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RIP Graham Taylor (1944-2017)

RIP Graham Taylor (1944-2017)

Thursday saw the sad news former Lincoln, Watford, Aston Villa, Wolves and of course England manager Graham Taylor had passed away at the age of 72 from a suspected heart attack.

A statement - quoted by the BBC - from his family released on Thursday read.

'With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack. The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss.'

Having enjoyed success at Lincoln - where Taylor had also been a player - he become the manager at Sincil Bank in 1972 and went on to guide the Imps to the Fourth Division title in 1976.

Taylor's first spell with Watford began in 1977 with him taking the Hornets from the Fourth Division to Division One with them runners up in the topflight to Liverpool in 1983. They were also beaten into a runners up position by the other half of Merseyside - Everton - in the 1984 FA Cup final.

Aston Villa appointed him in 1987 before he became England manager in 1990 - succeeding Sir Bobby Robson after Italia 90 - but his three year spell with the national side didn't go very well.

England didn't make it out of the group stages at Euro 92 in Sweden - the competition where he 'retired' Gary Lineker bringing on Arsenal's Alan Smith as we chased a goal - with his Three Lions spell ending with him resigning in 1993 as we failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

Who will ever forget that 'do I not like orange' Yellow Pages advert in reference to the infamous defeat against the Dutch when Ronald Koeman amazingly avoided a sending off to then score a freekick in a Holland win.

He went back into club management to spend the 1994-95 season in charge of Wolves but left Molineux at the end of that campaign before returning to Watford in 1996.

During this second spell at Vicarage Road Taylor won the Division Two title in 1998 and guided the Hornets to a the Division One play-off final in 1999 and a place in the Premier League.

Taylor's second spell at Watford ended in 2001 - he had retained close ties with the Hornets though - with his final position in football management taking him back to Villa Park in 2002 with him retiring at the end of the 2002-03 season.

I'll never forget his shouts of 'Carlton, Carlton, Carlton' from the An Impossible Job documentary released after England's failure to make it to the 1994 World Cup. Another classic moment from that came when he approached one of the officials and said 'the referee's just got me the sack' when referring to that Koeman decision.

There's no denying the fact his managerial career with England was unsuccessful - he didn't deserve the level of abuse he got from the media though - but what an impact he had on the English game with his achievements at Watford quite remarkable.

A devastating loss for his family - our thoughts are with them - and indeed the footballing community.

RIP Graham Taylor (1944-2017)

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Date:Thursday January 12 2017
Time: 5:16PM

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