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Watford Forever/John Preston

This is an illuminating account of the rise of Watford, focussing on Elton John and Graham Taylor.

The relationship between the owner and manager is the key one in any club.

There were few better than that between Elton John and Graham Taylor despite the fact the two were polar opposites.

Elton John – not his alter ego Reg Dwight – was and is still is a flamboyant rock star, Graham Taylor the journeyman footballer of Lincoln with above average intelligence.

When Elton John took over the club that he had supported from his childhood he initially considered Bobby Moore for the manager role but it was Don Revie who persuaded him to choose Taylor.

Together Taylor and Elton John took Watford to the top tier from the bottom one.

Taylor was derided for his long ball game but there was more to him than that.

He was the first to pioneer football in the community with a section of the stand dedicated to children.

He frequently took the players into local factories and it can be truthfully said that Watford went from being a dull Hertfordshire suburb ruined by its town planners into a place proud of its identity.

Elton John had to grapple with addiction whilst Taylor never achieved the same success with England (or as Aston Villa and Wolves manager) where his rant  “Do I not like that!” after an ill-judged documentary passed into the vernacular.

Yet together they proved at Watford a brilliant partnership.



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About Rex Mitchell

Rex Mitchell is a Brentford supporter from childhood. This has not prevented him having a distinguished Fleet Street career as a sports reporter and later deputy football editor. A widower, Rex is a bit of a bandit golfer off his official handicap of 20 and is currently chairman of his local bowls club. More Posts