Football: Pearce pays tribute

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STUART PEARCE, Graham Taylor's captain, paid tribute to his manager last night.

Pearce, appointed by Taylor after Gary Lineker's retirement, said: 'He's been very loyal and very honest and I have a special affinity with him.

'Most of the players who have been in his squad over the years will feel an affection for the man. His heart was certainly in it and it gave him great pride to manage England. When I have had problems with injuries he's given me every chance to play for my country.'

Graham Taylor's assistant, Lawrie McMenemy, who has also resigned, said: 'Graham kept me informed over the last week or so about what he intended to do. When he announced his resignation the honourable thing was to announce mine as well. You have to put up your hands and say we didn't qualify for the World Cup. It's time to let someone else have a go.'