ROCK superstar Elton John enthralled thousands of Watford fans who packed into Vicarage Road Stadium last night, with a thrilling and energetic performance.
Sir Elton, Watford Football Club's life president, gave a comprehensive repertoire of his best known songs in a concert to help the club he has loved since boyhood buy players.
The crowd, most displaying their loyalty by dressing in yellow, roared their approval as he unbuttoned his black and yellow spangled jacket to reveal a club shirt underneath.
Taking his place at a Yamaha grand piano at 8.20pm, the singer set a frenetic pace from the start with two Seventies songs, Love Lies Bleeding and Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting, and within minutes delighted fans were dancing between aisles of seats on the pitch.
Even those perched in the Upper Rouse stand swayed to the wistful ballad Daniel, while the soulful power of Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me inspired thousands to sing along.
He told them : "I live and breathe this club.
"I can't come here as often as I would like, but when I am abroad I am always on the phone to Graham or Malky asking about results."
He expressed full support for manager Malky Mackay and chairman Graham Taylor, asking fans to be patient for on-field success, and dedicating Sorry Seems To Be Hardest Word to the former.
A jazzy solo on Rocket Man, and the tricky rhythm of Benny and the Jets, showcased his piano skills, with accomplished backing from a five-man backing group, including two veterans from his mid- Seventies heyday, guitarist Davey Johnstone and drummer Nigel Olsson.
The stage erected in front of the East Stand was flanked by screens, while film and animation clips were projected behind the performers.
During the much loved ballad Candle In The Wind, film clips reminded the audience of its dedication to Marilyn Monroe years before anyone has heard of Diana Spencer.
After later hits such as Sacrifice, the mid tempo Sad Songs and I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, the evening climaxed with rocky versions of I'm Still Standing and Crocodile Rock, the now delirious crowd providing the la-la-la chorus.
One of Sir Elton's earliest hits, the enduringly touching Your Song, provided an encore, before thousands of very happy Watford fans began to file out at 10.30pm.
Damian Brooks told the Watford Observer: "It was amazing - one of the best concerts I have ever seen.
"Even better than the music was the way Elton talked to the crowd.
"He had a way of really connecting."
Another fan, Paul West, said: "It was a fantastic performance. For me, the highlight was Rocket Man."