Tributes Pour Following Former England Manager Graham Taylor's Death
Former England Manager Graham Taylor died on Thursday following a suspected heart attack.
The 72-year-old Taylor managed England during a turbulent spell from 1990 to 1993. He had two spells in charge of Watford and Aston Villa, as well as managerial tenures at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Lincoln. His playing career took him to Grimsby Town and Lincoln City.
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"With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack," a family statement read.
"The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss," the statement added.
In a tweet, the Football Association (FA) said that it was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the former England manager.
Calling him a "Legend of the game," the FA went on to say that their thoughts are with the Taylor family.
Watford posted a tweet saying "We love you, Graham Taylor". Taylor led Watford from the fourth to the first division in only five years, as well as leading them to the 1984 FA Cup final.
Sir Elton John, former Watford owner, also paid tribute to Taylor on Instagram. "He (Taylor) was like a brother to me," Sir Elton said, adding that he and Taylor went on an incredible journey together and that their close relationship will stay with him forever.
Taylor experienced a torrid time during his tenure as England manager, with many criticizing him for his perceived long ball tactics.
Under Taylor's leadership, England qualified for Euro 92 in Sweden. They, however, failed to qualify out of their group. Taylor also controversially substituted Gary Lineker in the final group game where a goal was needed. It would be Lineker's last game for England.
Despite England's poor showing at the tournament, Taylor kept his job. But failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States led to Taylor's resignation in November 1993.