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Former England manager Graham Taylor dead at 72

14 January 2017

Former England manager Graham Taylor has died, aged 72.

Taylor led Watford and then Aston Villa to the runners-up spot in the old First Division, establishing himself as one of the brightest managerial minds of his generation.

Graham Taylor might be best remembered by some for his doomed spell as England manager in the 1990s, but his troubles on the global stage could never overshadow everything he achieved with Watford.

After his controversial appointment in 1990, Taylor took England to the 1992 European Championships in Sweden but saw his side exit at the group stage having failed to beat the hosts, Denmark or France in their three games.

Tonight he spoke to Off The Ball about Taylor and paid tribute to his former manager, who he described as a genuine and honest man, who he also worked with as a member of his backroom coaching staff in the 1990s.

It was at Watford, under the chairmanship of pop star Elton John, that Taylor made his name as he guided the unfashionable club from the fourth division of English football to the top flight in five years. Credit: PA Taylor, seen with BBC commentator Alan Green, became a familiar voice on radio commentaries following his retirement.

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Its executive chairman Richard Scudamore said Taylor's "insight, wit and self-deprecating humour" would be missed.

"It would have been very easy for a man of his experience to go and get involved and try and help me with what I was learning". "I was surprised, absolutely surprised". Over time, of course people about the England thing, but beyond that, a feeling of people goes out and someone like Graham, when you meet him, you go, what a fella he is.

Born in Worksop in Nottinghamshire, he was the son of a journalist and rose to prominence in the game as a manager after retiring as a player with Lincoln City in 1972.

Ex-Newcastle, Blackburn and Southampton striker Alan Shearer, who scored 30 goals in 63 appearances for England, was handed his worldwide debut by Taylor in 1992. I love you Graham.

Although Norway under Egil Olsen made a great success of direct play at worldwide level - ironically inflicting one of Taylor's worst defeats in Oslo - it is fair to say many England players did not enjoy it. When I played under him at Aston Villa he taught me so much. "Our thoughts are with his family".

Former England manager Graham Taylor dead at 72