Les Taylor on Watford’s showbiz FA Cup final in 1984
Each time images are shown of Watford's legendary manager, Graham Taylor, who led his match for the 1984 FA Cup final in Wembley, namesake Lesson
However, it was not intended to be that way. Club captain Pat Rice and Steve Sims were wounded and then Wilf Rostron was sent against Luton and suspended.
& # 39; I was actually only the fourth choice & # 39 ;, says Taylor. & # 39; Graham called me into his office Monday before the end and said it was a logical choice to wear the bracelet. Watford & FA Cup captain of the FA Cup, Les Taylor, pictured in Abingdon, Oxfordshire recently "class =" blkBorder img img img img img img img img img img img img img img img img img img img imford Watford & # 39; s 1984 FA Cup captain Les Taylor depicted in Abingdon, Oxfordshire
That Watford adorned the largest stage in English football was in itself surprising enough.
With rock star Elton John as chairman, Graham Taylor had the Hornets from the Fourth Division to the second-rate second-rate and the last Cup in seven years.
The remarkable story, with a team that included John Barnes and tabloid darling Mo Johnston, will no doubt be told again before Watford plays Manchester City in t
Taylor, a workman-like midfielder who is in 1980 from Oxford, recalls at the time that he was bumped from scratch into an opportunity that brought a nation to a halt.
& # 39; We knew it was all different when Michael Barrymore [comedian] was invited to us
& # 39; We looked at each other on & # 39;
& # 39; He tried to make Basil Fawlty-sketch, cut the waiters by the ear and drag them around. What the hell is happening here? "No one laughed.
& # 39; It was not Graham's idea. I think the organizers did it to make the final more showbizz.
<img id = "i-abcd10d62567c706" src = "https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/05/11/21/13383622-7018743-image-m-25_1557606186487.jpg" height = "522" width = " 634 "alt =" Watford manager Graham Taylor (left) next to club president Elton John in May 1984 "class =" blkBorder img Watford manager Graham Taylor (left) next to club president Elton John in May 1984
In reality, Watford did not need any extra showbiz with his flamboyant & # 39; Rocketman & # 39; Elton in charge. ] & # 39; We were known around the world for Elton & # 39 ;, says Les. & # 39; There were a few good extras. Every year we arranged a fantastic tour; Jamaica, Thailand, Singapore, China.
& # 39; Elton was knowledgeable about the game and we would see him in training and games.
& # 39; Every year he would host a summer party at his home in Windsor. Everyone at the club was invited, from laundress to player, and we would end up with guests like Rod Stewart and Elton & # 39; s mother.
& # 39; Kiki Dee was my pin-up and she was there for one year. I went with my wife and had to apologize for her fainting about Kiki.
& # 39; Elton meant so much to the club. I never told him, but if we had won the final, I would have encouraged him to take the cup. & # 39;
The key moment arrived after 51 minutes when Andy Gray controversially took the second goal and arrived at Watford goalkeeper Steve Sherwood at the same time.
Taylor started his Watford team at Wembley Stadium for the 1984 FA Cup final against Everton
& # 39; At that time, they let you challenge the keeper. We would put one in the 18-yard box for George Reilly and he would just hit the keeper. You would get away with things like that, & Taylor says. & # 39; Steve Sherwood was 6ft 4in and in retrospect he should have just eaten and smashed Andy Gray.
& # 39; It was a fairly soft goal from our point of view. I stood on the edge of the box waiting for a knockdown.
& To be honest with Andy Gray, he was brave, he could easily have let his head hit. I had a chance at 0-0 but cut it in half and John Bailey cleared the line.
& # 39; The strangest thing was that our front four didn't function on the day. Maurice Johnston, George Reilly, John Barnes and Nigel Callaghan usually had enough goals.
Barnes went on to have a great career with Liverpool. & # 39; I think he was still in Jamaica when he came to England. & # 39;
& # 39; Even at that age he was confident, he was happy. & # 39;
He was one of several players from the & # 39; 19459002 & # 39;
There will also be sorrow.
There will also be grief that Graham Taylor will not be there to see his old club club in Wembley for a final second cup, after his death in 2017.
<img id = "i-92760cbb14ddf1a0" src = "https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/05/11/21/13383688-7018743-image-a-28_1557606548406.jpg" height = "423" width = "634" alt = "<img id =" i-92760cbb14ddf1a0 "src =" https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/05/11/21/13383688-7018743- image-a-28_1557606548406.jpg "height =" 423 "width =" 634 "alt =" Taylor helped Watford finish second in both the First Division and the Second Class in the 1980s
Taylor helped Watford as finishing second in both the First Division and the Second Division in the 1980s
& Graham was on top of everything as a manager. Only after I stopped playing did I realize how good he was, "says Taylor, who is now in charge of the academy in League One Oxford.
& # 39; He was the first manager to actually use statistics.
& # 39; He would have someone in the stands who collected the number of shots, crosses and passes for each player. No computers, all written down.
& # 39; All players had to live within five miles of Vicarage Road. That way I knew where we were and whether we were going out.
& # 39; But Graham had that if someone got into trouble, he would have been
& # 39; If we hadn't done it. & # 39;
& # 39; I have never seen Graham fall out of any of the players, but I had that discipline.
It is not surprising that 62-year-old Les Troy chooses Deeney as his favorite in the current Watford team.
& # 39; I would like to have played with Troy. & # 39;
& # 39; He works hard for the team & # 39 ;, says the last cup final captain of the club about the next one. & # 39; An old-fashioned Watford player. & # 39;