Armstrong in tribute to shining light Taylor

Sir Alex Ferguson led a chorus of tributes from English football to former Three Lions manager Graham Taylor, who died yesterday aged 72 following a suspected heart attack.

In 1987, he took over at second-division Aston Villa and guided them back into the top flight, where, in 1990, he once again finished second in the league behind Liverpool.

Everton football club wrote, "The thoughts of all at EFC are with the friends and family of former England, WatfordFC and AVFCOfficial manager Graham Taylor".

He was sacked by England - amid notorious tabloid headlines branding him "Turnip Taylor" - after failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup.

"I could feel as well that he suffered a lot as manager of England and we never know how much the violence of this job has an incidence on our health". In the space of five years, between 1977 and 1982, Watford climbed from the bottom tier to the first division, qualifying for Europe a year later by virtue of a 2 placed finish and then reaching an FA Cup final in 1984.

He spent 14 years as a popular pundit on BBC Radio 5 Live from 2003, and in the same year accepted a vice-presidency of Scunthorpe United.

As Elton John said: "He was like a brother to me". He was friendly, open and a very nice man. I had lunch once or twice with him, he had big passion and he was competent and absolutely focused on the game.

"You just hope the game goes well for us but prior to that everyone will give him the send off and remember him in the right way", Blissett said. Back then it was probably normal for fans to think they could get away with stuff like that but Graham Taylor was definitely a decent man and respected everyone who played for him.

Taylor returned to Watford in 1996 at the same time John did, with the former England boss becoming general manager - a year later he took on the role of manager, and won promotion to the First Division immediately.

As a player he made more than 300 appearances for Grimsby Town and Lincoln City. I didn't know Graham personally, but our paths did cross on occasions.

When Sir Elton John heeded the advice of Don Revie and grabbed the services of Taylor who had led Lincoln City out of the old fourth division, few could have predicted the meteoric rise they would oversee at Watford. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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