The whole football world was shocked earlier today (January 12th) when it was announced that ex-Watford, Aston Villa and England Manager, Graham Taylor had passed away suddenly, aged 72.
Graham Taylor first came to prominence as the young manager who led Elton John’s Watford from the Fourth Division to runners-up spot in the top tier in five seasons, as well as appearing in the 1984 F.A. Cup Final against Everton at Wembley.
He was also successful in his next post at Aston Villa as he won promotion and led them to runners-up position before succeeding Bobby Robson as England Coach in 1990.
Following a difficult spell internationally and a brief stint at Wolves, Taylor returned to Watford for another successful spell which saw the Hornets win two promotions back to the big time.
He retired from management in 2003 but spent three years at Watford Chairman as well as working as a highly-respected and popular summariser for BBC Radio.
Graham Taylor was also the manager who took Malcolm Allen and Iwan Roberts to Watford in the early 1980’s and gave them their chance to be professional footballers. As the 2014 documentary Malcolm Allen. Cyfle Arall (Another Chance) showed, there was a huge mutual appreciation between Malcolm and Graham based on almost 35 years of personal and professional friendship.
On this day in 1956 Portsmouth took on Newcastle United in the first Football League match played under floodlights.