Sir Elton John has said he’s “so proud” of Watford FC after the club secured promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
The Hornets bounced straight back to the top flight finishing second in the Championship in the 2020/21 season.
To mark the end of the campaign, Sir Elton was at Vicarage Road on Saturday to reveal the Hornets’ Player of the Year before kick-off on Saturday (May 8).
Ismaïla Sarr was awarded the honour, as well as Players’ Player of the Season, after finishing as the club’s top scorer in their promotion-winning season.
Sir Elton read a message in French while announcing the news, telling the Senegalese striker: “It’s a great honour for me to present this honour to you, every time I watch you play, you make me smile except when you miss.”
The iconic songwriter also spoke to Watford FC’s in-house media to explain what the football club and town still means to him.
Sir Elton, from nearby Pinner, became club chairman in 1976 and has had a number of different roles in the past 40 years, and has a stand named after him at the ground.
In a live-streamed End of Season Award Shows, he said: “To go down last year – we didn’t really deserve to go down – we had a bit of an unlucky run, but to come straight back up in this division I think is really very hard.
“It’s a different ball game the Championship compared to the Premier League.
“Xisco [Munoz] came in and changed the formation and the way we played and the players have been magnificent, our home form which is usually our weak point has been tremendous and they say Covid hasn’t been the same because we don’t have crowds, but players have pulled themselves together and I think they’ve done magnificently.
“It’s a nightmare watching the results every week because there’s some good teams as everyone knows in this division everyone wants to get out of this division and get back to the Premier League.”
The legendary musician was asked if he’d been able to catch games while they have been taking place behind closed doors.
Sir Elton said: “I have, mid-week and Saturdays I dread it… It’s in my heart, in my soul you can’t get rid of it. My passion for this club will never die, I’m so proud of this club this season, it’s an amazing achievement.
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“I’m delighted, I’m so happy.”
The promotion also gave the former chairman a chance to reflect on how far the club has come in the last 40 years.
He said: “It’s a whole different club. This is a proper premiership club. I remember the old dressing rooms and the greyhound track.
“The Pozzos have done an incredible job and Scott’s been amazing. I talk to him at least two or three times a week, which he probably hates, especially when we lose.
“When I first came in here as vice president, and we had the two stands and the dog track, to see us now. We took it on an amazing journey, we’ve never gone down from the Championship, we’ve always been in the Premier League or the Championship and I’m so proud of that, considering where we came from, what this club was, what it means to the community, how we’ve done that, and that was Graham [Taylor]’s passion.
“We carried the on during Covid with the hospital next door. It’s been an amazing trip.”