A train named after the late Graham Taylor OBE has made its maiden trip from Watford Junction to Euston.
In a ceremony at Watford Junction, the new name plaque was unveiled by Graham’s widow, Rita Taylor. The newly-named train is a London Midland Class 350 and will remain named ‘Graham Taylor OBE’ for the remainder of its working life.
The naming was organised through collaboration between London Midland and Watford F.C., and was attended by representatives from Graham’s former clubs, including Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Graham’s family supported the event, with his widow Rita unveiling the plaque on the new train. After speeches from Watford F.C., London Midland and others, an online auction of signed sporting memorabilia began, which will run for 10 days.
These items include signed shirts from Watford F.C., Wolves and Aston Villa, all with Certificates of Authenticity. Also being auctioned is a signed framed photograph of Troy Deeney and a smaller presentation version of the name plate.
The proceeds raised from the sale will be donated to the Troy Deeney Foundation, which supports Garston Manor School, a specialist school for autism, learning difficulties and speech and language.
Steve Helfet, head of West Coast Services at London Midland, said: “We had a fantastic turnout today and it was humbling to see so many people wanting to pay tribute to Graham. The collaboration between his family and former clubs has really made the event one to remember.
“Graham made a huge mark on English football and it seems fitting that we dedicate one of our newest trains to his memory. London Midland’s network covers many of Graham’s former clubs in the South and in the West Midlands and we hope that passengers will take a moment to think of Graham when they travel on this train in future.”
If you would like to bid on any of the items in the online auction, they can be found on eBay by searching for ‘GT Train Naming’.
Picture courtesy of Pearl Comms
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