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Watford to face Villa in Taylor tribute


London (AFP) – Watford will salute their former manager Graham Taylor, who died earlier this year, with a memorial friendly against Aston Villa on July 29.

Taylor’s passing in January at the age of 72 sparked tributes from across the world of football and Watford have decided to play an annual pre-season fixture for the ‘Graham Taylor Trophy’ against other teams coached by the former England boss.

Taylor, who started his career with Lincoln, led Watford on a magical ride from the lower reaches of English football to the top-flight and an FA Cup final appearance.

He left Watford for the Villa job in 1987, winning promotion to the First Division a year later before going on to take charge of England in 1990. 

Taylor also managed Wolves before returning for a second successful spell with Watford and finishing his career back at Villa, where he retired after the 2002-03 season.

“Watford will host Aston Villa on Saturday July 29 at Vicarage Road (3pm kick-off), in a special memorial matchday for the late Graham Taylor OBE,” a Watford statement read on Thursday.

“At the request of his family, profits from the friendly will be split evenly between two charities Graham had a close connection to — the National Memorial Arboretum and the Hornets’ self-financing registered charity, the Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust.”

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