Watford legend Luther Blissett: Graham Taylor was ahead of his time as a manager

Former striker was part of Taylor's great team from the 1970s and '80s

Graham Taylor, Watford, Luther Blissett,

Graham Taylor back at Watford, shares a joke with team coach Luther Blissett as they meet the press at Vicarage Road. Picture by PA PA Archive/PA Images

Watford FC legend Luther Blissett has paid a glowing tribute to Graham Taylor and explained that he was ahead of his time as a manager.

Taylor passed away on Thursday at the age of 72.

During his managerial career, he took charge of both England and Aston Villa.

But he enjoyed his greatest success at Watford who he took from the Fourth Division in the late '1970s to second place in the 1982-83 season in a short space of time. An FA Cup final appearance would follow in 1984.

Blissett thrived under Taylor's guidance, top scoring in that 82-83 season with 27 goals.

Tonight he spoke to Off The Ball about Taylor and paid tribute to his former manager, who he described as a genuine and honest man, who he also worked with as a member of his backroom coaching staff in the 1990s.

"Graham Taylor's legacy should be somebody who was ahead of his time with the way we trained and the way we prepared," he said, pointing out that Taylor had made use of the type of statistical information that managers use in this era back at Watford, and highlighting his great attention to detail.

"On the fitness, he wanted you to be the fittest, strongest team so wherever you played you'd out-last the opposition. That is what everybody is doing now since the Premier League came to fruition but we had been doing that in advance of that."

Blissett also spoke about a dedicated family man.

"Family was also a very big thing with him. I remember meeting his Dad. I was very young at the time and met him up in Scunthorpe. He was a newspaper journalist up there and his Dad was very much a family man and Graham very much inherited that and that was a major part of what made him who he was," said Blissett, who explained that Taylor took that family atmosphere to help bring Watford together as a club and team.

"It contributed to us getting on better and then that brought us into games where success came from the fact that we had each other's backs. Graham created that along with the family atmosphere which we did at Watford along with the support of the directors and everyone."