Sean Dyche has paid tribute to Graham Taylor for helping launch his managerial career following the death of the former England boss at the age of 72.
Taylor – who led England between 1990-93 – also enjoyed a successful club managerial career with Lincoln City, Watford, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He had two spells in charge of both Watford and Aston Villa and was a club legend at Watford, leading them from the Fourth Division to a second-placed finish in the top flight in 1983 during his first stint at Vicarage Road.
On his return to the club, Taylor again led Watford to two promotions to reach the Premier League in 1999 before leaving in 2001 following a final game of the season against Burnley at Turf Moor.
Taylor, who played as a defender for Grimsby and Lincoln, always retained a close affinity with Watford and, after becoming chairman of the club in 2009, was largely responsible for giving Dyche his first job in management.
“It’s incredibly sad news,” said the Burnley boss, a former Watford defender who rose through the coaching ranks at Vicarage Road before becoming manager in June, 2011.
“He’s a good man. He was very open with me.
Graham Taylor was presented with a memento by Burnley to mark his last game as Watford manager
“He gave my chance, along with the owner at Watford, Laurence Bassini.
“The mark of him, for me, was standing away from that situation and allowing me as a young manager to actually go and learn without getting involved.”
Dyche, who stayed in touch with Taylor after his own departure from Watford and appointment by the Clarets in October, 2012, added: “It would have been very easy for a man of his experience to go and get involved and try and help me with what I was learning.
“But he insisted on staying away, as long as I kept him involved with phone calls and the odd time he would watch a game and give a bit of feedback. And that was it.
“When you have done what he’s done in the game and to have the strength to do that, I had so much respect for that and how he allowed me to work.
Sean Dyche led Watford to an 11th-place finish in the Championship
“Words can’t really tell you how deep that goes. I couldn’t be more devastated for someone to go so early.
“As a young manager, I was a novice really and he let me get on with it, and for that I’ll forever be in his debt.”
Burnley, along with all other clubs, will stage a period of silence as a mark of respect for Taylor before Saturday’s game against Southampton.
At Turf Moor, it will be incorporated into the annual in memoriam silence being observed for the members of the wider Burnley FC family who died during 2016.