A statue of Graham Taylor has been boarded up ahead of Watford's clash with Luton at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Contractors have been outside the club shop this morning and a protective hoarding has been placed around the statue of the Watford legend.

Saturday's game between the Hornets and fierce rivals Luton is the first meeting in 14 years and even though there will be no fans and it will not be on TV or in pubs, precautionary measures are being put in place across the town in case there is trouble.

Police have confirmed there will be extra officers at train stations and in the town centre and even requested the match be a lunchtime kick-off to deter people from travelling into Watford.

The boarding up of Mr Taylor's statue is the latest example of precautions being taken.

Harrow Times:

Workmen outside Vicarage Road this morning

Harrow Times:

Protective hoarding is put around the statue of Watford's former manager

The statue sits proudly in Vicarage Road, unveiled by Watford's greatest ever manager's widow, Rita, in August 2018.

Watford FC has been approached for a comment on the reasons behind the decision to board up the statue.

The club did release a statement yesterday saying it supported action being taken by Hertfordshire Constabulary.

A statement read: "The Hornets will host Luton Town this Saturday lunchtime at Vicarage Road Stadium (12.30pm kick-off), in a behind-closed-doors Sky Bet Championship fixture.

"Watford FC is fully co-operating with all relevant authorities, including Hertfordshire Constabulary, to ensure the fixture passes safely and securely.

"Supporters of both clubs are encouraged to watch the game by purchasing a match pass or subscription to their relevant broadcasting service (Hive Live / iFollow), and enjoy the game from their home."

Harrow Times:

Harrow Times:

The statue of Graham Taylor was unveiled in 2018. Credit: Action Images

Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls said: "I want to reassure our local communities that we are working closely with our colleagues in Bedfordshire, Watford Borough Council and the respective football clubs to limit anti-social behaviour and disorder.

"We will have a high-visibility police presence at train stations and in city centres across Hertfordshire to make sure the match goes ahead peacefully as planned.

"I would like to remind supporters of both teams of the new Government rules of the ‘rule of six’ – no more than six people can meet in a group indoors or outdoors.

"Anyone who comes into Hertfordshire to cause criminal damage, violence or anti-social behaviour can expect to be arrested.

"If you have any information about supporters who intend to cause disruption, please report online at herts.police.uk/Report/ or call 101 in confidence."