Graham Taylor's wife has recalled happy memories of times the Hornets legend spent in Cassiobury Park - where a new bench has been unveiled in his memory.

Rita spoke today in the Watford park as the bench paid for by life-long friend Elton John was officially unveiled.

She said the bench’s location was poignant as the couple's children Karen and Joanne visited the park growing up and Graham had fond memories of pre-season training, when Watford FC players would go cross country running in the park.

Watford Observer:

SEE ALSO: Elton John dedicates park bench to football legend Graham Taylor

She told the Observer Graham would hide up trees with other coaches to catch those players who were walking.

Elton, who turned 70 in March, became close friends with Taylor when one was chairman of Watford Football Club and the other was the team's boss.

He has paid for four magnolia trees around the bench, which is captioned: 'In loving memory of friend Graham Taylor.'

Daughter Karen Colley, the town's elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill and other family members attended the unveiling this afternoon.

Karen said: "We come here a lot as a family and now it feels like we will have a bit of dad here too."

Watford Observer: 11 - PROMOTION GRAHAM TAYLOR (1280x800)

Mayor Thornhill added: "Graham mattered to our town.

"It is poignant the bench has been put here as we are in the heart of the town Graham loved so much.

"It is a a fitting tribute and will be an appropriate lasting memory."

Sir Elton described Taylor as 'like a brother to me' following the manager's death at 72 earlier this year.

"We will cherish Graham and drown our sorrows in the brilliant memories he gave us,' Sir Elton wrote on Instagram.

"This is a sad and dark day for Watford.

Watford Observer:

"The club and the town. We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever. I love you Graham. I will miss you very much."

Taylor died of a suspected heart attack on January 12. Hundreds gathered in Watford for his funeral in February.

SEE ALSO: Graham Taylor funeral - as it happened

Sir Elton appointed Taylor as Watford manager in 1977, a year after the singer took ownership of the club.

Taylor - who lived in Kings Langley - took the Hornets from the old Fourth Division to runners-up in the top flight within five years, going on to reach the 1984 FA Cup final.

He then took over at Aston Villa in the Second Division and got them into the First - before taking them to a second-place finish, then becoming England boss in 1990.

Watford Observer:

The bench is situated at the Rickmansworth Road entrance to the park

Taylor guided England to the 1992 European Championship in Sweden, but the team were eliminated at the group stage.

He resigned in 1993 after England failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

SEE ALSO: Elton John's tribute to Graham Taylor: 'We were Batman and Robin'

At Taylor's funeral in February, mourners were reminded how he and Sir Elton were one of football's great double-acts as they put Watford on the sport's map.

In his tribute, Sir Elton said: "We were an unstoppable force of nature. We were Batman and Robin. And when Batman left for Aston Villa, Robin floundered without his mate.

Watford Observer:

Sir Elton wrote on Instagram in January that Taylor's death was a 'sad and dark day for Watford'

"I missed him and I made some bad decisions but I had to let him go. He had done the work of a thousand men at Watford.

"It is because of him I have the name of Watford Football Club etched in my soul. I have memories that are sublime and a sense of achievement that no-one else can ever take away.

"He is a legend in this community, in football and in life. I love you my friend. Thank you for everything."

With Sir Elton out of the UK and unable to attend, this personal message was read by BBC commentator John Motson who added his own footnote for a congregation swelled by an estimated 1,500 who had gathered outside St Mary's Church.

Watford Observer:

His surviving relatives added how the outpouring of affection which followed news of his death had been both 'humbling and comforting'.