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.

WATFORD: Sherwood, Bardsley EVERTON: Southall, Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe (capt), Mountfield, Reid, Steven, Heath, Sharp, John Hunting