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Watford captain says Elton John gave players 'solidifying' speech
Sunday, January 4 2009

Watford captain Jay DeMerit says Elton John’s show of support for the Hornets’ new regime is something everyone at Vicarage Road “wanted” after the club’s most famous fan gave an uplifting speech to the players on January 2, 2009.

The Golden Boys former chairman gave up his title as honorary life president in November 2008 after becoming increasingly frustrated with the way the club was being run by former chairman Graham Simpson and chief executive Mark Ashton. But on January 2, 2009 he flew into Watford’s London Colney training ground in a helicopter to meet the staff and players.

At the end of his visit he gave a speech to the players explaining the reasons behind him ending his formal affiliation with the club and how he expects the Hornets to have a bright future under new manager Brendan Rodgers. The Northern Irishman and Elton have been speaking to each other on the phone in recent weeks and although Elton has not reclaimed his title as honorary life president, it is believed he may do so in the near future.

Speaking after the victory over Scunthorpe on January 3, 2009, DeMerit said: “He (Elton John) is an integral part of what this club is all about and I think to see him leave was a shock to everyone but to see him come back is something he wanted, the fans wanted, the board wanted and everyone else wanted. To have him back is great not only because him just being who he is, and being a fan of the club, brings a bit of notoriety to Watford Football Club and that is a positive thing in itself and to have him be able to do whatever he can do to help, which he has always been able to do. To always have him on your side is something that you want and thankfully now he is back on our side and we can hopefully move forward.”

On Elton John’s speech to the players, the American said: “He (Elton John) was just solidifying what the board and everyone else has been saying, that we are not here to try and make this season more difficult than it already has been, I think we are here to come together and make sure the club are going in the right direction and he solidified that point himself and he said ‘I’m here now and I’m going to try and help out as much as I can’. Obviously he is a busy man and we all know that but you do look to him to hopefully add more support if needed and that was his message to us.”

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