Watford announce Taylor statue plans

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An annual friendly match and a statue at Vicarage Road are included in the Hornets' plans to honour their late former manager

Watford have announced a statue of Graham Taylor will be erected at Vicarage Road to honour the late former manager's achievements at the club.

Taylor led Watford to three promotions between 1978 and 1982, before guiding them to a second-place finish in the top flight in 1983 and the FA Cup final in 1984.

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He returned to the helm in 1997 and guided them from the league's third tier to the Premier League with successive promotions, and news of his death on January 12 prompted an outpouring of grief from Watford's supporters.

Along with the commissioning of a statue of Taylor, Watford have announced plans for an annual friendly in his honour.

A statement on the club's website said: "With the blessing of Graham Taylor's family, Watford FC will move forward with two significant tributes to the late Graham Taylor OBE.

"A statue of Graham is to be commissioned and sited at the stadium, with its location to be agreed with Graham's family and Watford Borough Council.

"In addition, a pre-season tribute fixture – which is expected to become an annual opportunity to remember Watford's greatest-ever manager – will be arranged to take place at Vicarage Road Stadium ahead of the Hornets' 2017-18 campaign.

"Watford FC is pleased to confirm that it will engage with fans' representatives to ensure that supporters play a lead role alongside the club in bringing the statue to life.

"Again, Graham's family are very supportive of these actions."

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