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Ex-Watford boss Taylor in Queen's Awards

Tuesday 1 January 2002 @ 14:18 - GMT

Former Watford Manager Graham Taylor has been awarded the OBE in the Queen's New Years Honours list.

Taylor said he was "very honoured" with his OBE for services to football.

Taylor said his appointment asEngland manager in the 1990s was the highlight of his long career and distinguished career.

"Whatever people might say, when you become England manager, that has to be the highlight of my career. There have only been about 10 England managers, so when you accept the job, it is a very, very proud moment."

He added: "I'm very honoured by this award, and like a lot of people, probably very surprised as well. I'm very pleased and I know how much it means to me and my family - my parents, my wife and my daughters. We knew about it when we got a letter in early November, and now they'll let me know within five months when I'll be presented with it."

Taylor is still held in high regard at all four clubs where he was manager - a fact he attributes to his openness with the fans and the media.

He said: "At the clubs I've been at - Lincoln, Watford, (Aston) Villa and Wolves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) - I've been fortunate that I've had a good relationship with the supporters and they thought I was okay.

"I am a big believer in getting fans involved in their team, and also that a team represents its town or city. I've always tried to be touchable and contactable, although in the game today, managers don't seem to be so accessible."

Taylor also said the Hornets' charge through the divisions was one of his favourite memories.

"At Watford, to go from Division Four to the First Division, the FA Cup final and Europe in five years was also a real highlight.

"And when I was at Lincoln, the 1975-76 team still holds the record for the number of points gained when it was two points for a win."

Taylor, now a director at Aston Villa added: "I miss the dressing room banter, but I chose to retire - and in my profession you don't always have that chance because you get booted out.

"I've been very busy since the summer, so I've not really had a chance to miss it much."