Former England manager Graham Taylor dies

A family statement said: "With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack. The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss."

GrahamTaylor-Cropped

Former England manager Graham Taylor enjoyed successful spells in charge of Watford and Aston Villa, both of which he led to second-place finishes in the English top-flight.

Former England manager Graham Taylor has died, aged 72.

Taylor enjoyed successful spells in charge of Watford and Aston Villa, both of which he led to second-place finishes in the English top-flight.

Those exploits landed him the England job, succeeding Bobby Robson after the national team's run to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup.

Unfortunately, Taylor was unable to replicate that success as England bowed out at the group stages of the 1992 European Championship and failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, prompting his resignation.

The former Grimsby Town and Lincoln City player returned to club management with Wolves and took in second spells with Watford and Aston Villa, leaving the latter in 2003 and maintaining his involvement in football through a successful career as a pundit.

A family statement said: "With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack. The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss."

Taylor is particularly fondly remembered for his time at Watford – he also led the Hornets to the 1984 FA Cup final, secured back-to-back promotions that sealed Premier League status for the 1999-2000 season and was named an honorary life president alongside Elton John.

Watford chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "As one, together at our club, we are all utterly devastated to learn of Graham's passing."

Taylor's failed tenure with England also marked a definitive period, with The Sun newspaper launching a vitriolic campaign against him.

Sweden's 2-1 win over England to knock them out of Euro 92 was covered under the headline "Swedes 2 Turnips 1", with Taylor's face superimposed on to a turnip.

Similarly ignominious treatment followed further disappointing results until Taylor's resignation in November 1993, which came in the wake of England's failure to reach the USA 94 World Cup.

England's unravelling qualification campaign was also depicted in the Channel 4 documentary "An Impossible Job", where Taylor's quote of "do I not like that" inadvertently became a catchphrase and his anger over a number of decisions in the pivotal 2-0 defeat to Netherlands showed him on the touchline accusing referee Karl-Josef Assenmacher effectively getting him sacked.

The official Twitter account for the England team posted: "Rest in peace, Graham. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones."

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