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Thousands of mourners have paid their respects at the funeral of former Watford chief Graham Taylor.

Supporters lined the streets of Watford on Wednesday ahead of the ceremony at St Mary’s Church.

The 72-year-old died on January 12.

Family, friends and former teammates came to the church service, which will be followed by a private family committal.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were among those in attendance at the church.

They were joined by ex-Hornets players John Barnes, Luther Blissett and Tim Sherwood, as well as former Watford managers Sean Dyche and Malky Mackay.

The hearse passed Taylor’s beloved Vicarage Road, where a reception will be held later today.

Elton was not in attendance, but he provided a tribute. This was read out in church by television commentator John Motson. Sir Elton compared his friend to Bernie Taupin.

Reading Elton’s tribute, Motson said: “Two of the most important people in my life were from Lincolnshire.

Graham Taylor was so many wonderful things for the community and the game.

“He was like a brother from the moment I first met him in my front room.

“It was a partnership so binding and enjoyable that equalled my relationship with my brilliant lyricist.

“We were fiercely ambitious, revolutionary in our approach to a football club and its community. … As chairman and manager we were Batman and Robin.

Elton also acknowledged his troubled past. He said that Graham lectured him about his substance abuse problem, saying he was letting both himself and the club down.

Taylor worked alongside Motson and other commentators in his later role as a summariser for the BBC.