Trust Statement: Graham Taylor OBE
Yesterday it was announced that Watford Football Club’s Community Sports and Education Trust’s patron, Graham Taylor OBE, had sadly passed away at the age of 72.
To many he was well known as a true football man, for his stint as England manager and role as Watford FC’s most successful manager, leading the Club on a remarkable journey from the Fourth Division to runners-up in the First Division and a season in Europe.
Graham’s achievements off the pitch were also ground-breaking at the time. In the early 1980s, along with owner Elton John, Graham ensured that Watford would be known as a pioneering family and community club. He introduced the first family enclosure at Vicarage Road, insisted players lived locally and introduced clauses in their contracts committing them to making appearances at community events.
In 1992 the first community officer was appointed and over the years this community engagement would grow and grow into the Community Sports and Education Trust we know today. Quite simply none of this would have been possible without the passionate support of Graham Taylor. And in 2006, when the Trust were looking for a patron, there was none other than Graham himself that would fit the bill.
Over the years Graham has remained a constant support and ambassador for the Trust, taking part in numerous appearances including recently re-opening the Meriden Community Centre.
Watford FC is about more than just football as a result of Graham’s desire to bring the community to the club, but also take the club to the community.
Graham was also the supporter of so many local and national good causes and charities; such as, Football Foundation, Kit Aid and Peace Hospice, to name just a few.
So yes, he will rightly be remembered as a remarkable genius to the footballing world but to the Trust and to all those that knew him, Graham was an outstandingly kind-hearted good man, whose legacy remains both on and off the pitch.
Thank you Graham.