Thousands arrive for Taylor funeral

Thousands of fans are arriving to pay their respects at the funeral of former England manager Graham Taylor.

Fellow football stars including Sir Alex Ferguson and former Peterborough and Barnet manager Barry Fry have been gathering at St Mary’s Church, Watford.

Ex-England midfielder Tim Sherwood is also among mourners but ex-Watford owner Sir Elton John will not attend.

Taylor, who died on 12 January aged 72, of a suspected heart attack, took the club to the 1984 FA Cup final.

Live: Updates from the Graham Taylor funeral

Up to 5,000 supporters are expected to gather, while more than 400 people, including family, friends, and former players will attend the church service.

A number of former Watford players have also arrived, including Kenny Jackett, Tommy Smith, Alec Chamberlain, Sean Dyche, Malky Mackay, Ross Jenkins, Steve Terry and Steve Sherwood. Current captain Troy Deeney is also at the ceremony.

Songs from Graham Taylor’s favourite singer, Buddy Holly, have been playing to the crowd, as well as Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.

The ceremony will be followed by a private family committal later in the day.

Taylor was appointed Watford manager by Sir Elton John in 1977 and within five years, took the club from the old Fourth Division to the top flight.

He also worked at Lincoln, Wolves and Aston Villa, guiding the latter to second place in the First Division in 1990.

After resigning as England boss in 1993 following the team’s failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, he managed Watford for a further five years, between 1996 and 2001.

He retired from football in 2003, later becoming a BBC pundit.

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