By Worried Turkey.
Tommy Taylor – aged 26, forward, 189 apps, 128 goals. 19 England caps, 16 goals
Taylor is one of the all-time best centre-forwards in the game and had yet to realise all of his potential. He was a typically bluff Yorkshire man in many ways, often acting the clown, and a great team man. In all honesty I’ve never seen a player capable of heading a ball as this man, he wasn’t the most powerful header of a ball (that went to Dunc) but his timing was immaculate.
I know we old b****rds exaggerate about the old players but believe me this pre-Munich side was something else, the potential was there for years to come and England as a football nation was put back something awful. In Tommy, Manchester United and England had someone capable of scaring defenders to death. One minute you had him in your pocket the next the net was nestling from a Taylor effort. Sir Alf Ramsey once described Martin Peters as being ten years ahead of everybody, well as a forward Tommy was twenty. He was rapier like on the deck but his strength was in the air, he ghosted past defenders and made goals look easy, which to me is the hard part. This is what made him special.
At 26, he was just coming into his prime and you could see this in the short time I’d been going to watch Man United. He led the line like no other forward I’ve seen since, possibly the nearest thing (sorry person) was Ruud van Nistelrooy. Denis Law was part of a team, Ruud really played on his own, but Taylor… well Tommy was Tommy. He could play both as a forward capable of holding up play or as a team man who dropped off but then found in the box when you least expected.
Again all I can say is, “once seen never to be forgotten”, at least not by me… Does the mind play funny tricks? Am I biased? Am I a daft red? Maybe yes to all these… but these are my memories AND I LOVE EM………
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