"Freeman of the Borough of Watford"
By Cllr Tim Williams
So what's it all about, this becoming a Freeman of the Borough of Watford??? I understand that it gives you the right to do things in Watford that others can't do...like herding a flock of sheep down the High Street....
Why Graham Taylor ?!? It's because there's no-one else more deserving of this honour in Watford than "there's only one Graham Taylor". Who else has put Watford on the map more than Graham...and not only in footballing terms.
On the evening of 12th November 2001, when Watford Borough Council were to honour Graham Taylor with granting him The Freedom of the Borough, I found myself on centre stage at the Colosseum. I had been fortunate enough not only to be invited to this celebration evening, but also as one of three proposers to formally make Graham into a Freeman of Watford.
I had the great honour of being chosen to say "nice" things about the man who managed the football team I had followed regularly since the mid-seventies when I was twelve...two spells of absolutely "glory" years to report on.... What do I say???
I highlighted the personal touches of Graham as manager of Watford - inviting people off the terraces to sit on the bench with him, by asking Bells to present him with miniature bottles of whisky when he won the Manager of the Month Award so that he could give them to the fans. The time I was with a few other fans who had arrived in Bury too early for an FA Cup tie and Graham came over to us just for a "chat", and the times I had met Graham on other occasions when he treated me like a long lost friend but that he probably didn't know me from "Adam".
I added that as our Club Manager he not only bonded with Football fans, but also bonded with Watford as a community...he joined local clubs, and has raised much money for many community/charity projects.
I concluded my speech by stating that without doubt Graham is a "top man" and there was no one more deserving for Watford Borough Council to have conferred as a Freeman of the Borough of Watford upon than Graham Taylor himself.
Graham took Watford further than anyone could have foreseen in the 1970s...as fans we enjoyed the privilege of seeing our team's success. As a town we grew in stature as our team did. Graham's contribution to the whole of Watford cannot be measured..."there's only one Graham Taylor - Freeman of the Borough of Watford"....
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