Football mourns former England manager Graham Taylor

Former England manager, Graham Taylor is dead.

Northern Ireland legend Gerry Armstrong paid a heartfelt tribute to his revered former club boss Graham Taylor following the sudden death yesterday of the ex-England manager from a suspected heart attack, aged 72.

Taylor took charge at Villa following their relegation from the First Division in 1987 and restored them to the top flight at the first attempt.

After a decade in charge at Vicarage Road, Taylor then moved on to Aston Villa, promoting the club in his first attempt and achieving another second-placed First Division finish, before taking the England job.

The FA also wrote on the site: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former @England manager Graham Taylor".

Broadcast by Channel 4 in 1994 after England had been knocked out of their World Cup qualifying group, it had graphic footage of him, after Holland's Ronald Koeman was allowed to stay on the pitch following a blatant professional foul, telling the linesman in remarkably controlled fashion: "You know we've been cheated don't you?"

Taylor's achievements at Villa was instrumental in securing him the England position but his England stint ended in disappointment after the team failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup.

Radio 5 live football correspondent John Murray worked with Graham Taylor for many years.

Football is to pay tribute to Graham Taylor at fixtures that will take place this weekend. He started as a very young man of 28, having suffered a career-ending injury as a player. I was so nervous with a new manager coming in and my future up in the air.

As a match summariser, I knew that if the game wasn't very good and nothing was happening, Graham was someone you could go off at tangents with, because he had such a wide field of interests. I remember seeing him at Villa and they absolutely loved him - the people who are still there, the office people, you can't build that without respect. He was very open with me.

He was a defender for Grimsby and Lincoln City before becoming a manager when he took over the latter in 1972. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius. "My thoughts go out to his family", he said in a statement released to Press Association Sport.

Upon returning to club management after an unsuccessful spell with Wolves, he guided Watford to back-to-back promotions and into the Premier League, from which they were relegated the following season.

  • Angelo Rivera