Watford’s greatest ever player, Luther Blissett, has put pen to paper this week on an official role with the club.

The Hornets record goalscorer and appearance maker is still held in the highest esteem by fans, even those too young to remember the days when his goals helped fire Watford from the old Fourth Division to the top-flight for the first time.

Last season the club named Blissett as an honorary life-president alongside Elton John and Graham Taylor, but the former striker never officially accepted the position, much to the disappointment of fans who were never told why.

Behind the scenes discussions have been ongoing with Scott Duxbury who was determined to confirm the high regard in which the club hierarchy hold him on and off the pitch, and it was telling that Blissett was a prominent guest at both the Q&A session with owner Gino Pozzo, and also the recent At Your Place event at the training ground.

The full remit and details of the work Blissett will be doing are expected to be explained in due course.

His outstanding charitable work, both locally and nationally, as part of his founding of the Former Players’ Club has rightfully gained him huge acclaim and he recently collected his OBE from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle.

Watford Observer: Luther receiving his OBELuther receiving his OBE (Image: PA)

“Our true hope is for Luther to continue to help position this football club as the heartbeat of its community, something he’s also been doing on a personal level with his many interests that have served local people and others who need a helping hand,” said club chairman and CEO Scott Duxbury.

“I have enjoyed a strong relationship with Luther, stretching back to the time of the Pozzo family’s arrival as owners of our club. Luther’s experiences as a player in Italy meant that he was already aware of the stability and growth the Pozzos would bring to this club.

“We know Luther’s finger is on the pulse of fan sentiment, and we will draw upon his insights further to give everyone with Watford FC at heart the chance to feel strongly connected with the club.”

It’s an announcement that is good for the club, town and especially the fans, and Blissett himself is celebrating the news.

“Everyone knows Watford – the club and the town – runs through my veins. I was brought up in the true Watford way by the great Graham Taylor, and it’s his ethos that I try to continue in my work with charities, the Former Players Club and now officially for the club,” he said.

Watford Observer: Back of the net - and back of the neckBack of the net - and back of the neck (Image: Action Images)

“Scott Duxbury has been very receptive and keen to draw on my knowledge in our meetings, and he wants to use my connection with the fans to help try and rebuild bridges between the club and its supporters.

“In Valerien Ismael we have a head coach who is driving change within the dressing room and on the pitch, and I’d urge all fans to get behind that even if, initially, it takes time to bear fruits.

“Most of all, I hope Watford fans see my acceptance of this role as an indication that I see change for the better happening at the club, on and off the pitch.

“Supporting Watford should mean more than just what happens on a first-team matchday. Watford is a club with a successful women’s team, a thriving Academy and a Community Trust. Let’s all get behind everything at Vicarage Road.”

Watford Observer: Luther shares a laugh with Steve Sherwood at a Watford Legends gameLuther shares a laugh with Steve Sherwood at a Watford Legends game (Image: Action Images)

As well as his 503 appearances and 186 goals as a player, Blissett also had a period as co-manager with Kenny Jackett at the behest of Graham Taylor at the end of the 1995/96 season. He went on to coach the first team as they were promoted to the Premier League for the first time, and is rightly described by Sir Elton John as ‘Watford’s favourite son’.

He was Watford’s first full England international and earned 14 caps for his country, scoring a hat-trick against Luxembourg at Wembley on his full debut, thus becoming the first black player to score for England in the process.

Later he became Watford’s first £1m player when he was sold to AC Milan in June 1983, before returning twice to the club either side of a highly-successful spell at Bournemouth.

Watford Observer: Luther displaying the Three LionsLuther displaying the Three Lions (Image: PA)

“This will be the fifth time I’ve ‘signed’ for Watford,” Blissett laughed.

It’s perhaps the best indication yet that the changes in ethos and culture at the club which fans have been calling for over recent seasons are actually starting to happen, as Blissett certainly wouldn’t align himself with the club if he felt they weren’t.

“There’s no question that, given his standing among our supporters and in the world of football generally, Luther will once again be a truly outstanding signing for the club,” Duxbury said, echoing the feelings of Watford fans everywhere.

Watford Observer: Classic Blissett - in action against SpursClassic Blissett - in action against Spurs (Image: Watford Observer)