A London Midland Class 350 train.(London Midland Image)
London Midland will be honouring Graham Taylor OBE, by naming one of its newest trains after the former England Manager.
In recognition of a man who made such a lasting mark on the sport across the country, the train operator will be holding an unveiling ceremony at Watford Junction station on June 2. The Class 350 train will remain named ‘Graham Taylor OBE’ for the rest of its working life.
The train will pass through stations serving many places associated with Graham’s long career including:
Watford Junction – Watford
Aston – Aston Villa
Wolverhampton – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wembley Central – England
Lichfield Trent Valley – For St George’s Park (England’s training ground)
The ceremony, being held on Platform 10 of Watford Junction station, will include short speeches and music performed by a string quartet. After the ceremony, signed football memorabilia used in the unveiling will be auctioned for charity. The proceeds from the auction will go to the Troy Deeney Foundation, which supports Garston Manor School, a specialist school for autism, learning difficulties and speech and language. Representatives from all of Graham’s former clubs have been invited to the train naming.
Steve Helfet, head of West Coast services at London Midland, said:
“Graham played such an influential role at football clubs across the length and breadth of the country, not least here in Watford. We wanted to do something special for the local community and dedicate one of our trains to his memory.
“The train will be fitted with a commemorative name plate and will be running past many of the locations that were so important in Graham’s career, both on the West Coast main line and in the West Midlands.
“We hope that passengers travelling on this train in the future will take a few moments to remember Graham, a true football hero.”
Scott Duxbury, chairman at Watford Football Club, said:
“London Midland’s respectful suggestion about Graham was put to his family for approval and we’re delighted they accepted this offer.
“Alongside other planned tributes, this gesture is a mark of just how widely Graham’s work and warm personality were appreciated across our town.”
The ceremony on will take place on platform 10 at Watford Junction station on Friday 2nd June.
Guests for the unveiling are invited to arrive at 11:30a.m., with the ceremony commencing at 12 noon. Capacity on the platform is limited and members of the public who are not invited guests may be refused access to the platform in the event that numbers in attendance exceed safe limits.