Watford BID news

Graham Taylor window boards auction raises £700

An auction of the boards used to dress an empty building during Graham Taylor’s funeral on 1st February 2017 have raised over £700 for the major refurbishment of St Mary’s Church, the venue at which the funeral was held.

Eight boards were auctioned on eBay in April, by Watford BID. They included images of Graham Taylor and a selection of his quotes.

The board with the highest number of bids, 25 in total, sold for £103.43. It was 168cm high by 152cm wide and featured the Graham Taylor quote: Make sure your footsteps left at the club for others to follow. If people come along and better you, that is great, but leave your mark behind by what you achieve and how you achieve it.

The money raised will be donated, with the agreement of Graham Taylor’s family, to the major refurbishment of St Mary’s Church, located in the heart of Watford Town Centre. The £1.1 million refurbishment is planned to transform the church into both an inspiring place for worship and a town centre civic building, accessible to all.

Tony Rindl, vicar of St Mary’s Church said: “Graham Taylor will always have a place in the hearts of the people of Watford. Graham was passionate about his football, his family and his faith. He would be delighted to know of the exciting developments in Watford Town Centre, and he along with his family would be pleased to see the money raised from this auction going towards the refurbishment of St. Mary’s Church with its long association with the football club and its important role in the heart of our community.”

Abbots Langley Tough Ten
One of the boards was purchased for the Abbots Langley Tough Ten Race by Neil Warner, a previous competitor and son of Tough Ten secretary Alison Warner, in commemoration of the history Graham Taylor had with the race, having started the race and given out finish line medals for many years.

Alison Warner said: “Neil decided to buy the poster as he is a great Watford Football Club supporter and therefore a Graham fan too. Neil first met Graham when he competed in a local football competition (aged about 10) which Graham came along to watch his team play in one of the preliminary matches. Neil's team went on to win in the final match which was played at Vicarage Road and the team was congratulated by Graham.

Graham was such a loyal friend to the Abbots Langley Tough Ten and always said he loved to be involved each year as it wasn’t just a race but a massive community event that both adults and children can be involved in. This year's race will be our 35th Annual Race and it will be held on Sunday, 1st October. As a tribute to Graham, we are renaming the race for one year only ‘The Abbots Langley Graham Taylor Tough Ten’ and we will be awarding specially commissioned medals to all finishers in the 5k and 10k race. Entry details can be found on our website www.tough10.co.uk.”

Watford Borough Council commissioned Murrill Construction to enhance the area of St Mary’s Square ahead of the funeral. The works included the design, manufacturing, erecting and removal of large commemorative boards, placed over the windows of the former One Bell pub. The Council and Murrill Construction donated the boards for auction at no cost.

Kwame Tefe, Chair of Watford BID said, “We were only too happy to take on this auction as it’s a great way of getting unique Graham Taylor memorabilia into the hands of dedicated Watford FC fans, while at the same time raising funds for a project that will enhance an iconic landmark in Watford Town Centre.