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LISTEN: BBC Radio 5 Live Mark Pougatch Delivers Pitch-Perfect Tribute To His Old Colleague Graham Taylor

Balls Team
By Balls Team
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After retiring from management in 2003, Graham Taylor spent much of his time in the BBC Radio Five Live commentary booth alongside Mark Pougatch.

His father had been a football reporter for a local paper in Scunthorpe and so Taylor, ironically given his treatment as England manager, knew and appreciated the dilemmas involved in being football journalist better than most other coaches.

He was even, in an interview with Greg Dyke in 1996, generous enough to admit that 'Swedes 2 Turnips 1' was a good headline. But he struggled to forgive the manner in which Sun continued this campaign of vilification and humiliation for the remainder of his reign. The Sun, incidentally, are leading on the back-page tomorrow with the headline "DO WE NOT LIKE THAT."

Aside from that, it has been striking the degree to which so many of his ex-colleagues and ex-players have come forward to lavish praise on his character and his decency.


This was always evident to outsiders, even in that incredibly famous documentary, which attracted mainly negative publicity. Here's a clip from it which was buried in the background for a long time, but which was widely circulated today on the man's passing. He is responding to the racial abuse being meted out to John Barnes in a home WC qualifier against San Marino in February 1993.




And this tribute, from another journalistic colleague, his old commentary box partner Mark Pougatch, gives us a wonderful portrait of Taylor's personality.

Read more: "He Literally Rescued Me From A Bad, Bad Scene" - How Graham Taylor Saved Paul McGrath's Career

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