Tommy Taylor

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Tommy Taylor
Tommy Taylor.jpg
Taylor in August 1955
Personal information
Full nameThomas Taylor
Date of birth(1932-01-29)29 January 1932
Place of birth Smithies, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Date of death 6 February 1958(1958-02-06) (aged 26)
Place of death Munich, Bavaria, West Germany
Position(s) Centre-forward
Youth career
Smithies United
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1949–1953 Barnsley 44 (26)
1953–1958 Manchester United 166 (112)
Total210(138)
National team
1953–1957 England 19 (16)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas Taylor (29 January 1932 – 6 February 1958) was an English footballer, who was known for his aerial ability. He was one of the eight Manchester United players who lost their lives in the Munich air disaster.

Contents

Life and career

Taylor (back row, second from right) in a Manchester United team photo in 1957 Manchester United FC 1957.jpg
Taylor (back row, second from right) in a Manchester United team photo in 1957

He was born in Smithies, near Barnsley, in January 1932, one of six children born to Charles and Violet Taylor. He was a pupil at Raley Secondary Modern School where he attended after failing his eleven-plus.

Taylor left school in 1947 at the age of 15 began his career playing for a local coal mining team at the colliery where he worked. Two years later, he signed for Barnsley. He made his first team debut as an 18-year-old on 7 October 1950, in a 3–1 home win against Grimsby Town. [1] In his next match, on 4 November 1950, he scored a hat-trick in a 7–0 victory against Queens Park Rangers. [1] In all he scored seven goals in twelve appearances in 1950–51. While playing for Barnsley, he carried out national service in the British Army. [1] It would not be long before Taylor was attracting the interest of First Division clubs.

After scoring 28 goals in 46 games for Barnsley, who had been unable to progress beyond the Second Division, Taylor was transferred to defending First Division champions Manchester United in March 1953 for the unusual fee of £29,999. Matt Busby did not want to burden the 21-year-old Taylor as being a "£30,000 player", so he took a £1 note from his wallet and handed it to the lady who had been serving tea during the negotiations. At the time, he was one of the most expensive players in British football and had also been subject of interest from clubs including Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He got off to a great start, scoring twice on his debut. By the end of the 1952–53 season, Taylor had scored seven goals in his first 11 games for United. He played a key role in United winning the First Division title 1955–56 and 1956–57 and scored in the 1957 FA Cup Final, when United were denied the Double as they lost 2–1 to Aston Villa (winners of the competition for a then record seventh time). He also helped United reach the semi-finals of the European Cup in the 1956–57 season, when they were the Football League's first entrants into Europe's premier club competition.

Such was Taylor's worth that Matt Busby decided to reject an offer of £65,000 for him from Internazionale in the summer of 1957. Had the deal gone through, it would have been one of the most expensive transfer fees in world football at the time.

At the time of his emergence, many saw Taylor as the perfect eventual replacement for Nat Lofthouse in the England side. In all, he played 19 times for England, scoring 16 goals. His first cap came on 17 May 1953 and a week later he found the net for the first time at senior international level in a 2–1 friendly win over Chile. He managed two hat-tricks for the England team, the first in a 5–2 win over Denmark on 5 December 1956, the second in a 5–1 win over Republic of Ireland on 8 May 1957. His last appearance for England came on 27 November 1957 against France, in which he scored twice in a 4–0 win. [2]

Taylor died in the Munich air disaster, aged 26, on 6 February 1958. He had recently become engaged to his fiancée Carol.

He is buried at Monk Bretton Cemetery in his hometown Barnsley. [3]

On 8 July 2011, a blue plaque was unveiled at 22 Greatstone Road in Stretford. This was a boarding house in the 1950s and Manchester United used it as lodgings for their unmarried players - particularly the ones whose families did not live locally. Taylor lived there with players including David Pegg and Mark Jones until these players were killed at Munich, by which time Jones had already married and left the house. A number of players who survived the crash or who were not on the plane also lodged at this house. The landlady was Margaret Watson.

The plaque is sponsored by Stretford High School (which is only 50 yards away) and came about as a result of a local history project undertaken by the pupils at the school. The plaque was unveiled by the cricket umpire Dickie Bird, who was at school with Taylor in Barnsley.

Career statistics

Club performanceLeagueCupContinentalOther [4] Total
ClubSeasonAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Barnsley 1950–51 12700127
1951–52 400040
1952–53 2819223021
Total4426224628
Manchester United 1952–53 11700117
1953–54 3522113623
1954–55 3020103120
1955–56 3325103425
1956–57 32224488104534
1957–58 25162063133422
Total16611295141123191131
Career total210138117141127237159

International goals

Scores and results list England's goal tally first. Score after each Taylor goal is shown in bold with asterisk.
#DateVenueOpponentMinuteScoreResultCompetition
124 May 1953 Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 48'1*–02–1 Friendly
231 May 1953 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 89'1*–21–2Friendly
39 May 1956 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 3'1*–04–2Friendly
49 May 1956 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 65'3*–24–2Friendly
528 November 1956 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia 65'2*–03–0Friendly
628 November 1956 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia 89'3*–03–0Friendly
75 December 1956 Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, EnglandFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 18'1*–05–2 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
85 December 1956 Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, EnglandFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 20'2*–05–2 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
95 December 1956 Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, EnglandFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 48'3*–15–2 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
108 May 1957 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland 8'1*–05–1 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
118 May 1957 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland 17'2*–05–1 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
128 May 1957 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland 40'4*–05–1 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
1315 May 1957 Idrætsparken, Copenhagen, Denmark Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 71'2*–14–1 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
1415 May 1957 Idrætsparken, Copenhagen, Denmark Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 86'4*–14–1 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification
1527 November 1957 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of France.svg  France 3'1*–04–0Friendly
1627 November 1957 Wembley Stadium, London, EnglandFlag of France.svg  France 33'3*–04–0Friendly

Honours

Club

Manchester United

Individual

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Tommy Taylor". Oakwell Review (official match programme). CRE8, for Barnsley F.C. (19 (2007/2008)): 14–17. 9 February 2008.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Where Are They Buried?".
  4. Includes appearances in other competitions, including the Charity Shield.