Graham Taylor said he still hasn’t watched a re-run of Watford’s FA Cup final with Everton and that he still ribs Sir Elton John about the tears of joy he shed at the famous stadium in 1984.
“That spell at Watford was the best of my managerial career,” said Taylor in an interview with BBC Sport to preview tomorrow’s FA Cup final between Crystal Palace and Watford. “It was fantastic. When I signed for Watford he [Elton] said he wanted to get into Europe. I’ve not made that up. I thought: ‘Is that a sensible chairman?’ But what a sensible chairman he was. If you had a career like Elton had and made Watford your club you can understand the tears. I don’t remind him of it when we speak but if he gets cheeky with me then I let him know.”
Taylor is only one of two Watford managers (Gianfranco Zola is the other) to walk out at Wembley. Taylor did it twice, once in 1984 and once in 1999 when the Hornets beat Bolton Wanderers in the playoff final. Quique Sanchez Flores will become the third tomorrow.
“Anybody will tell you that it’s a fantastic feeling walking out at Wembley, with the camera on you,” Taylor said. “You try to smile.”
Taylor was not smiling at the final whistle of the ’84 cup final. Goals either side of half-time from Graeme Sharp and a controversial one from Andy Gray sealed a 2-0 win for the Toffees and broke Watford hearts.
“It [the second goal] was a foul on Steve Sherwood but there we are,” said Taylor. “It wasn’t as if we were hammered. We lost to Everton and it was a fair result. Those players have a right to be remembered and be very pleased about that they did. I never watched it again. I wonder if I ought to.”