Another one of the famous ‘Busby Babes’ set of footballers to represent Manchester United FC, Taylor was a centre-forward for the club, rated highly for his aerial abilities in front of goal. We take a look at some of the historical greatest quotes about Tommy Taylor below.
In six seasons with United, he accumulated a remarkable 112 league goals in only 166 games, before meeting with tragedy during a plane crash in Munich in 1958.
Hailing from Barnsley in Yorkshire, Taylor attracted the attentions of the bigger clubs with his prolific goal scoring. It was the League champions Manchester United who picked him up in 1953 for a fee of £29,999. According to manager Matt Busby, this was arranged so that the 21-year old would not feel uneasy with a 30K price tag over his head.
Undeterred by the shenanigans, Taylor booted in two goals on his debut and continued to impress with the team, regularly scoring over 20 goals a season as United won two successive League titles in the mid-50s. He was no slouch with the England team, slotting in two hat-tricks during his 16-goal scoring in 19 internationals. His performances were good enough to have a mega offer from Italian side Inter Milan come his way, but Busby rejected the offer.
He passed away aged just 26, and was well remembered and honoured by the club and in his hometown. He had been a close schoolboy friend of English cricket umpire Dickie Bird who reminisced about his early days, and who was at hand to unveil a special plaque in Taylor’s honour in Manchester.
“He was already one of the best players in the world…..He was the complete centre-forward.” Eric Winstanley
“To me, Tommy Taylor remains the finest header of a ball that I have ever seen.” Dickie Bird
“If people come to me and want to hear about Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor, I’m happy to do it…..It’s right that the players of that great team…..should be recognised 50 years later. I don’t have to make things up. I know exactly how good they were.” Bobby Charlton
“He was revered as a master footballer.” Graham Ibbeson
“…..a truly great centre-forward…..” Jimmy Greaves
“Dickie…..Your friend was a great player.” Matt Busby
“…..was very fast, immensely strong, and…..was absolutely sensational in the air.” Bobby Charlton
“…..we advised him about his eating habits. He listened and acted accordingly.” Johnny Steele
“…..the outstanding star of this match.” Henry Rose
“…..absolutely outstanding in the air.” John Doherty
“…..the greatest centre-forward exhibition I ever saw.” George Follows
“Tommy Taylor was the humblest of the very humblest, a gentle giant.” Dickie Bird
“In the game he had yet to realise all his great potential…..often acting the clown and a great team man.” Bill Foulkes
“…..heard of the legend of Tommy Taylor…..” Graham Ibbeson
“Tommy was one of the best centre-forwards in the world.” Kenny Morgans
“He was my hero and everyone else’s hero in Barnsley.” Eric Winstanley
“…..great opportunity to own a piece of football history. The watch ties together a Manchester United legend and the World Cup.” Chris Clark
“Do I remember Tommy Taylor? How could I ever forget him…..he was the greatest centre-forward ever.” Tommy Docherty
“Magnifico.” Alfredo di Stefano
“Tommy would have stood out in any era…..” Jimmy Greaves
“It’s always important that we remember great figures from our local history.” Alex Ferguson
“Hopefully these plaques will keep their memory alive.” Chris Hirst