It has been reported that the former England manager Graham Taylor died of a suspected heart attack in his sleep at his home recently. Messages of condolence to his family have been pouring in on Twitter and other social media platforms from Football stars he worked with such as Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker.

Taylor's early years

After a playing career in the lower leagues with Scunthorpe , Grimsby and Lincoln City lasting 10 years Taylor became the league's youngest ever coach at the age of just 27, when he took over the reins at Lincoln City. His greatest achievement in coaching was undoubtedly with Watford who he managed from 1977 to 1987.

During that time The Hornets saw a quite remarkable rise under his guidance from the old Division 4 to the First Division in only five years. He also took the club to an FA Cup final , losing 2-0 to Everton. This incredible success led to a lasting bond with Watford chairman Elton John who said on Instagram " He was like a brother to me....We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met."

Promotion to England manager

After his success at Watford , Taylor took over at Aston Villa for three years from 1987 - 1990. In 1987 the club had been relegated from the old first division and Taylor took them back up at his first attempt. They finished runners-up in his third season. At this point with his managerial credentials firmly established he was invited to take over as England manager replacing Bobby Robson who had resigned following England's defeat to Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi final.

Taylor's England years

His appointment as England manager was not without criticism from many quarters. Many stating that he had never won a major trophy and had not played at the highest level and for that reason may find it difficult gaining the respect of his players. However his tenure began well as he was defeated only once in his first 23 games in charge.

His undoing came in major tournaments as England failed to perform and were dumped out of Euro 92 at the quarter final stages after a stuttering campaign and led to his now famous depiction as a turnip in the press after defeat by Sweden.

For the World Cup in 1994 after a series of unconvincing performances England failed to qualify leading to Taylor's resignation in November 1993.

He returned to club management with Wolverhampton Wanderers and second spells at both Watford and Aston Villa which although he never achieved the results of previous years must have gone some way to reconfirming his self belief in his managerial abilities.

Graham Taylor's life after management

After his retirement from Taylor continued his association with the game by becoming a respected commentator and pundit for TV and radio and also honorary life president of Watford, a post he held until his death on 12th January.