Letters sent by Graham Taylor to a Chester FC fan more than 40 years ago show why he meant so much to so many.
The former England manager graciously replied to the supporter who contacted him after his Lincoln City side lost out on promotion to Chester by the narrowest of margins.
Blues fan Robbie Clegg, 62, of Saughall, shared the letters after Mr Taylor’s death aged 72 on Thursday (January 12).
There has been an outpouring of warm tributes following his sad passing.
Robbie, who has been the football club's PA announcer on matchdays since the team played at Sealand Road, said: “I’ve kept the letters all this time, more than 40 years, and it fits with everything I’ve read about him.
“It’s incredible the amount of people who have speaking well of him.”
Mr Taylor was in his first managerial job with Lincoln City as they battled with Chester for promotion from the Fourth Division in the 1974/75 season.
The Imps needed a win in their final match against Southport to go up at Chester’s expense.
A number of Blues fans, including a 20-year-old Robbie, travelled to the game and came back elated as Lincoln lost 3-2.
The result handed Chester their first ever promotion on goal average – a method no longer used to separate teams that finish level on points.
Robbie, who has supported the Blues for more than 50 years, said: “It was utter relief for us, it was amazing.
“Once the elation was gone I realised what it must’ve been horrible for Lincoln City so I wrote to them.”
The club announcer added ‘to his surprise’ he got a reply from the future England boss himself, who thanked him for his ‘kind comments’.
Lincoln would go on to seal their promotion the following season and join Chester in the Third Division, so Robbie took out his pen once more to congratulate them.
This time he received a hand-written reply from the manager.
Mr Taylor even asked to meet Robbie when Lincoln played at Chester ‘a year late’.
Robbie said: “It was his first job at Lincoln and he was a pretty innovative manager.
“Spur of the moment at the Sealand Road game, he invited me on to their bus for a chat.
“I just thought what a genuine guy he was and that was only his first job in management. He went on to achieve so much since then.
“I remember him saying your club is very special and to never lose your faith in it.”
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