Peter Taylor (footballer, born 1953)

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Peter Taylor
Peter Taylor 2011.jpg
Taylor at the 2011 Pan Arab Games
Personal information
Full namePeter John Taylor
Date of birth (1953-01-03) 3 January 1953 (age 68)
Place of birth Rochford, England
Position(s) Winger
Youth career
?–1969 Canvey Island
1969–1971 Southend United
Senior career*
1971–1973 Southend United 75 (12)
1973–1976 Crystal Palace 122 (33)
1976–1980 Tottenham Hotspur 123 (31)
1980–1983 Leyton Orient 56 (11)
1983Oldham Athletic (loan) 4 (0)
1983–1984 Exeter City 8 (0)
1984–? Maidstone United
?– 1986 Chelmsford City
1986–1990 Dartford
1990–1991 Enfield
1991–1992 Chelmsford City
National team
1976 England 4 (2)
Teams managed
1986–1990 Dartford (player-manager)
1990–1991 Enfield
1993–1995 Southend United
1995–1996 Dover Athletic
1996–1999 England U21
1999–2000 Gillingham
2000–2001 Leicester City
2000 England (caretaker)
2001–2002 Brighton & Hove Albion
2002–2006 Hull City
2004–2007 England U21
2006–2007 Crystal Palace
2007–2008 Stevenage Borough
2008–2009 Wycombe Wanderers
2010–2011 Bradford City
2011–2012 Bahrain
2013 England U20
2013–2014 Gillingham
2015 Kerala Blasters
2016–2017 New Zealand (assistant)
2017 Gillingham (caretaker)
2018–2019 Dagenham & Redbridge
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Peter John Taylor (born 3 January 1953) is an English retired footballer who was most recently the manager of National League club Dagenham & Redbridge. He was previously manager at Dartford, Enfield, Southend United, Dover Athletic, Leicester City, Brighton and Hove Albion, Hull City, Crystal Palace, Kerala Blasters, Stevenage Borough, Wycombe Wanderers, Bradford City and Gillingham twice, leaving the last role at the end of 2014. He also had two spells as head coach of the England under-21 team and took charge of the England national team as caretaker manager for one game against Italy, for which he made David Beckham captain of England for the first time. He managed the England under-20 team in 2013. Outside England, Taylor was the head coach of the Bahrain national football team.


During his time as a player with Crystal Palace during the 1970s, Taylor became one of the few players to have been selected for the senior England team when not playing in the top two flights of a domestic league.

Playing career

Taylor enjoyed a successful playing career as a winger. He began his youth career with Canvey Island, [1] and had trials at Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace [2] before signing as a junior with Southend United in 1971. [2] Southend gained promotion to the old third division in 1972 and Taylor's part in their success brought him to the attention of Crystal Palace manager, Malcolm Allison, who signed him on 11 October 1973 [3] for £110,000. [2] Palace were relegated to the third tier at the end of that season but Taylor was named Player of the Year and remained at the club for two further seasons becoming player of the year again in 1976. [2] The 1975–76 season was a high point in Taylor's career as Palace reached the FA Cup semi-final, Taylor scoring two goals in the quarter-final in a 3–2 away win at Chelsea [4] and he also made four appearances for the full England team, scoring twice. However Palace's season tailed off after the semi-final and they did not achieve promotion to the second tier. At the end of the season Allison resigned and was replaced by Terry Venables and on 30 September 1976 [3] Taylor was allowed to depart for top flight Tottenham Hotspur, for a fee of £400,000. [2]

He scored on his debut in a 4-2 defeat at The Hawthorns to West Bromwich Albion. But Taylor had a mixed career at Spurs, suffering relegation in 1977 but the club was promoted in 1978. Taylor did not make another England appearance and in 1980 moved on to Leyton Orient having made 123 appearances for Tottenham scoring 31 times. Taylor played 56 times for Orient scoring 11 times in three seasons and had a brief loan spell at Oldham Athletic. In 1983–84 Taylor made eight appearances for Exeter City before moving into non-league football with firstly Maidstone United, and then Chelmsford City, Dartford [2] and Enfield. [5]

Taylor made his England debut as a substitute versus Wales and scored the winning goal in the 80th minute of that game. He scored his second international goal against the same opponents in the next match that he played. [6] Taylor was the last English footballer to score two goals in his first two international games before Rickie Lambert repeated the feat in 2013. [7]

After his playing career ended, Taylor embarked on a career as a coach and manager.

Management career

Early management

Taylor became player manager at non-league club Dartford. In his four seasons there, club attendances rose from 400 to around 1000, he won the Southern Cup twice and each season he was there Dartford scored more than 100 goals. Taylor's first managerial role in the Football League was at Southend United. He spent two years between 1993 and 1995 as manager, but quit at the end of the 1994–95 season after failing to get them beyond the middle of the Division One table. Taylor took on the job as manager of Conference club Dover Athletic in 1995–96 season and guided the club to 20th, enough to stave off the threat of relegation as only two clubs were relegated that season.

England U-21

He agreed and signed a two-year contract at Dover in May 1996 but was to leave the club only two months later after being asked by then England boss Glenn Hoddle to manage the England under-21 side. His record (for competitive matches) was 15 played; 11 won, three drawn and one defeat. In this time, England finished ninth in 1998 European Championship and qualified for the 2000 finals comfortably, winning every match without conceding a goal. But with three matches to play, Taylor was replaced in a controversial manner by Howard Wilkinson, who won the next two matches. The three goals conceded in the 3–1 defeat to group runners-up Poland were the only blemish on the team's qualifying record. England under Wilkinson later got knocked out in the group stage of the finals, winning against Turkey but losing to Slovakia and champions Italy.


Taylor returned to club management at the beginning of the 1999–2000 season with Gillingham, and at the end of the season guided them to victory over Wigan Athletic in the Division Two play-off final which marked the Kent club's promotion to the upper half of the English league for the first time in their history. During this season he also guided the Gills to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup after impressive wins over Premiership opposition in Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday (a brace of 3–1 home wins), before losing 5–0 away to Chelsea in the last eight.

Leicester City

A few weeks later he left the club to take charge at Leicester City in the Premier League. He had an excellent start at the East Midlands club and they went top of the league on 1 October 2000. They stayed at the top of the league for two weeks (Taylor having been voted Premier League Manager of the Month for September 2000) and were in contention for a UEFA Cup place for well over half a season, but nine defeats from their final 10 games sucked them down to 13th place in the wake of a shock defeat by Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup quarter-final. [8]

After a terrible start to the 2001–02 season, Taylor was sacked on 30 September 2001. [9]


In November 2000, whilst managing Leicester, Taylor was appointed caretaker manager of England for one match. For that game, a 1–0 defeat by Italy in the Stadio Delle Alpi in Turin on 15 November 2000, Taylor looked to youth. He handed David Beckham the captain's armband for the first time, and used six players then still eligible for the Under-21s; Gareth Barry, Jamie Carragher, Kieron Dyer, Rio Ferdinand, Emile Heskey and Seth Johnson.

Brighton and Hove Albion

After being sacked by Leicester, he returned to management within two weeks to take charge at Brighton & Hove Albion whose previous manager Micky Adams had become the new assistant manager of Leicester City. Taylor guided Brighton to the Division Two championship (marking their return to the upper half of the English league after 11 years) but resigned from his job at the end of the season, citing a low budget and the delay to the new stadium. [10]

Hull City

In November 2002 Taylor was appointed manager of Hull City who were weeks away from their move to the 25,404-seat KC Stadium. A mid-table finish was followed in 2003–04 by promotion as Division Three runners-up. They finished League One runners-up the following season, 2004–05, and thus reached the Football League Championship in the 2005–06 season – their first appearance at that level since 1990–91, and they finished 18th in the league.

England U-21 (second spell)

Taylor had returned to manage England's U-21 team for a second spell in 2004, combining the role with his job at Hull. England comfortably progressed from their qualification group for the 2006 finals but lost to eventual semi-finalists France in a play-off over two legs. He initially retained his position after joining Crystal Palace, and the team qualified for the 2007 finals. However, he left in January 2007 as the new senior manager, Steve McClaren, wanted the England U-21 manager's role to be a full-time position. Taylor's record in competitive fixtures in his second spell with the U21s was 16 played; nine won, five drawn and two lost.

Crystal Palace

Taylor on the sidelines as Wycombe Wanderers' manager PeterTaylor2009.jpg
Taylor on the sidelines as Wycombe Wanderers' manager

Success at Hull drew attention from other clubs, and Taylor returned to former club Crystal Palace in June 2006 after Palace agreed a £300,000 compensation package with Hull. He only lasted 16 months at Selhurst Park as he was sacked in October 2007 after a run of poor form left the Eagles hovering dangerously above the bottom three. [11]

Stevenage Borough

A few weeks after his departure from Palace, Taylor was appointed manager of Conference team Stevenage Borough in November 2007. [12] His first purchase in this role was Junior Lewis, a player he had previously brought into five other clubs (Dover, Gillingham, Leicester, Brighton and Hull).

On 28 April 2008, Taylor left Stevenage Borough after 6 months in-charge when his short-term contract ran out and he had failed to get them into the end of season play-offs. They finished the season in sixth place, 22 points behind the champions, having been in third place and just four points off top spot when he first took charge.

Wycombe Wanderers

On 29 May 2008, he became Wycombe Wanderers manager, following the resignation of Paul Lambert after their failure to reach the League Two play-off final. [13] He signed Junior Lewis, this time as first team coach. [14] Taylor had a successful start to the 2008–09 season as Wycombe went on an 18-game unbeaten run in the league with promotion to League One being secured on the final day of the season. However, he was dismissed on 9 October 2009 after Wycombe's slow start to the League One season. [15]

Bradford City

On 16 February 2010, Taylor replaced Stuart McCall to become manager of League Two side Bradford City initially on a three-month contract until the end of the 2009–10 season. Junior Lewis was employed as first team coach, working with assistant manager Wayne Jacobs and youth team coach David Wetherall. Taylor signed a one-year contract at Bradford the day before Bradford played Northampton. [16] In January 2011, Taylor turned down an offer from Premier League Newcastle United to be assistant to their new manager Alan Pardew. [17] After three successive defeats later in the month, Taylor came under pressure but vowed to carry on, saying: "I'm not a fool, I can tell that I'm probably not the most popular manager Bradford City's ever had. I'm not prepared to walk away, I'm prepared to take this difficult job head on." [18] City's run of poor form continued and the following month, Taylor and City parted company by mutual consent; although the announcement came before City's game with Stockport County, Taylor remained in charge for one final time. [19]


On 11 July 2011, the Bahrain Football Association signed Taylor to train the national football team. Just a few months later he led Bahrain to winning the football tournament at the 1st GCC Games in Manama, the first time Bahrain's national team had won a regional competition in their history. Bahrain beat arch rivals Saudi Arabia 3–1 in a one-sided final. Taylor received a lot of praise from the players, fans and officials for his achievement.

Two months later, Taylor successfully led the Bahrainian team to clinch football gold in the 2011 Arab Games in Doha, beating Jordan 1–0 in the final with a last-gasp goal by striker Ismail Abdullatif. [20]

Asked in April 2012 about the arrest and torture of up to 150 pro-democracy athletes, including three of his own players, Taylor told reporters: "Don't go there. You're getting boring." [21]

FIFA had to investigate a match after Bahrain defeated Indonesia 10–0, in a World Cup qualifier. Bahrain needed to overcome a 9–0 deficit to have a chance of qualifying for the next stage. [22]

He was sacked on 17 October 2012 after a 2–6 loss to United Arab Emirates in a friendly match. [23]

England U-20

In March 2013, Taylor was appointed as the England national under-20 football team manager on a two-month contract, to lead the team who had qualified for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. [24] In the finals, England under Taylor were knocked out in the group stages, drawing with Iraq and Chile, and losing to Egypt; England finished bottom of their group. [25]

Return to Gillingham

In October 2013, Taylor was appointed Gillingham manager for the second time, on an interim basis, following the club's sacking of Martin Allen. On 11 November he was appointed full-time manager, with a contract lasting until the end of the season. [26] He was relieved of his duties on 31 December 2014. [27]

Kerala Blasters

On 8 May 2015, Indian Super League franchise Kerala Blasters FC appointed Taylor as the head coach for the season ahead. [28] However, after four defeats in the series, on 28 October 2015, Taylor departed as Kerala head coach by mutual consent. [29]

New Zealand (assistant) and third Gillingham spell

In September 2016, Taylor accepted the offer to become assistant to Anthony Hudson with the New Zealand national football team. Taylor was to be based in England and mainly to work with the New Zealand players based there. [30]

In May 2017 he was appointed as director of football at Gillingham, alongside his New Zealand duties. [31] He was appointed Gillingham's interim manager following the departure of head coach Adrian Pennock on 25 September 2017. [32] He left both roles at Gillingham on 12 October 2017. [33]

Dagenham & Redbridge

Taylor was appointed manager of National League club Dagenham & Redbridge on 5 June 2018, with Terry Harris as his assistant. [34] Taylor left Dagenham & Redbridge in December 2019; the club stated that a change was required due to recent results. [35]


As a player

Southend United

As a manager


Brighton & Hove Albion

Hull City

Wycombe Wanderers



Managerial statistics

As of match played 28 December 2019 [37] [38]
Southend United Flag of England.svg August 1993February 199584271641032.14
England U-21s Flag of England.svg July 1996June 1999201262060.00
Gillingham Flag of England.svg July 1999June 200062341216054.84
Leicester City Flag of England.svg June 2000September 20015419926035.19
England Flag of England.svg November 2000November 20001001000.00
Brighton & Hove Albion Flag of England.svg October 2001May 20023821116055.26
Hull City Flag of England.svg October 2002June 2006184775057041.85
England U-21s Flag of England.svg 2004January 200716925056.25
Crystal Palace Flag of England.svg June 2006October 200760211623035.00
Stevenage Borough Flag of England.svg November 2007April 20083213415040.63
Wycombe Wanderers Flag of England.svg May 2008October 200946191710041.30
Bradford City Flag of England.svg February 2010February 20114618721039.13
Bahrain Flag of Bahrain.svg July 2011October 201220767035.00
England U-20s Flag of England.svg March 2013July 20143021000.00
Gillingham Flag of England.svg October 2013December 201467231430034.33
Kerala Blasters Flag of India.svg May 2015October 20156114016.67
Gillingham (caretaker) Flag of England.svg 25 September 201712 October 20174112025.00
Dagenham & Redbridge Flag of England.svg 5 June 2018December 201981252036030.86

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