Quite rightly there has been a real outpouring of love and respect following the sad news that Graham Taylor passed away yesterday.
Here are just a few off this site and also social media:
Vital Villa (@VitalVilla) January 12, 2017
Remember asking for Graham Taylor’s autograph whilst working at the Villa, I thanked him for his time and he stopped me and said ‘No Wayne, thank you’ he was top man!! RIP GT Wayne Homer
Awesome story of Graham Taylor and a Villa fan with Cystic Fibrosis. pic.twitter.com/WymaCxsYFQ
— Back Page Football (@bpfootball) January 13, 2017
Lovely tribute from Sid Cowans www.theguardian.com
I was lucky enough to have communicated with him numerous times over the years and every time he seemed more interested in talking to you not at you. He loved Villa and football. That was so clear. I spoke to him when he returned to Villa. Asked if his dogs were happy (he`d said before how much he loved walking the dogs in Sutton Park) and he joked. “Don’t tell anyone but that is the real reason I’ve come back. Sutton Park!”
Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) January 13, 2017
Absolutely tragic and a huge shock. He was a truly great manager and an intelligent, articulate and thoughtful gentleman. I know it’s only a small detail, but my lasting memory of him will be that he was responsible for the best ever signing that Villa have made, i.e. Paul McGrath.
‘I love you Graham. I will miss you very much’
BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 12, 2017
Steve Collins I phoned him once asking for something autographed for a charity football match not only did I get several villa autographed items he turned up to kick off the match and insisted on paying his entrance fee. He helped me many times after that A TRUE GENTLEMAN WHO WILL BE SADLY MISSED GOD BLESS HIM.
Let’s not forget what he also did for Watford and the game in general. I always liked him and he will be missed.
It doesn’t even touch the sides, but I tried… https://t.co/IFRmJ4efsp
Neil Moxley (@Neil_Moxley) January 12, 2017
At a time when so much in the game was wrong he stood up as a thoroughly honest and decent man.
Like everyone else I am absolutely shocked and saddened by this news. Being born in 1979 I started to really get into football and the Villa at the age of 6 or 7 just when Graham Taylor was starting his first stint as manager. It was some of my happiest days supporting us. Daley, Platt, McInally, Spink, Birch, Aspinall (rubbish but a personal hero of mine), Walters, Cowans, Nielsen, Mountfield and obviously Yorkie towards the end… the list of quality players we had was endless. Great time to get your first taste of the Villa, under such a wonderful and well respected boss. RIP Graham
Who also wrote:
My favourite Graham Taylor quote, talking about Doug Ellis –
‘We have a love hate relationship – He loves me’
The last time this club was in the doldrums, it was Graham Taylor who single-handedly brought us back to success and respectability. He laid the foundations for the next 20+ years during which time we won two trophies and saw this great club in the upper echelons of the English game. He was a true gentleman but also a proper man. I will never forgive the British media for the way they treated him. A sad sad loss….
May 1990. Graham’s last match before taking over England. Goodison Park. 3-3, we finish runners- up in the old 1st Division. Not one of the thousands of Villa fans moved at the final whistle chanting ‘we want Taylor’. Eventually he appeared and walked slowly towards the massed ranks and stood, hands on hips, in the penalty area acknowledging the deafening chant of ‘Graham Taylor’s Claret & Blue Army’. Certainly one of my great Villa memories. Thank you, Graham, for establishing us again as a power in the game. A true legend, you will never be forgotten. RIP.
Gut Prat & Ugly
Our former Media guy Phil Mepham
As one of a privileged group who can say they worked with him I remember Graham Taylor as a man of total unwavering integrity. So sad. #avfc
Phil Mepham (@philmep12) January 12, 2017
Far better than me have already expressed my thoughts. RIP and thoughts are with his family. Top top man.
@VillansHo 😰 one of life’s good guys, truly gutted we’ve lost him. A true gent and saved our club when it was heading into a downward spiral
Vital Villa (@VitalVilla) January 12, 2017
Such a genuine man. A great loss to football. So sudden and so sad.
Graham Taylor what a lovely man RIP xxxxx
Robbie Williams (@robbiewilliams) January 12, 2017
Sad news indeed. Fell in love with the Villa while he was in charge and meeting him while I was a young lad is something I’ll never forget. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.
Paul Brown (@PaulBrownAVFC) January 12, 2017
Graham Taylor formed a backdrop to me growing up with football, his successes prior to joining AVFC and taking a nothing club to challenge for honours made a great impression on me. When we appointed Graham Turner, I was sure the radio had got it wrong and I was gutted. The papers will probably go on about long ball, but his skill was in the ability to adapt his style to the players available. Thanks for all your efforts Graham, RIP. EndOfTimes
Some lovely tributes coming in…
Paul McGrath: ‘Devestated (sic) to hear of Graham’s sad passing, what a gentleman. In my darkest days himself and Rita were always there for me’
Tony Daley: ‘Devastated to hear the news Graham Taylor has passed away. Greatest influence on my career. My condolences to Rita and family’
Elton John: ‘I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Graham’s passing. He was like a brother to me. We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met. We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever. He took my beloved Watford from the depths of the lower leagues to unchartered territory and into Europe. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius. This is a sad and dark day for Watford. The club and the town. We will cherish Graham and drown our sorrows in the many brilliant memories he gave us. I love you Graham. I will miss you very much. My thoughts go out to Rita, Joanne, Karen and the whole Taylor family.’
Aston Villa news (@AVFC_News) January 12, 2017
Really saddened by this news. Don’t think we can underestimate the job he did whilst at Villa. He arrived when the club was an absolute shambles from top to bottom and to think we were challenging for the first division title in his third season was nothing short of a miracle! He was also a true gent who always had time for fans. On matchday when we sometimes stood by the players entrance in the old trinity road he used to park his car right next to the railings close to the entrance..they used to drive in themselves in those days rather than being altogether on a coach…and despite always have a multitude of programmes and autograph books being thrust through the railings towards him, he would always spend time chatting, smiling and signing. A great man and a true Villa legend, forever in our hearts. RIP Sir Graham.