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Eric Taylor - Time to recognise his contribution

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On 21/09/2019 at 11:27, Buxtongent said:

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Sorry, Dorian, but get your facts straight!!!  Eric Taylor was NEVER the CHAIRMAN of SWFC.

His original post was Secretary!. He was later promoted to Secretary Manager. The Chaiman at the time was another self-seeker for personal glory a certain Andrew Stephen, who later went on to Chair the Football League.

He became noted among a lot of Wednesday fans for 'spending money on the ground not the team, but yet, in his time, purchased a good number of excellent players. He broke a good number of then record signings.I well remember the outcry in local and National newspapers when he deigned to buy a certain Jackie Sewell for a world-record breaking £32 Thousand Five hundred pounds! scandle! He also broke the English record for a goalkeeper when he purchased a Ron Springett, and allowed him to live and train in London.. Among his purchases was a certain winger - Eddie Kilshaw -who when playing could make Kadeem Harris look broken winded.   He unfortunately broke his leg, and despite running from bottom of Kop to top and back, never regained his form. as for the Yo-Yo years, at least he got them promoted He bought failures, as any manager will do, but he had his successes too, and had in his term at leatst 3 promotions from Div 2 to Div 1, the equivalent of Championship to Premiership today. We've not seen that in the last 25 years!

He was also instrumental in promoting the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a second to the Champions League, and was responsible for the appearance at S6 of teams of the stature of Santos (twice) and Dynamo Tiblisi, both world-class sides. Yes, he spent a lot of money on the ground but just have a look at the picture 'The Hillsborough Roar', and imagine yourselves watching Wednesday BEFORE the money was spent

Whilst not for one moment claiming him to be the next Saviour, he was certainly Mr. Sheffield Wednesday, heart and soul, and i consider the only true tribute to him would be to name HIS stand after him.

I do stand corrected on his 'title' you being older than I will remember that far better.

on the subject of getting 'facts straight!!!' at the time of the 'fairs cup' surely the title of the 'premier' european competition was the 'european cup' was it not?

as for naming a stand after him, I started watching wednesday around 1968ish from memory, attending with the friend from up the road who'd watch wednesday for some time by then, and I had to ask him 'whose this taylor?' 

one thing I couldn't understand was who this man was that in just about 50% of the home games was hailed with 'TAYLOR OUT, TAYLOR OUT' as the cushions once again rained onto the field from his 'costliest' purchase.

I remember going to chester some years later, possibly under Ashurst I think, and seeing their version of a magnificent cantilever stand, and thinking what a waste, and now look where that got them.

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Many Wednesdayites in the late sixties and seventies hated Eric Taylor with a vengeance, they saw the team fading after the FA Cup final of 1966...fresh faces and legs weren’t added, only John Ritchie as I recall. The popular theme was that he only cared about ground development and not the team on the pitch and that is very much what it looked like as we slumped to the 1969-70 season. Another reason was the “Tommy Craig and 10 others comment” which did nothing to encourage the team spirit at the time. I’m sure the idea of some kind of memorial has probably been mooted in the past but it may be that opinion is so divided on him that nothing has been done.

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49 minutes ago, sternlad said:

Many Wednesdayites in the late sixties and seventies hated Eric Taylor with a vengeance, they saw the team fading after the FA Cup final of 1966...fresh faces and legs weren’t added, only John Ritchie as I recall. The popular theme was that he only cared about ground development and not the team on the pitch and that is very much what it looked like as we slumped to the 1969-70 season. Another reason was the “Tommy Craig and 10 others comment” which did nothing to encourage the team spirit at the time. I’m sure the idea of some kind of memorial has probably been mooted in the past but it may be that opinion is so divided on him that nothing has been done.

 

getting to the late '60s  and seventies, Eric Taylor was no longer in charge of team matters, if he hadn't retired. We had already had Harry Catterick, who deserted to Everton, and the Manager was a Mr. Alan Brown,

Unfortunately , many Wednesdayites were blighted with the same disease then that they still have today - it's called something like 'living in the past' or 'lest we forget'

Much of the money spent on ground improvements in the early '60s came fro grants towards the '66 World Cup., and by that time, the cost of buying football stars was sky-rocketing beyond the cost of ground improvements.

And thanks, Dorian. The names of the various competitions, like their format, has changed so often it's something my brain has difficulty in keeping up with. As you say, it was The European Cup, and I believe was like the FA Cup. originally a knock-out competition. This, I believe, but will stand correction, was followed by the Taylor-inspired 'Inter-Cities Fair's Cup (later to become the Cup-Winners Cup) I'm afraid that, since they  seemed to involve only the 'select' clubs, and were taken over by them, I lost interest in European \football.    

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4 minutes ago, Buxtongent said:

 

getting to the late '60s  and seventies, Eric Taylor was no longer in charge of team matters, if he hadn't retired. We had already had Harry Catterick, who deserted to Everton, and the Manager was a Mr. Alan Brown,

Unfortunately , many Wednesdayites were blighted with the same disease then that they still have today - it's called something like 'living in the past' or 'lest we forget'

Much of the money spent on ground improvements in the early '60s came fro grants towards the '66 World Cup., and by that time, the cost of buying football stars was sky-rocketing beyond the cost of ground improvements.

And thanks, Dorian. The names of the various competitions, like their format, has changed so often it's something my brain has difficulty in keeping up with. As you say, it was The European Cup, and I believe was like the FA Cup. originally a knock-out competition. This, I believe, but will stand correction, was followed by the Taylor-inspired 'Inter-Cities Fair's Cup (later to become the Cup-Winners Cup) I'm afraid that, since they  seemed to involve only the 'select' clubs, and were taken over by them, I lost interest in European \football.    

the part I've highlighted is as accurate as anything you'll ever read on here, it handicaps our club in a way the newly promoted pigs are not.

 

moving on to the 'inter cities fairs cup' originally (and this is from memory, so I'll stand correcting) it was for footballers from cities to compete in, London, Birmingham (with villa players included) sheffield would be a wednesday and united combined set up, Manchester citeh and united, and so on.

it then evolved into a club competition (i'm not sure of the year) but I think l**ds won it in 1970 on away goals.

I do believe it went on to be the UEFA cup, but I thought the cup winners cup (which was more prestigious in the uk than the UEFA cup, but far easier to win) ran along side it for a while, I remember Chelsea winning it. I always thought at the time it was ended because english sides won it more than anyone else, with the lesser rated UEFA cup being much harder to win for english sides who had a hard 42 game season to endure.

eventually I thought the cup winners cup was swallowed up by the UEFA cup, with our fa cup winners (possibly) qualifying for the place previously awarded to the league cup winners (or whatever it's name was that season).

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On 22/09/2019 at 22:44, torryowl said:

that's a ridiculous view from them then …….I grew up hearing it and it's just crap . as team manager he got the board to spend(then)  vast sums on players in the 50s, he signed all but 2 of the team that finished runners up to spurs in 61 …..when it comes to ground development he worked under the boards instruction a job he did very well as we had the best ground in the country in the 60s ……the blokes a giant when it comes to the  history of Sheffield Wednesday officials …..  

One of the things fans overlook and the reason I dispute this.

We were the only club in the league where home fans couldn't stand up under cover completely dilluting and killing the atmosphere and disregarding our working class fanbase who couldn't afford the luxury of paying for a seat.

Eric Taylor for me did great with the North stand but ignoring working class fans and not realising a half open stadium would kill most of the atmosphere is deploreable.

A covered standing area should have been first on the list in the 60's not ignored.

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45yrs at swfc, Blue & white to the core, statue or Eric Taylor stand is the least he deserves. 

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52 minutes ago, debram said:

45yrs at swfc, Blue & white to the core, statue or Eric Taylor stand is the least he deserves. 

60 years at SWFC and couldn't agree more

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14 hours ago, Mountain Owl said:

One of the things fans overlook and the reason I dispute this.

We were the only club in the league where home fans couldn't stand up under cover completely dilluting and killing the atmosphere and disregarding our working class fanbase who couldn't afford the luxury of paying for a seat.

Eric Taylor for me did great with the North stand but ignoring working class fans and not realising a half open stadium would kill most of the atmosphere is deploreable.

A covered standing area should have been first on the list in the 60's not ignored.

Not sure about that argument, I've been when the lepp was partially  covered  standing and I dont recall the atmosphere  being electric. Our hardcore support still preferred the open kop to the covered lepp..the man could see the future was seating and as time as proved he wasn't wrong .

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Reading this fred I find it amazing that he  cops some for what happened in the 60s....managers catterick,Buckingham,brown ,William's signed the players .the only player Taylor signed was when we were without a manager a d he paid a record fee for tommy Craig on whom we had 5 years great service and sold for a profit ...the board led by chairman Stephens would have had the final say on ground development....Taylor was just the bloke who  implemented there plans .

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14 hours ago, Oliver Cromwell said:

60 years at SWFC and couldn't agree more

70+ years, and I agree. What many people fail to recognise is that the Old Stand, prior to the Cantilever being built, was not simply a covered terrace, but only partial standing with the choice to sit at the back.- all the same price. This was replaced by a new cantilever stand with seating for our so called 'working class fan base'

When it was built,the Stand up fans had the choice of two covered areas on the Leppings Lare end. Don't forget that the 'wedge' on the Lepp was covered standing  as well as under the scoreboard, There was also standing available on both sides of the South Stand  - yes-terraces - which were only to become seating for the World Cup in 66.

And what a clamour was made when the Kop was covered . This was very unpopular with the fans initially.

Then , what followed with regards to stadiums, was largely determined by the behaviour of fans themselves. 

For the first twenty years of my watching football, there was no such thing as segregation.IT WASN'T NECESSARY. Fans mixed with, took the p**s out and outshouted each other, then went for a pint afterwards. Yes, there was rivalry, but one always respected the other chap's point of view. The odd scuffle may break out at times, but it was usually 'handbags at 10 paces'. People were far too enthralled by how their own players were playing, not what the opposing fans were up to.

This, and the whole of public attitude changed, until we arrived at 'segregation'. The whole attitude of football changed and became more radical.  This in its turn led to Hysel, and eventually Hillsborough, .This brought on the Taylor report and the requirement for all-seater stadiums, which I am sure would have been anathema to EWT,who, if you met him personally, as I once had the honour, was a very ordinary some may say humble man of the people..

A statue of Eric Taylor should be erected in the centre of Sheffield , let alone a stand named after  him

And remember, it is the younger end of Football fanatics who brought on all-seater stadiums, and with their behaviour, drove many of the true fans from football, not the Eric Taylor's of this world..

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3 hours ago, torryowl said:

Not sure about that argument, I've been when the lepp was partially  covered  standing and I dont recall the atmosphere  being electric. Our hardcore support still preferred the open kop to the covered lepp..the man could see the future was seating and as time as proved he wasn't wrong .

Beg to disagree. When I was first taken to Hillsborough it was the season just before the Lepps was changed. It was a very popular end for home supporters albeit a shallower terrace than the kop.

Singing in the way of more vocal backing came into the game mid to late 60's. Most clubs had a covered home terrace end which both unified and amplified the singing and noise. We were the club left with the short straw.

First time I went to Liverpool I was stood on their kop by mistake but was blown away by the atmosphere and when I heard the stretford end, Holte end etc I always thought why havent we got this?

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2 hours ago, torryowl said:

Not sure about that argument, I've been when the lepp was partially  covered  standing and I dont recall the atmosphere  being electric. Our hardcore support still preferred the open kop to the covered lepp..the man could see the future was seating and as time as proved he wasn't wrong .

he could see there was more money in seating.

but I for one when getting pissed wet through yet again, would have preferred a roof. 

also that's what made the away day 'atmosphere' so good, you were generally under cover, and the collective sound took over many a ground.

big mistake having that 'home' vocal support missing, and nowadays due to the spread of the crowd it's still not what it should/could be.

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3 hours ago, Mountain Owl said:

Beg to disagree. When I was first taken to Hillsborough it was the season just before the Lepps was changed. It was a very popular end for home supporters albeit a shallower terrace than the kop.

Singing in the way of more vocal backing came into the game mid to late 60's. Most clubs had a covered home terrace end which both unified and amplified the singing and noise. We were the club left with the short straw.

First time I went to Liverpool I was stood on their kop by mistake but was blown away by the atmosphere and when I heard the stretford end, Holte end etc I always thought why havent we got 

How I remember it was we started congregating in the middle of the kop 63-4 season ,the lepp didn't shut till the end of the following season so the fans had a choice and they chose the kop....I understand your view but the future for modern stadiums was by increasing seating and can see why the club went down that route.i doubt very much that we would have got the world cup and many semi finals we had in the 60s with old north stand and terraced lepp.

Edited by torryowl
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On 23/10/2012 at 03:39, Freshfish said:

Too much money spent on the ground and not enough attention paid to playing staff and managers.

Well we’ve spent nothing on the ground for over 20 years and look at the state it’s in. 

People never want to pay for infrastructure, but look where that gets you.

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Taylor and Stephens were giants compared to current owner and knew value of club to community.

 

Even as a school kid, I could afford to go and see my Owls heroes and Pele at Hillsborough but now I need a mortgage to get in.

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10 minutes ago, fred mciver said:

Taylor and Stephens were giants compared to current owner and knew value of club to community.

 

Even as a school kid, I could afford to go and see my Owls heroes and Pele at Hillsborough but now I need a mortgage to get in.

 

Is your house in Cambodia?

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I think Buxtongent's comments are spot on.  Thankfully, I also remember the time before segregation.  

I've been on Hillsborough in a semi final crowd of 65,000. NO TROUBLE!  65,000 was the capacity for many semis in the 60s.

My father was at the match which set the all time record attendance of just over 72,000!

 

Looking back at comments I read where Eric got abuse after Dooley was sacked on Christmas Eve 1972.  Eric had had his accident then and the chairman was Sheppard.  Dorian Gray kept calling Eric chairman.  NOT TRUE, he never was.

I knew my book would prove controversial and I'm really glad that it has given fans chance to air their opinions. For those of us who remember Eric it is no surprise to hear the comments about him putting ground before team.  

 

The book should be on sale at the next home game (Stoke City)

WAWAW ! 

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My book on the Owls darkest times ofor 1973-76 will be out in the spring. Eric Taylor is mentioned in there - generally positively though with mention that there were 'Taylor Out' chants and protests. The stadium remained a world class one into the 70s - with plenty of FA Cup semi-finals and even a Northern Ireland international held there. 

 

I can understand the frustration of fans who remember the early/mid 70s as they witnessed a decline from the fantastic 60/61 team to near relegation to D4.

 

I do think that Eric Taylor was/is the wrong target for that frustration though. 

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11 minutes ago, Bearwood Owl1 said:

My book on the Owls darkest times ofor 1973-76 will be out in the spring. Eric Taylor is mentioned in there - generally positively though with mention that there were 'Taylor Out' chants and protests. The stadium remained a world class one into the 70s - with plenty of FA Cup semi-finals and even a Northern Ireland international held there. 

 

I can understand the frustration of fans who remember the early/mid 70s as they witnessed a decline from the fantastic 60/61 team to near relegation to D4.

 

I do think that Eric Taylor was/is the wrong target for that frustration though. 

 The problems were  not all his fault but he was part of the senior management team he cannot imo be exempt of all blame 

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My book- Owlstalk (the wilderness years) will be out in time for Christmas..big guns gets a mention..

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