Graham Taylor dies
LONDON. - Former England soccer team manager Graham Taylor died yesterday at the age of 72 after suffering a suspected heart attack.
Taylor made his name as the mastermind behind Watford’s rise to the English top-flight in the 1980s and also enjoyed a successful spell as Aston Villa boss before spending three years as England manager.
“With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack,” a statement from the Taylor family read.
“The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss.”
Leading Watford and then Aston Villa to the runners-up spot in the old First Division established Taylor as one of the brightest managerial minds of his generation.
Taylor appeared to have landed his dream job when he took over as England boss in 1990, but his ill-fated reign ended when he resigned in 1993 after the team failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup.
That difficult period, which saw Taylor harshly lampooned by tabloid newspapers, couldn’t detract from the respect he was held in across the football world.
The news of his death drew a shocked reaction as stars paid tribute to one of the English game’s most memorable characters.
“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,” former England captain Alan Shearer tweeted. - AFP