48 Facts About Graham Taylor


Graham Taylor was an English football player, manager, pundit and chairman of Watford Football Club.


Graham Taylor was the manager of the England national football team from 1990 to 1993, and managed Lincoln City, Watford, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.


The son of a sports journalist who worked on the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, Graham Taylor found his love of football in the stands of the Old Show Ground watching Scunthorpe United.


Graham Taylor became a professional player, playing at full back for Grimsby Town and Lincoln City.


Graham Taylor won the Fourth Division title with Lincoln in 1976, before moving to Watford in 1977.


Graham Taylor took Watford from the Fourth Division to the First in five years.


Graham Taylor resigned in November 1993, after the team failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States.

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Graham Taylor faced heavy criticism from fans and media during his tenure as England manager and earned additional public interest and scrutiny when a television documentary, An Impossible Job, which he had permitted to film the failed campaign from behind the scenes, aired in 1994.


Graham Taylor returned to club management in March 1994 with Wolverhampton Wanderers.


Graham Taylor served as Watford's chairman from 2009 until 2012, after which he held the position of honorary life-president.


Graham Taylor worked as a pundit for BBC Radio Five Live.


Graham Taylor played for the England Grammar Schools football team, and joined the sixth-form after passing six-O-levels in 1961, but he left after one year to pursue a full-time career in football.


Graham Taylor's playing career began with as an apprentice for Scunthorpe United.


Graham Taylor played 189 games at fullback for Grimsby Town, scoring twice.


Graham Taylor was the only manager to have twice led teams that amassed over 70 points in one Football League season under the League's original scoring system of two points for a win and one point for a draw.


Graham Taylor achieved this with Lincoln City and Watford.


Graham Taylor was the youngest person to become an FA coach, at the age of 27.


Graham Taylor led Lincoln to the Fourth Division title in 1976; his team's 32 wins, 4 defeats and 74 points were all league records.


In June 1977, Graham Taylor was hired to manage Watford by new owner Elton John.


Graham Taylor turned down an approach from First Division West Bromwich Albion in favour of the Hertfordshire-based club, then competing in the Fourth Division, surprising pundits and supporters alike.


Graham Taylor led Watford from the Fourth Division to the First Division in only five years.


In May 1987, Graham Taylor left Watford for a new challenge at Aston Villa, who had just been relegated from the First Division.


Graham Taylor's critics noted although he had ditched the long-ball game at Aston Villa, there were still tactical worries about his intentions, given that English clubs were looking to dispense with "route one" football in favour of a more "picturesque route to goal".


The number of players that Graham Taylor was using in the run up to the championship was questioned, the press and public viewed this as evidence Graham Taylor did not know his best team.


Graham Taylor used 59 players in total, as he struggled to find a "new spine" after the retirement of Peter Shilton, Terry Butcher and Bryan Robson.

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Graham Taylor faced accusations he could not cope with "stars", after he dropped Paul Gascoigne for Gordon Cowans for a qualifying game against Ireland.


Graham Taylor suffered several injuries, notably to Gary Stevens, Lee Dixon, John Barnes and Paul Gascoigne, leaving the squad in a makeshift position going into the finals.


Graham Taylor made wholesale changes of personnel and tactics, which again drew criticism, his actions considered risky in what was now a crucial game.


Graham Taylor's first shot was blocked, but it was ordered to be retaken because of encroachment.


Graham Taylor resigned on 23 November 1993, six days after England's failure to qualify.


Graham Taylor spent heavily on players while at Wolves, paying large sums for the likes of Steve Froggatt, Tony Daley, Mark Atkins, John de Wolf, Dean Richards and Don Goodman.


Graham Taylor called his Wolves' departure his "lowest ebb" in football - greater than even his Lancaster Gate exit - because he felt he had "lost his standing" in the game of football.


Just over a year later Graham Taylor had appointed himself as the club's manager succeeding Kenny Jackett, who was relegated to a coaching capacity at the club.


Graham Taylor later stated that the role of General Manager had "bored me stiff".


Graham Taylor won the Division Two championship at his first attempt in 1998.


Graham Taylor missed two months of the season as in November 1998 he was taken to hospital with a life-threatening abscess that blocked his windpipe and almost killed him.


Graham Taylor subsequently cited tensions in his relationship with the club's chairman Doug Ellis and argued for an overhaul of the club's upper management to allow the club to be more competitive.


In 2003, Graham Taylor became vice-president at Division Three club Scunthorpe United, his hometown club.


Graham Taylor returned to Watford on 23 January 2009, being appointed to the new board as a non-executive director and was appointed interim chairman on 16 December 2009.


Graham Taylor announced his resignation from his position as chairman on 30 May 2012.


Graham Taylor retained the position of honorary life president of the club until his death in 2017.


In 2014, Watford renamed the Rous Stand the Graham Taylor Stand to honour his achievements in two spells at the club.


Graham Taylor was a supporter of Sense-National Deafblind and Rubella Association and a Patron of DebRa.


Graham Taylor was a Celebrity Ambassador for the Sense Enterprise Board in Birmingham, and worked to raise both funds and awareness, including running the London Marathon in 2004.


Graham Taylor regularly hosted moderated "online coaching seminars" on the DALnet channel.

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Graham Taylor supported the Royal British Legion and cycled from London to Paris in 2010 to raise funds for the RBL's Poppy appeal.


Graham Taylor first met Rita Cowling when he was thirteen, and married her in 1965.


Graham Taylor died of a heart attack on the morning of 12 January 2017.