Date: 12th January 2017 at 2:54pm
Written by:

The sad news that Watford legend Graham Taylor had passed away at the age of 72 has broken this afternoon.

Arguably the greatest manager in this clubs history – his decade long first spell included some truly special times in Watford’s history – passed away from a suspected heart attack.

The BBC has quoted a family statement released this afternoon.

‘With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack. The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss.’

Having enjoyed success at Lincoln – where he had also been a player – he become the boss 1972 and guided them to the old Fourth Division title in 1975-76.

Taylor’s first spell with Watford got underway in 1977 with him taking the Hornets from the Fourth Division as far as Division One runners up to Liverpool in 1983. We were also FA Cup runners up to Everton in 1984.

Aston Villa appointed him in 1987 before he became England boss in 1990 – succeeding Sir Bobby Robson after the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy – but his three year spell with the national side ended with him resigning in 1993 when failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

He spent the 1994-95 season in charge of Wolves but resigned at the end of that campaign before returning to Watford in 1996.

During this second spell at Vicarage Road Taylor won the Division Two title in 1998 and guided the Hornets to a Division One play-off final in 1999 and a place in the Premier League.

Taylor’s second spell at Watford – he’s remained a prominent figure at Vicarage Road over the years – ended in 2001 with his final position in football management taking him back to Villa Park in 2002 with him retiring in 2003.

What a sad loss – not only for Watford – but to football this is.

RIP Graham Taylor, 1944-2017.

Join The Vital Debate