“I am personally delighted to open Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust’s new fantastic 3G pitch at the Meriden Centre.My role as Football Foundation Ambassador allows me to see the massive difference that these types of grassroots facilities make. They enable more and more people of all ages and abilities to enjoy playing football and many other sports purely for the love of it.
“Having enjoyed a great many years, both in the dugout and as Chairman, at Vicarage Road, the club holds a very special place in my heart. From that time I also know that Watford has long been a club that is genuinely committed to its local community. I want to congratulate everyone at Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust”
Graham Taylor OBE (born Worksop, Nottinghamshire) is a former football player, manager and pundit, and former chairman of Watford Football Club. He was the manager of the England national football team from 1990 to 1993, and also managed Lincoln City, Watford, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In June 1977, Taylor was hired to manage Watford by new owner Elton John.
After retiring as a player through injury in 1972, Taylor became a manager and coach. He won the Fourth Division title with Lincoln in 1976, before moving to Watford in 1977. He took Watford from the Fourth Division to the First in five years. Under Taylor, Watford were First Division runners-up in 1982-83, and FA Cup finalists in 1984. Taylor took over at Aston Villa in 1987, leading the club to promotion in 1988 and 2nd place in the First Division in 1989-90.
A host of special guests were on hand to help Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust commemorate the official re-opening of the Meriden Community Centre after an almost £2million refurbishment. Elected Mayor of Watford Baroness Dorothy Thornhill MBE, former Watford FC and England manager Graham Taylor OBE, and Watford FC’s Troy Deeney, Heurelho Gomes and Jerome Sinclair all joined Meriden Community Centre funders and Trust partners to celebrate the momentous occasion.
Anthony Joshua who lived on the Meriden estate could not make but left a video message.
He "remember the pub there, basketball court, and now its been so many years it's great the revamp is happening and hoping they might have a boxing gym or youth club."
The Meriden Community Centre project was made possible by funding and support from several organisations; Sport England, Watford Borough Council, The FA and Premier League Facilities Fund delivered by the Football Foundation, Watford Community Housing Trust, Watford Football Club as well as Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust itself.
The vision of all of these organisations has now been made reality as the Centre boasts brand new facilities such as the 3G artificial grass pitch, male and female changing rooms and state of the art gym, as well as the revamped main hall, flexible space and café.
The event itself saw the Hornets join in with demonstrations from pupils at Knutsford Primary School on the pitch, speeches from the Trust’s Community Director Rob Smith and Head of Facilities and Inclusion, Steve Williams, as well as Mayor Dorothy Thornhill. Completing the afternoon, there was of course the official unveiling of the plaque by Trust patrons, Graham Taylor and Dorothy Thornhill.
WCHT will get a reducred rate of£1.50 instead of the £2.
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