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Summary

  1. Ex-England manager Graham Taylor, 72, dies
  2. Taylor also managed Watford and Villa, among others
  3. Your memories of Taylor: #bbcsportsday

Live Reporting

By Andy Donley and Shamoon Hafez

All times stated are UK

Get involved

It's been an emotional day for football, and that's been evident in the massive outpouring of affection for Graham Taylor, both within the sport and from you at home.

You can read Phil McNulty's obituary to Taylor here, or find a round-up of the day's events here.

Thanks for joining us.

Graham Taylor, RIP.

Get Involved - your Graham Taylor memories

Match of the Day Facebook

Steve Aylward: R.I.P. Always remember you bringing Villa to Gresty Rd in the FA Cup and being 2-0 down at half-time and saying "you got yourselves into this mess, now get yourself out of it" - unfortunately for Crewe you did 2 - 3 R.I.P one of the nice guys of English football.

John Swaby: I'm completely devastated. Best Lincoln manager ever. Nicest bloke you could wish to meet. Even when he was England manager he regularly came to events at Lincoln.  

Jeffery Hewerdine: I was at the match in 1972 when he took Lincoln into another league... we stormed the pitch and clapped him a standing ovation. Happy Days!  

Thank you to everybody who has shared their stories of Graham Taylor throughout the day.

'I'm forever in his debt'

Graham Taylor tributes

The tribute to Graham Taylor is rounding off on 5 live now, with current Burnley manager Sean Dyche paying tribute to a man who he came into contact with during his first job in management at Watford.

"He had an extremely thick skin, and he showed that by defending me on radio when I was a young manager as well. Things like that mean a lot," he said. 

"To have that strength behind me when I was a young manager meant a lot.

"I'm forever in his debt for the help that he gave me."

'I will be eternally grateful to him'

Graham Taylor tributes

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In a later tweet, Gary added: "He made me his England captain and I will be eternally grateful to him for giving me that honour."

'What happened with England broke his heart'

Graham Taylor tributes

Daily Mirror

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

Former Mirror journalist Harry Harris: "Graham got a really hard time by the media, but it was a media with teeth. That is now a pro-FA an anti-Fifa. There was a circulation war with The Sun but that existed before and after him.

"He suffered a vindictive personal attack but people are eulogising him today as a great person and manager. He did not cut it as an England manager though, he was out of his depth. Not since Taylor has an England manager has suffered the vitriol he did.

On Swedes 2-1 Turnips headline: "It was quite funny but it is not funny if you are on the receiving end of it. He was brought up in media, he bend over backwards to help us but he did not have to deal with the forensic examinations that they have to deal with today.

"He was a bitter man towards journalists after that. What happened with England broke his heart and it never left him. He was very bitter about it but he was the right man at the time. It was very unfortunate what happened with refereeing decisions but he was a genuine football guy who did not deserve what he got from the media at the time."

'The referee's got me the sack...'

Graham Taylor tributes

"Do I not like that..."

They're discussing the infamous Graham Taylor documentary on 5 live at the moment, in which he allowed himself and the England team to be filmed in the the qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup.

Our very own Tom Rostance took a look back on how it was allowed to happen - and just how funny it is in retrospect - here.

'He pitted his wits against the best'

Graham Taylor tributes

John Motson

Match of the Day commentator

I met him first in the 1970s at Lincoln and then he went on to revolutionise Watford. Elton John had inteviewed Bobby Moore, who did not get the job and Graham did. He turned them into a family club and made sure players went to all the local functions. He led them to the FA Cup final, but he took them to Europe too. He pitted his wits against the best.

I once fell out with Graham after asking him if he wanted to play more sophisticated football. He almost spat it back in my face.

He had a fantastic career as a club manager and it is a tribute to him that BBC Radio 5 live, who he loved working for, are explaining what an influence he had on football.

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

Get Involved - your Graham Taylor memories

BBC Match of the Day Facebook

Will Room: I remember seeing a clip of Taylor in the dugout during a match, and some fans behind him shouting out racial abuse to a player on the pitch and he went hell for leather against them - didn't hold back telling the fans to sit down and shut up basically. Back then it was probably normal for fans to think they could get away with stuff like that but Graham Taylor was definitely a decent man and respected everyone who played for him. Top bloke. 

Share your memories of Taylor via Twitter at #bbcsportsday and through the BBC Match of the Day Facebook page.

Taylor 'was on fantastic form' just two weeks ago

Graham Taylor tributes

John Motson

Match of the Day commentator

I was with him on 1 January, he had lunch with us in the boardroom and was in fantastic form. 

We were chatting and he reminded me of a story when my son was born in 1986. I had been at Watford the night before, in those days we did not all attend the births of our children, but I got a call from someone at the hospital saying I have had a son. 

I spoke to my wife later and told her I had already been given a call - it was Graham Taylor and that was the family man he was.  

'He was brilliant at being interested in other people'

Graham Taylor tributes

John Murray

5 live football correspondent

He was such good company - a football man. When you spent time with him you realised he had so many other interests.

He was steeped in football. He loved the game and everything about it. He was brilliant at being interested in other people and would always want to talk about football. 

'Graham was everything I hoped he would be'

Graham Taylor tributes

John Murray

5 live football correspondent

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

It's going on 20 years now that he was working as a match summariser, and he was very loyal to the BBC. 

What was her like to work with as a commentator? I think if I'm going into a poor match and nothing is happening, is my summariser going to help me out?

With Graham that was never a problem. He had such a wide range of interests, and he used to meander off talking about his family. He once told me all about his favourite holiday destination on-air!

Graham was everything I hoped he would be before I met him.

Get Involved

Graham Taylor tributes

We've just had one Aston Villa fan - Aaron, who sits in the Holt End at Villa Park - telling Mark Pougatch on 5 live that he thinks Taylor should have a stand named after him for his achievements at the club.

What do we think Villa fans? Or Lincoln and Watford supporters as well?

Share your memories of Taylor via Twitter at #bbcsportsday and through the BBC Match of the Day Facebook page.

'Ahead of his time'

Graham Taylor tributes

BBC Radio 5 live

Graham Taylor Aston Villa
Getty Images

Former Aston Villa winger Tony Daley: "We had just been relegated and things were not going great. Graham came in and said he was going to get us promoted. He asked if you wanted to be part of it and you gave him respect straight away.

"I was 18 and people were raving about me, he said if I don't buck my ideas up I would be down the road. He was the biggest influence of my career and like a father-figure to me. He brought my game on so much.

"What I liked about him, when things were going great he would put you down a peg, when things were not going great, he put an arm around you and made you feel invincible.

"He was a big believer in tactics and the advantages of set-pieces. He got his teams well organised and was into his stats. He was ahead of his time."

Get Involved - your Graham Taylor memories

#bbcsportsday

Dave Revell: Met Graham Taylor at a charity day for Kit Aid. Had so much time for people and was always so nice. One of England's better managers.

Glenn J Dann: G.T. wasn't a bad England manager - just lack of quality at his disposal. He may have fared better with today's talent.

Tom McCarron: Epitomises true gent Graham Taylor. "As you grow older, dignity in defeat seems even more impressive than humility in victory."

Share your memories of Taylor via Twitter at #bbcsportsday and through the BBC Match of the Day Facebook page.

'He wanted us to be stars, but he was the star'

Graham Taylor tributes

View more on twitter

We've just heard about Taylor's relationship with Watford goal machine Luther Blissett on 5 live, and here is what the big man himself had to say about his former gaffer earlier.

'He was a big family man'

Graham Taylor tributes

BBC Radio 5 live

Graham Taylor banner at Watford
Getty Images

Forward Watford striker Luther Blissett: "It was a shock to hear Graham's passing, I can't believe it has happened.

"To be able to talk about somebody, it comes fairly easy when it is for someone like Graham. He used to do some of his team-talks in the freezing cold on a Friday. Everybody would go 'yeh, yeh' and it would go on for 20 minutes. He paid attention to details and that is why he had so much success.

"Whoever he brought to Watford, he wanted to know about the person. Were they married? He was a big family man, people and community was a big in his upbringing, that was the same as a manager. He could tell the mood players were in and them manage them.

"When AC Milan came in, we spoke about it. Even at 1am, he came and took em to one side and said, 'the club are happy with everything, but if you are not, we will tear up everything and go back to training'. Players were the most important thing about the football club."

Graham and Elton - an unlikely partnership

Graham Taylor tributes

If you want to learn more about that famous friendship between Graham Taylor and Sir Elton John, this clip from our archive should do the job nicely.

'He was like a brother to me'

Graham Taylor tributes

View more on instagram

Graham Taylor's relationship with Elton John, who was chairman at Watford during the former's time as manager at the club, was notoriously close. Here's what the music legend had to say earlier about his friend's death.

"I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Graham's passing," he said.

"He was like a brother to me. We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met. 

"We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever. He took my beloved Watford from the depths of the lower leagues to unchartered territory and into Europe. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius.

"This is a sad and dark day for Watford. The club and the town. We will cherish Graham and drown our sorrows in the many brilliant memories he gave us.

"I love you Graham. I will miss you very much.

"My thoughts go out to Rita, Joanne, Karen and the whole Taylor family."

Get Involved - your Graham Taylor memories

BBC Match of the Day Facebook

Robert Howard: I spent a train journey from Hemel Hempstead to Euston sitting talking to Graham. We spoke about football old and new. Kids, football and life in general. He was friendly, open and a very nice man. I am glad I met him. RIP Graham.  

Share your memories of Taylor via Twitter at #bbcsportsday and through the BBC Match of the Day Facebook page.

'He was a natural leader'

Graham Taylor tributes

John Murray

5 live football correspondent

We could see that he was a natural leader and a natural organiser. From being around him, I realised that it wasn't hard to see why players wanted to perform for him.

'A true sportsman'

Graham Taylor tributes

Jimmy Armfield

Ex-England captain for BBC Radio 5 live

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

One of the things about football is that you are in the public domain. I did say to Graham once, "you must not get caught up about it".

He said, "of course you do".

It is very difficult. Sometimes you cannot give the correct answer. I will always remember Graham as a true sportsman who loved his football, who loved his country. What could be better?

'I never held a grudge against him'

Graham Taylor tributes

Chris Waddle

Ex-England winger for BBC Radio 5 live

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

It was a very difficult time when Graham came in as England manager, he had been very successful at Watford. After the success of Italia 90, we went from 442, to three at the back. People wanted that to carry on and Watford were a 442 side. Once you get that tag, it is very difficult.

I came back from Marseille and was playing very well for Sheffield and the media were saying to get me in the England team. I remember a game I played at Hillsbrough and manager Trevor Francis told me there was someone in the office to see me, I did not know who it was.

It was Graham Taylor, who had a chat with me for 15 minutes. He told me I was out of his plans, he explained why, wanting to go in a different direction and he wanted to build his own squad. It boiled down to me and John Barnes and he went with him.

It was frustrating for me, but when you grow older, we had some great conversation during tournaments working in the media. I never held a grudge against him and you realise how difficult a job it is. Unless you win, you will get sacked. We had many a good laugh and jokes.

Get Involved - your Graham Taylor memories

BBC Sport Facebook page

Tim Hubbard: Such sad news. I remember seeing him playing for Grimsby when I first started watching the game as a young boy. I'll never forget when he scored a goal, one of a very few in his playing career. A great loss to football. RIP Graham.

Share your memories of Taylor via Twitter at #bbcsportsday and through the BBC Match of the Day Facebook page.

'You need luck as a manager'

Graham Taylor tributes

Alan Shearer

Ex-England captain on BBC Radio 5 live

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

No matter how good a football manager you are you need to get luck going your way. Even the great Sir Alex Ferguson often got the run of the green during his time at Manchester United.

Graham never got the luck during his time at England, and he was very unfortunate for that. It just didn't work out for him at international level.

Taylor's managerial record

Graham Taylor tributes

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

If you're listening to the tributes today, but perhaps aren't familiar with his work and achievements, here's a reminder of Taylor's record:

  • Lincoln City (1972-77) - Youngest person to become an FA coach, at the age of 27 - won Fourth Division title in 1976.
  • Watford (1977-1987) - Led team from Fourth Division to First Division in five years (W244, D124, L159)
  • Aston Villa (1987-1990) - Took over when Villa had been relegated to Second Division. Took them back to top flight at his first attempt. Finished runners-up to Liverpool in his third season in charge (W65, D35, L42)
  • England (1990-1993) - Failed to progress beyond group stage of Euro 92 or qualify for World Cup in 1994 (W18, D13, L7)
  • Wolves (1994-1995) - Resigned after one full season in charge - (W37, D27, L24)
  • Watford (1996-2001) - Won Division Two title in 1998 and Division One play-off final in 1999 (W104, D80, L91)
  • Aston Villa (2002-2003) - Finished 16th in Premier League before retiring (W19 D14 L27)

'He absolutely loved his football'

Graham Taylor tributes

Alan Shearer

Ex-England captain on BBC Radio 5 live

The biggest and best compliment I can give him is he was genuine, honest, passionate and down to earth. Most of all, he just absolutely loved his football. 

You could tell that with the way he talked about football, the way he coached it.

He was so genuine, so honest and his passion for the game was just immense.

'Everytime I saw him he was smiling'

Graham Taylor tribute

Jimmy Armfield

Ex-England captain for BBC Radio 5 live

Success can come in various ways. To take them as they were, through the divisions, is no mean feat for anybody. When he was the England manager, he worked with the LMA to get closer to the managers to release the players for the national team. That relationship started with him.

He had the drive and ambition to prove this could happen, he was an honest practitioner. People liked him, everytime I saw him he was smiling.

Graham believed in catching the other team when they are least ready, from defence and going forward as quickly as possible.

Graham Taylor
Getty Images

Shearer's tribute to Taylor

Graham Taylor tributes

Former England captain Alan Shearer has just joined in the conversation on 5 live, and here is his tribute to his former national team manager.

'He gave Watford realisation, ambition and belief'

Graham Taylor tributes

Jimmy Armfield

Ex-England captain for BBC Radio 5 live

Taylor was a real football man and came up the way a lot of us did in those days. He started out at Lincoln and while he was there he started to attract people's attention. He had fresh ideas with his coaching and was the new kid on the block.

When he got to Watford, the key issue was that the club were not where they are now, they were down the divisions. Watford are today in the Premier League because of the base Taylor gave them years ago, he gave them realisation, ambition and the fans belief that they can go places.

Get Involved - your Graham Taylor memories

BBC Match of the Day Facebook

We want you to share your memories of Taylor with us. Send us your stories via Twitter at #bbcsportsday and through the BBC Match of the Day Facebook page.

Dan Hill: My dad was a Premiership football referee and good friends with Graham Taylor. When I was young and he was at Aston Villa he arranged for a birthday message to be displayed on the scoreboard during the game and then invited me into the changing rooms after the game with the players. They played music and presented me with a cake. What an absolute gentleman and legend he was. RIP and thoughts are with family

James Harold Allen: He is credited by Paul McGrath as the main reason for beating the alcoholism that was killing him. Football had turned its back on McGrath, but Taylor wouldn't give up on him. A true class act. RIP.  

'One of the football managers of our time'

Graham Taylor tributes

John Murray

5 live football correspondent

This life in football he's had - I'd describe him as one of the football managers of our time. His club career was outstanding. He's one of an elite group to manage in over 1,000 matches. Had the England job not come along when it did, who knows what he would have gone on to achieve in club football?

5 live Taylor tribute show

Graham Taylor tributes

BBC Radio 5 live

Tune in to BBC Radio 5 live now at the top of this page to listen to a special programme in tribute to former England manager Graham Taylor, who passed away today at the age of 72.

Former Three Lions players Alan Shearer, Chris Waddle and Martin Keown all feature.

Get Involved - Graham Taylor tributes

#bbcsportsday

Greg Proffitt: 1994-95 season, manager of Wolves - so many great memories and dynamic attacking football RIP GT 

Glenn Richards: Sad news. Brilliant club manager and post-England job was insightful and intelligent as pundit. Top fella 

Colin Baker: Was any England manager treated worse by the press than Graham Taylor? "Wally with the brolly" was tame in comparison.

Graham Taylor's career

Graham Taylor tributes

Graham Taylor
Rex Features

We'll be joining Radio 5 live for a special Graham Taylor tribute show shortly, so first let's take a look back over his career.

He started out as a player as defender at Grimsby and Lincoln City, before taking over as manager at Lincoln in 1972, leading them to to old Fourth Division title in 1975-76 before joining Watford.

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

He also took Watford to the 1984 FA Cup final, where his side were beaten by Everton.

Taylor took over at Aston Villa in 1987 in the Second Division, leading they to promotion as runners-up. Under his guidance, Villa finished as First Division runners-up in 1989-90.

He was then appointed England boss but resigned in 1993 after the team's failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Following his spell with England, Taylor returned to club management and also became a renowned pundit for BBC Sport.  

Get Involved - Graham Taylor tributes

#bbcsportsday

Tom McCarron: Graham Taylor fought against racism and homophobia in football, took so much stick from the press and never asked for anything 

Gary Denton: An all-time Lincoln City great leaves us far too soon. Unfairly vilified by the press as England manager IMO. RIP Graham

Kate: after Watford won play-off final at Wembley 99 where he just stood on pitch looking at fans and seeing how proud he was

Celtic sign £2.8m for Ivorian midfielder

Celtic have signed Krasnador teenage midfielder Kouassi Eboue for £2.8m.

The deal was agreed for the Ivorian last week, but he had to wait for his work permit, which he has now received.

The 19-year-old has signed a four-year deal and could make his debut next weekend at Albion Rovers.

"Did Kolo Toure being at Celtic play any part in my decision? Yes, because Kolo is a big man.

"When I was young I watched TV and supported him and now when I think I'll play alongside him I'm really happy."

Kouassi Eboue
Reuters

Mayweather makes offer to McGregor

Boxing

Fight
.

Five-weight boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather has offered the UFC champion Conor McGregor $15m (£12.2m) to face him in the ring.

Mayweather retired unbeaten in 2015 but told ESPN a bout with Irishman McGregor - who has a boxing licence - was the only thing that could tempt him back.

"I'm a businessman and it makes business sense," the 39-year-old American said.

McGregor, 28, has previously said he wants $100m (£80m) to fight Mayweather.

Mayweather, who retired from boxing with a perfect 49-0 record after defeating Andre Berto in September 2015, said initial talks with McGregor's representatives had taken place.

Read more here.

On this day...

Football

In 2006, Luton manager Mike Newell claimed that offers of illegal payments were still rife in football. 

Newell was interviewed by the Football Association and his claims in part led to the Lord Stevens inquiry into transfer payments.

Mike Newell
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