Tributes flood in for former England manager Graham Taylor

Sports Mole rounds up a selection of tributes paid to former England boss Graham Taylor following his death from a suspected heart attack, aged 72.

Football was rocked by the news this afternoon that former England, Watford and Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor has died at the age of 72.

Taylor enjoyed huge success at club level with Watford and Villa, steering both clubs through the divisions and achieving a runners-up finish in the top flight.

Those achievements were recognised when he was appointed as Sir Bobby Robson's successor in charge of England, whom he led into the 1992 European Championships.

Tributes have been flooding in since the news of his death broke, and Sports Mole has rounded up some of the messages dedicated to a man widely regarded as one of the nicest in football.

"Completely shocked by news of Graham Taylor. Always held him in the very highest regard - the man who gave me my first England cap. So sad." - Former England captain Alan Shearer.

"Extremely saddened to hear the news that Graham Taylor has passed away. Genuinely kind and funny man, condolences to his family and friends." - Former England and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former England manager Graham Taylor." The FA.

"Saddened to hear the news that Graham Taylor has died, a man who loved his football & achieved his ultimate goal. Only 72 years of age RIP." - Former Brentford and Swindon Town midfielder Chris Kamara.

"Really sad news to hear the news that Graham Taylor has passed away. He gave me my England debut against France. Lovely man... RIP." - Former England international Rob Jones.

"I am completely shocked. I only saw him a couple of months ago. He was a very, very, funny man. When I played under him at Aston Villa he taught me so much. He was very understanding of people's situation. He had my utmost respect and was a pal as well as a manager. It is quite devastating news.

"He had two sides. He could lose his temper when he wanted but also put an arm around you and say 'you're doing OK'. He was a very clever man manager. You don't last as long as he did if you don't know your job. He ticked most boxes when comes to being a manager. My thoughts are with his family. Graham, you will be missed." - Ex-Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin.

"So sad to hear the news about Graham Taylor, a lovely and great Football man who will be sadly missed." - Former England international Terry McDermott.

"It's a real shock. He was a real gentleman. I've known him since we were both 15 at England schoolboy trials. It was sad the way that the England job turned out for him, but that's happened to a lot of England managers.

"He was a real quality human being. He cared about his fellow pros and the good of the game. He should be remembered as a man who added to the game, who really showed his ability as a manager. He thought a lot about the game, was in his own mould. I'm proud and privileged to have been able to call him a friend." - PFA chairman Gordon Taylor.

"Everyone at #watfordfc is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our most successful manager. We love you, Graham Taylor." - Taylor's former club Watford.

Graham Taylor in the dugout during his time with Aston Villa in March 2002.
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Former England manager Taylor dies, aged 72
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