The pair became great friends after Elton became chairman of his beloved Watford F.C. and hired Graham as the club's head coach

Although the Rocket Man singer, 69 was not present at the soccer boss's funeral at St Mary's Church in Watford, England, he sent a heartfelt message detailing their friendship.

According to the Watford Observer, the tribute, which was read out by sports commentator John Motson, described Graham as being, "like a brother," to Elton and explained that his influence on his life was as great as his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.

After teaming up as chairman and manager at Watford in 1977, Elton and Graham led the club to the greatest period of success in their history, finishing second in England's top division in 1983 and reaching the 1984 FA Cup Final.

Elton revealed that his friend, who passed away at the age of 72 last month (Jan17), also influenced his personal life by helping him through his substance abuse problems.

"He sat me down and gave me a lecture on my substance abuse, he said I was letting myself and the club down," John said on Elton's behalf. "What words they were to hear from someone you love. But to love someone you have to be honest and open with them and he was the most honest and open of them all.

"His lecture to me one day shook me to my core. He told me how foolish I was and how I was letting myself - and more importantly the club - down. As you can imagine, those words rang so true and I will never forget them."

Outlining their relationship as being like that of "Batman and Robin", the message added that their friendship had been "cast in stone".

After departing Watford in 1987, Graham went on to manage Aston Villa, England, and Wolverhampton Wanderers, before rejoining Elton at Watford in 1996.

His funeral was attended by some of English football's biggest names, with legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsenal supremo Arsene Wenger, and ex-Watford and England stars John Barnes and Luther Blissett all paying their respects.