Elton John pays tribute to 'brother' Graham Taylor

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Elton John has paid a warm tribute to former England manager Graham Taylor, who died at the age of 72 on Thursday.

Pop superstar John appointed Taylor as manager of Watford in June 1977 having become chairman of his hometown club the previous year.

Taylor famously led Watford from the Fourth Division to England's top flight in an astonishing five-year period, with his newcomers finishing second in Division One at the first attempt in 1982-83.

Taylor ended his initial association with Watford in 1987, moving to Aston Villa, and John began the process of looking for a buyer, which ended in 1990 when he sold a 93 per cent stake to Jack Petchey.

In 1997, the singer-songwriter bought Watford back off Petchey, becoming chairman once more and, with Taylor also back in the dugout, the club produced echoes of their glory days by winning back-to-back promotions from Division Two to the Premier League.

 

I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Graham's passing. He was like a brother to me. We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met. We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever. He took my beloved Watford from the depths of the lower leagues to unchartered territory and into Europe. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius. This is a sad and dark day for Watford. The club and the town. We will cherish Graham and drown our sorrows in the many brilliant memories he gave us. I love you Graham. I will miss you very much. My thoughts go out to Rita, Joanne, Karen and the whole Taylor family. @watfordfcofficial #GrahamTaylor #RIP

A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on

Posting on his Instagram account, the multi-million selling artist wrote:  "I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Graham's passing.

"He was like a brother to me. We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met. We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever.

"He took my beloved Watford from the depths of the lower leagues to unchartered territory and into Europe. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius.

"This is a sad and dark day for Watford. The club and the town. We will cherish Graham and drown our sorrows in the many brilliant memories he gave us.

"I love you Graham. I will miss you very much. My thoughts go out to Rita, Joanne, Karen and the whole Taylor family."