Saturday, February 3, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 82: Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor, one of Liverpool FC's finest ever servants, has been voted in at number 82 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Phil Taylor

Years at Liverpool: 1936 to 1954 (as a player)

Date-of-birth: 18/9/1917
Birthplace: Bristol

Signed from: Bristol Rovers (March 1936)

Games: 345
Goals: 34

Honours: First Division Championship (1946/47)

Phil Taylor is one of Liverpool Football Club's greatest ever servants. Signed from his hometown club Bristol Rovers as an 18-year old in 1936 he went on to serve the Reds for 23 years as a player, coach and manager. It's as Bill Shankly's predecessor in the Anfield hot-seat for which he's probably most remembered but that should not be allowed to overshadow his exemplary playing career on Merseyside. An England schoolboy captain, who was originally an inside-forward, he cost a modest fee of £5,000 and marked his Liverpool debut by scoring a last-minute goal that rescued a point in a 2-2 draw away to Derby County. But it was to be in the half-back line that Taylor firmly established himself at Anfield and it wasn't long before he was being widely hailed as a player of supreme elegance. Oozing class and professionalism, he was a fine ambassador for the club and proved to be the ideal replacement for an ageing Matt Busby. The outbreak of World War Two halted the fine progress he was making but by the time League football resumed in 1946, the now 29-year old was at the peak of his game. He made 35 appearances as the Reds upset the odds to snatch the inaugural post-war title and his talent did not go unnoticed by the FA who awarded him three England caps in 1947. In 1949/50 he was seen as the natural candidate to succeed Jack Balmer as Liverpool captain and later that season proudly became the first man to lead this club out at Wembley, although a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal ruined his big day. As Liverpool slid towards the Second Division in the years that followed Taylor continued to be a regular and reliable member of the team's defence but played just six times in the season that relegation was finally confirmed. His last appearance was on Christmas Day 1953 and upon hanging up his boots he was offered a position on the backroom staff. Within two years he had taken over from Don Welsh as manager, a role he occupied until November 1959.

Sold to: Retired (July 1954)

Claim to fame: Being the first captain to lead Liverpool out at Wembley

Did you know? He played first-class cricket for Gloucestershire

Where is he now? Retired, living in Blundellsands and still a regular at all Liverpool home games

Stephen Done on Phil Taylor: "Full respect to Phil Taylor. Definitely one of our great players of all-time. And the lovely thing about it is that he still comes to the games even now. I don't know whether he's been to every game but he must have been to as many games as probably anybody around I would think – you know, between playing, managing and watching."

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