As we wait another Villa fan approaches, shakes my hand; “Nice day for it mate. He’s up there, smiling down on us”. Off the pitch, at any rate, and whatever the unfortunate dilution of the tribute by virtue of the necessary shifting of the game to the West Midlands and running a second GT game next week, off the pitch this is a friendly game in every respect.
As soon as the teams emerged from the tunnel, they lined up and there was a minute’s applause for GT with both sets of fans singing “There’s only one Graham Taylor” at the tops of their voices. It was very moving.
Chances came and went, one such resulting in a penalty claim for a handball that Troy in particular seemed utterly convinced by and protested at length to the official in a manner that confirmed that “not quite at full pelt – it’s only a friendly after all”, in Troy’s case, means mere utter commitment rather than demonic possession.
The cost of parking at the grammar school has gone up to £8. Welcome to the Premier League, boys and girls. Not the only change this… the season’s first rogue vendor is spotted on Vicarage Road selling split Watford / Sevilla scarves (where does his excess stock go, you have to ask yourself) whilst evidence of the ongoing work at the stadium itself is immediately evident, construction vehicles standing guard on the open corner between the Vicarage Road and Elton John stands.