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Stuart Taylor (Bristol Rovers)

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Oct 10, 2019, 2:38 PM

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Stuart Taylor (Bristol Rovers) or Reply Privately

b 18.4.1947 Bristol d 10.10.2019 Bristol
6’ 4½”; 14 st 6 lbs CD
Début: 26.4.66 v Workington
Career: Bristol City (amateur); Abbotonians; Hanham Athletic; August 1965 Bristol Rovers (professional, 30.12.65) [546,28]; 21.5.80 Bath City (player-manager); 14.5.82 Bristol Rovers (Commercial Manager); Taylor Brothers (player-reserve team manager); September 1993 Cabot Access Towers (manager); October 1995 Cadbury Heath (player-reserve team manager).

Not only was he the tallest player for a decade in the entire Football League, but central defender Stuart Taylor was also reliable, dependable and omnipresent in the Rovers side. Over fifteen consecutive seasons, he amassed a tally of League appearances which is greater than any other player in the club’s history, a club aggregate record which is unlikely ever to be surpassed. An ever-present four times in five years, including the 1973-74 promotion campaign, he then captained the side in Division Two. The seventh longest playing career of all Rovers players in the Football League era, appearing over three decades, he played in 275 League fixtures at Eastville, more than any other player ever, and only two players have appeared in more than his 38 FA Cup-ties in a Rovers shirt. A plumber by trade and the son of Norman Taylor and Violet Higgs, Taylor joined Rovers on the back of just ten games with Hanham and swiftly established himself as a vital cog in the machine, helping to create a stable backdrop for the successful side of the early 1970s. His first goal for the club came in the cauldron of a local derby with Bristol City in the FA Cup in January 1968. Although sent off in the goalless draw at Rochdale in December 1972, the subsequent ban ending a club post-war record run of 207 consecutive League appearances for the club, he was a Watney Cup winner in 1972, played in the famous televised 8-2 win at Brian Clough’s Brighton in December 1973 and helped Rovers secure promotion from Division Three that campaign. Not content with being a very solid defensive player, Taylor used his height and aerial dominance to great effect, scoring a number of goals from corners, one being the last-minute header to defeat Oxford United 1-0 at Eastville in March 1975. Bristol City had an offer of £40,000 for his services turned down in August 1979 and Chelsea also submitted a bid, but Taylor moved to Bath City as player-manager, missing just three games as the Romans finished sixth in the Conference in 1980-81, and he saved a penalty in November 1993 as an emergency goalkeeper for Taylor Brothers. He managed The Crown public house in Old Market for three years from 1979 and worked in Coalpit Heath before resuming his plumbing work and acting as a freelance market consultant for a coach-drivers’ publishing company based in Yate. Stuart Taylor, whose son Richard played in goal for Cadbury Heath, continued to follow Rovers and was present at Wembley for the 2007 play-off final, keeping himself fit and participating one year in the London Marathon. Married to Pam and a proud grandfather, he later ran the Beaufort Hunt pub in Downend but latterly suffered with Lewi Body Dementia.