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Graham Taylor dies aged 72

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Former England manager Graham Taylor has sadly passed away at the age of 72.

A family statement said: “With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning with an unexpected heart attack. The family are devastated with this sudden and heart breaking news and loss.”

Taylor celebrating with Watford

Football games across the country this weekend saw fans showing their respects for the football legend by a minute round of applause. Tributes came flooding in at Watford, Aston Villa and Wolves, where he managed the most. Lincoln City also paid tribute as Taylor won the Fourth Division title with the Imps in 1976, before moving to Watford the following season.

Graham was dubbed ‘Turnip Taylor’ after his World Cup qualifying mess up

Taylor’s achievements with Watford were remarkable. After taking charge in 1977, he led the club from the Fourth Division to the top tier. He also famously took the Hornets all the way to the 1984 F.A. Cup Final, where his side were beaten easily by Everton at Wembley but the fact he got Watford to final was enough to cement his growing reputation.

Taylor’s career hit a high when he was appointed the national team England manager in 1990. This didn’t last long as he resigned in 1993 after he failed to steer England to qualification for the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Key absentees and unfortunate refereeing decisions certainly played their part but Taylor never got the best from his most talented players and later admitted the job came too soon in his amazing coaching career. Unfortunately, Graham Taylor received quite a lot of criticism from the tabloid press for this national slip up.

In recent years, he was a pundit for the BBC and BT Sport. One of his fellow commentators, Alan Shearer paid tribute on twitter tweeting: “Completely shocked by news of Graham Taylor. Always held him in the very highest regard – the man who gave me my first England cap. So sad.”

Charlie, Year 6 

Heighington Millfield Primary Academy