Graham Holloway and family, Pauline, Paul and Robert would like to express their condolences to Graham Taylor's family and friends as they all have the most fond memories of a true gentleman who really did have time for everyone.
Graham Holloway's eldest son Paul had a serious car accident when he was 12 in 1984 and was, and has always been a very avid Watford football supporter. At the time Graham Taylor was manager of Watford and with both Graham's Holloway's sons born overlooking the Vicarage Ground we wrote to the club to ask the team to sign a get well card as the accident happened just before Christmas, the football kit which was bought for Paul's Christmas presents were not going to be used for some while!
The club all signed the card and Paul was needless to say thrilled with it but a letter accompanying the card from Graham Taylor's secretary asked us to make contact with the team when Paul was fit enough to be guests for a match. In March of the following year Paul's mum rang the team's office and was surprised that as soon as she mentioned her name Graham Taylor's secretary immediately asked how Paul was!!
The family went to see the match in which Watford played Southampton as Graham Taylor's guests and he personally took both Paul and his younger brother Robert to meet the team which included Luther Blissett, John Barnes, Steve Simms etc.
He also met and had photos taken with Graham Taylor and Elton John, meeting Lawrie McMenemy. Throughout the afternoon Graham Taylor returned to the family on several occasions and at the time we said that it was like he was a member of our family looking after us when he had the game to organise. We all agreed it was one of the most memorable days, especially in the boy's lives.
Paul married in 2007 and his best man who is known as Watford Dave, also a keen supporter, contacted Graham Taylor who remembered Paul and gave Watford Dave his mobile number! Dave read out a lovely card from Graham Taylor at the wedding which took us all by surprise.
When the family heard of his passing yesterday it was a big shock as to everyone and we thought it worth giving our personal tribute to a great man not only in the football world but as an outstanding human being.