Page