Watford unveil Graham Taylor statue in honour of club's greatest manager
Last Updated: 04/08/18 2:58pm
Watford have unveiled a statue of Graham Taylor in honour of the club's greatest-ever manager.
Taylor died at the age of 72 in January 2017 and the Premier League club revealed plans to recognise his achievements, with his family, led by his wife Rita, having an active role in the design of the sculpture.
Fans gathered outside Vicarage Road for the unveiling which formed part of the Graham Taylor Matchday on Saturday, ahead of Watford facing Sampdoria in a pre-season friendly.
In Taylor's first spell in charge, which lasted a decade, he led Watford from the Fourth Division to the First Division in five years before the club enjoyed an impressive second-place finish in the top flight in the 1982-83 season.
After a successful spell as Aston Villa manager, which included promotion to the First Division in 1988, he went on to lead England between 1990 and 1993.
Taylor managed only one full season in charge of Wolves between 1994-95, before Taylor returned to manage Watford in 1996 for five years and his final managerial role saw him return to take charge of Aston Villa between 2002 and 2003.
Watford's record goalscorer and appearance maker Luther Blissett and Watford chairman and CEO Scott Duxbury were part of the ceremony.
"This is one of the best ever moments since I have stopped playing or been involved directly with the club to see this statue unveiled of Graham Taylor, who has undoubtedly been to date our greatest manager to date," Blissett told Sky Sports News.
"His achievements have been incredible. Graham brought a town together and he put Watford on the map as a footballing town. The standards he brought with him are long endured."
Duxbury added: "Graham was the chairman of the football club, a supporter of the football club and above all else a friend of the football club.
"A friend that was there through the good times, a friend that was there through the bad times and a friend that was there for everybody at the football club."