Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Graham Taylor (born September 15 1944, Worksop, Nottinghamshire) is a football manager and a former player. His most recent job has been manager of Aston Villa, who he left at the end of the 2003 season, he has most notably been the manager of the England national football team.
His playing career began with Grimsby Town FC in 1962 for whom he went on to play 189 games at fullback, scoring twice. He was transferred to Lincoln City in the summer of 1968, he scored 1 goal in 150 appearances. Taylor was forced to retire from playing following a serious hip injury in 1972.
Taylor was the youngest person to become an FA coach, at the age of 21. Following his retirement from playing, Taylor became manager of Lincoln City, he was the youngest manager in the league at the age of 28. Taylor led Lincoln to the Division Four title in 1976, during which the Imps set the league records for most wins (32), least defeats (4), and most points (74) (when 2 points were awarded for a win).
In 1977 Taylor was hired to manage Watford by new owner Elton John. Taylor led Watford from Division Four to Division One in only five years. He even took the side to the third round of the UEFA Cup, having finished second in Division One in 1983. Taylor also led Watford to the 1984 FA Cup final, which Watford lost to Everton 2-0.
In 1987 Taylor left Watford for a new challenge: the newly relegated Aston Villa. Taylor managed to take Aston Villa back to the top flight with his first attempt. During his third season at the club Villa finished runners-up in the first division. Following this success Taylor took over the England national football team from Bobby Robson, who left the job after England's world cup semi-final defeat to Germany.
Taylor took England to the Euro 92, where England played poorly. In England's last game of the tournament, a 2-1 defeat to the hosts, Sweden, Taylor substituted Gary Lineker in his final game for England. By doing this he prevented Lineker from equalling, or even breaking, Bobby Charlton's record of 49 goals for England. This led to a media vilification of Taylor, including the infamous "turnip" campaign by the Sun. Taylor left the job in November 1993, within days of England's failure to qualify for the 1994 world cup in the USA.
Sir Jack Hayward appointed Taylor as manager of Wolves in April 1994. However Taylor failed to gain promotion with the ambitious club, and he was fired in December 1995. In the summer of 1996 Elton John, who had recently bought Watford for a second time, appointed Taylor as General Manager at Vicarage Road. A year later Taylor had appointed himself as the club's manager, he won the Division Two championship at his first attempt. The following season Taylor won promotion to the Premier league, where Watford were relegated after one season. Watford finished 9th in Division One at the end of the 2000 season, at this point Taylor decided to retire. During this final season Taylor had become only the third manager to manage 1000 league games in England, after Brian Clough and Jim Smith.
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