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Graham Taylor, a former Watford boss, died today of a suspected heart attack. Elton, who worked closely alongside Taylor during his two spells at Watford, wrote the following on Instagram:

 

I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Graham’s passing.

”He was like a brother to me. We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met. We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever. He took my beloved Watford from the depths of the lower leagues to unchartered territory and into Europe. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius.

”This is a sad and dark day for Watford. The club and the town. We will cherish Graham and drown our sorrows in the many brilliant memories he gave us. I love you Graham. I will miss you very much.

”My thoughts go out to Rita, Joanne, Karen and the whole Taylor family.”

Elton also posted a photo of himself with his friend.

A family statement read:

“With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack. The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss.”

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former England manager Graham Taylor,” tweeted the Football Association. A statement from the Football League added: “We are extremely saddened to hear Graham Taylor has passed away. A genuine legend of the game. Our thoughts are with his family.”

The 72-year-old, who was from Nottinghamshire, began his career as a player. After being injured, he retired from playing and became a manager and coach. He won the Fourth Division title with Lincoln in 1976, before moving to Watford in 1977. He took the team from the Fourth Division to the First in five years. In 1987, he took over at Aston Villa in 1987, and three years later, he became manager of the England team.

In 1994, he joined the Wolverhampton Wanderers. He returned to Aston Villa in 2002, but left at the end of the season. From 2009 until 2012, he served as chairman of Watford FC, where where he continued to hold the position of honorary life president. Taylor also worked as a pundit for BBC Radio Five Live and was involved with a number of charities. This included cycling from London to Paris in 2010 to raise funds for the RBL‘s Poppy Appeal.