Former England boss Taylor dies aged 72

Paul Gascoigne has paid tribute to his former England manager Graham Taylor, saying: "His enthusiasm for life and football was incredible".

In his first spell as Hornets boss between 1977 and 1987, Taylor took the club to the top flight and they finished second to Liverpool in 1983.

Graham Taylor might be best remembered by some for his doomed spell as England manager in the 1990s, but his troubles on the global stage could never overshadow everything he achieved with Watford.

After taking England to the 1992 European Championship in Sweden, the team did not make it past the group stages.

The death of the former England manager at the age of 72 came as a shock, and the social media world reacted with genuine sadness and the utmost respect for one of the great careers of English football management. He resigned in 1993 after England failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Radio 5 live football correspondent John Murray worked with Graham Taylor for many years.

Speaking on Drivetime, Blissett said: "I just thought it was totally disrespectful".

"He was a very, very, amusing man". To hear that news was an absolute shock and I didn't see it coming.

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We each had about 15 minutes with him and I remember being called in and there he was in this big chair and I was sat on a little stool.

"Having also played at Aston Villa, I personally know how much he was revered for his time there".

As a player he made more than 300 appearances for Grimsby Town and Lincoln City.

Credit: PA Taylor enjoyed more success as he led Aston Villa back to the top tier of English football.

Taylor was given the ultimate honour for an English coach in 1990 when he took over from Sir Bobby Robson as manager of the national team.

One of Taylor's greatest achievements, serving arguably as the cornerstone of his legacy, is how he pioneered the very definition of a family club at a time when the ugly head of hooliganism was all too often rearing its head.

Taylor returned to Watford in 1996 at the same time John did, with the former England boss becoming general manager - a year later he took on the role of manager, and won promotion to the First Division immediately.

John then allowed Taylor to move to Aston Villa, where he secured promotion to the top-flight and a second-place finish in 1990.

  • Tabitha Byrd