Sammy Taylor: Left-winger who helped Preston North End give Wolves a run for their money at the top of the table
Tuesday 31 December 2013
Sammy Taylor was an industrious imp of a footballer, a goal-scoring winger who prospered with Preston North End during the best years of their modern history in the late 1950s, when twice they entertained hopes of winning the League. Had he been born half a century later, he would surely have accumulated a substantial collection of Scottish caps. As it was, the irrepressibly chirpy little fellow from the Gorbals district of Glasgow found himself stymied internationally by the exploits of such illustrious rival flankmen as Gordon Smith, Alex Scott, Graham Leggat and Tommy Ring.
Taylor made his first senior mark with Falkirk in 1954-55, when he helped the Bairns scrape clear of a six-team relegation dogfight which resulted in Motherwell taking the drop. Alerted by his burgeoning potential, Preston boss Frank Hill signed the nimble, sharp-shooting 21-year-old for a bargain £8,500 – and the promise of a floodlit game between the two clubs. His senior entrance came in Finney's absence in August in a 4-3 home victory over Newcastle United, and he notched the first of his 48 goals in 166 appearances in a 3-2 away defeat by Manchester United weeks later.
In 1956-57, with Taylor having replaced Morrison as the regular left-winger despite his preference for the opposite touchline, the side now bossed by Cliff Britton soared to third in the championship race, eight points adrift of United at the top. In the February, Taylor hit the first of three hat-tricks for North End in a 7-1 drubbing of Portsmouth at Deepdale, adding two more threesomes on his home turf, Chelsea and Birmingham City his victims.
Britton's men continued to improve, finishing as runners-up to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1957-58. That was as good as it got for Taylor and Preston, who had nosedived calamitously to bottom spot by 1960-61.
The sunny, diminutive Glaswegian was let go that summer by new boss Jimmy Milne. In June 1961, he joined Carlisle United, and shared in a frenetic period with the Brunton Park club, experiencing promotion to the Third Division in both his firstand third term.
In July 1964, Taylor, who had completed a century of league and cup outings for the Cumbrians and supplied 17 goals, moved on to Fourth Division Southport, then non-League Morecambe, where he completed his playing days. His heart remained with Preston, though, and he was one of the first to join the club's former players' association.
Samuel McGregor Taylor, footballer; born Glasgow, 23 September 1933; married; died Preston, Lancashire 6 November 2013.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...