I was in awe of Graham Taylor when I first met him.
I was 11 years of age and with my father, Dennis Gibbs – who back then, in 1977, was asked to join Watford as a youth coach and scout.
From the age of 12, I then began training at the club in the evenings as a schoolboy, and occasionally saw the boss during school holidays. I was also watching Watford from the terraces.
I was later very fortunate to be offered an apprenticeship by him. He made you feel welcome, he was warm. Even when he had come from Lincoln to Watford and they were in the Fourth Division, he had an aura about him. He then achieved promotion in his first year, 1977/78 – he built a really good team spirit, and made the team very organised so that everyone knew their jobs.
There was always a lot of physical work under the boss. A lot of running, and a lot of football work – getting everyone as fit as possible. His thing was being professional. Whether it was a warm-up, a gym session, a running session or a football session, you had to do it to your maximum. That was how he described being a professional – attention to detail.
He also knew the right way to speak to you at that particular time – whether that was to give you a rocket or to encourage you and offer an arm around the shoulder and a wink or a smile. That was his way. He had a good sense of humour, but you knew he was the boss – he ran the football club.