Sean Dyche has paid tribute to Graham Taylor for handing him a start in management after the former England boss died at the age of 72.
Taylor’s passing of a suspected heart attack has prompted an outpouring of grief throughout football, with the ex-Watford, Aston Villa and national team boss fondly remembered.
Vicarage Road legend Taylor, who led the Hornets to five promotions in two spells in charge as well as their sole FA Cup final appearance, was chairman when Dyche was appointed Watford manager in 2011 – his first crack at management.
And the Burnley manager, who has followed in Taylor’s footsteps at Turf Moor with two promotions to the top flight so far, hailed his former mentor’s ability to stand back and let him mould his own path.
“It’s incredibly sad news,” Dyche said. “He’s a good man. He was very open with me.
“He gave me my chance, along with the owner at Watford, Laurence Bassini.
“The mark of him, for me, was standing away from that situation and allowing me as a young manager to actually go and learn without getting involved.
— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) January 12, 2017
“It would have been very easy for a man of his experience to go and get involved and try and help me with what I was learning.
“But he insisted on staying away, as long as I kept him involved with phone calls and the odd time he would watch a game and give a bit of feedback. And that was it.
“When you have done what he’s done in the game and to have the strength to do that, I had so much respect for that and how he allowed me to work.
“Words can’t really tell you how deep that goes. I couldn’t be more devastated for someone to go so early.
“As a young manager, I was a novice really and he let me get on with it, and for that I’ll forever be in his debt.”
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