LONDON: Graham Taylor, a former England coach who was labelled a “turnip” by the tabloids for failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, has died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 72, his family announced on Thursday.
“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.”
Taylor, who had a playing career with Grimsby Town and Lincoln City, 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 reaching the pinnacle of English management when he was hired by the national team in 1990.
England qualified for the 1992 European Championship, but were eliminated in first stage. But the failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States was a blot on Taylor’s earlier accomplishments.
Taylor guided Watford from the fourth division to the first division, an FA Cup final and European competition in five years from 1978. He then took over at Aston Villa, guiding the team to promotion to the top-flight and a second-place finish in 1990.
After further spells as manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Watford for a second time and Aston Villa, he made a successful career in the media and became a much loved figure within the game following the ridicule he had occasionally faced as England boss.
Courtesy : Dawn News