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Church where late Watford manager's funeral held benefits from auction

GT Auction Raises Church Funds

An auction of the boards used to dress an empty building during the funeral of Graham Taylor has raised over £700 for the major refurbishment of St Mary's Church, the venue at which the late Watford manager's funeral was held in February.

Eight boards including a selection of GT images, as well as some of the former manager's iconic quotes, were auctioned on eBay in April by Watford BID. They had originally been placed over the windows of the former One Bell pub in Watford town centre.

The board with the highest number of bids, 25 in total, sold for £103.43. It featured the famous quote: "Make sure your footsteps are 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 GT’s family, to the £1.1m refurbishment of St Mary’s Church, located in the heart of Watford, transforming the church into both an inspiring place of 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."

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 (both pictured above), in commemoration of the history GT had with the race, having started it and given out finish line medals for many years.

For this year only, the 35th annual race - due to be held on Sunday October 1 - will be renamed The Abbots Langley Graham Taylor Tough Ten.

Ahead of the funeral, Watford Borough Council commissioned Murrill Construction to enhance St Mary’s Square, with large commemorative boards placed over the pub windows. The council and Murrill Construction donated the boards for auction at no cost.

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