Elton John at Watford: 'Graham Taylor was like a brother to me'

Elton John with Graham Taylor in the 1980s
Sir Elton John said he and "every single Watford fan will be forever grateful" to Graham Taylor

Sir Elton John has told the story behind his ownership of Watford FC in a new book.

The rock star was chairman and owner of the club in the 1970s and 1980s when he appointed Graham Taylor as manager.

'Watford Forever: How Graham Taylor And Elton John Saved A Football Club, A Town And Each Other' is written by John Preston.

Sir Elton said the much-loved Watford manager was "like a brother to me and I loved him dearly".

Elton John with other Watford players in the 1970s
Sir Elton John has been speaking of the "huge ambitions and hopes" he had for his childhood club

During the musician's ownership, Watford FC rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division.

Led by Taylor, The Hornets finished second behind champions Liverpool during the 1982-83 season and he also guided the team to the FA Cup final for the first time in their history the following year.

Sir Elton said: "I cherish my relationship with Graham as one of the greatest of my life."

Taylor, who also managed England, died in 2017 aged 72.

On Wednesday, The Rocket Man superstar, 76, posted on his Instagram story to advertise the book for the first time since suffering a fall in his South of France home.

John Preston
John Preston said people had "underestimated Elton's determination and his emotional bond to the club"

Novelist Mr Preston, who worked with Sir Elton on the project, wrote The Dig, which was adapted into a 2021 film about the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon finds, starring Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes and Lily James.

He said: "One of Elton's first acts as chairman was to appoint Graham Taylor as manager, a man as ostensibly conventional as Elton was flamboyant.

"The two of them would form an extraordinarily close bond and take Watford FC from the bottom of the Football League to the top in just five years - something that's never been done before or since."

Mr Preston said working with the music icon had been "the fulfilment of a long-held dream" and he hoped the book "does justice to the ultimate story of underdogs triumphing against all the odds."

The book will be released on November 16.

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