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Peter Taylor
Personal information
Full name Peter Thomas Taylor
Date of birth 2 July 1928(1928-07-02)
Place of birth    Nottingham, England
Date of death    4 October 1990 (aged 62)
Place of death    Majorca, Spain
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Nottingham Forest
Coventry City
Port Vale
Burton Albion
000 (0)
086 (0)
140 (0)
001 (0)
00? (?)   
Teams managed
Burton Albion
Hartlepool United (assistant manager)
Derby County (assistant manager)
Brighton & Hove Albion (assistant manager)
Brighton & Hove Albion
Nottingham Forest (assistant manager)
Derby County

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Peter Thomas Taylor (2 July 1928 – 4 October 1990) was an English football goalkeeper and more notably, a football manager. His name is synonymous with Brian Clough, whom he served as assistant manager at various clubs in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Playing twenty years of professional football, he started in the Nottingham Forest reserves, before making his name at Coventry City from 1950 to 1955. He then spent six years as Middlesbrough's first choice 'keeper, making 140 league appearances for the side. He saw out his career with Port Vale in 1961/62.

His first management position was at non-league Burton Albion from 1962 to 1965. Following this he spent nine years as Brian Clough's number 2 at Hartlepool United, Derby County and Brighton & Hove Albion. From 1974 to 1976 he was Brighton manager, choosing not to team up again with Clough until 1976, at Nottingham Forest. The pair enjoyed a highly successful partnership, and were going strong at Forest until Taylor retired in May 1982. Six months later he took the top job at Derby County, where he remained until his permanent retirement in 1984.


Playing career

A Nottingham local, Taylor started his career with Nottingham Forest, though never made a first team league appearance. In 1950 he joined Coventry City, where he kept goal in 86 league games in five years before moving on to Middlesbrough. He spent six years with the club, making 140 league appearances. At Middlesbrough, Taylor met Brian Clough, an up-and-coming young striker. Spotting Clough's potential he helped him achieve a first team place.

In June 1961, Port Vale paid 'Boro £750 for his services. Largely unneeded at Vale, Ken Hancock being a virtual ever-present from 1960 to 1964, Taylor's only appearance was in a 2-1 defeat at Bradford Park Avenue on 3 February 1962. He left on a free transfer for Burton Albion in May 1962, where he began his management career.[1]

Management career

In October 1962, Taylor was offered the manager's job at Burton Albion. He created one of the most successful sides in Burton's history, winning the Southern League Cup in 1964. A year later he became Clough's assistant manager at Hartlepools (now Hartlepool). Before their arrival, the club had been forced to apply for re-election to the Football League four times in the previous six years. The two gradually turned around the club's fortunes, leading them to an 8th place finish in the Fourth Division.

While Clough inspired and motivated the team, it was Taylor who had the uncanny ability to spot talent and potential. Clough once said of his colleague: "I'm not equipped to manage successfully without Peter Taylor. I am the shop window and he is the goods in the back." Taylor himself described their partnership as: "We just gelled together, we filled in the gaps...My strength was buying and selecting the right player, then Brian's man management would shape the player."

In May 1967 both men left to join Derby County. The team they built at Hartlepools was promoted the following year. At Derby, Taylor and Clough proceeded to re-build the side with Taylor instrumental in signing players such as Dave Mackay and Roy McFarland. Derby were promoted to the First Division in 1969. They finished fourth in 1970 and won the League Championship in 1972 - the first in the club's history. Derby reached the semi-finals of the European Cup the following season, controversially losing to Juventus. On 15 October 1973, both he and Clough resigned, partially after a dispute with the Derby board over Taylor's crucial but largely undefined role, although numerous reasons were behind Clough and Taylor's resignation.[2] There were protests over this at Derby's next home game against Leicester City on 20 October 1973, as the Derby fans demanded the reinstatement of both Clough and Taylor.

The two then took over at Third Division Brighton on 1 November 1973, though this time with less success. Just after Clough and Taylor were appointed, the team lost 4-0 at home to Walton & Hersham in an FA Cup replay and then 8-2 at home to Bristol Rovers on 1 December 1973. Brighton finished 19th in the final table that season, narrowly avoiding relegation to the old Fourth Division.

Clough left for Leeds United in July 1974, but Taylor refused to go with Clough and he stayed on at the South coast club for a further two seasons, guiding the team to a 4th place finish in 1975-76. On 16 July 1976, Taylor resigned as manager and joined with Clough once again, who had by this time moved on to Nottingham Forest. A year later Brighton were promoted to the Second Division under Alan Mullery and in 1978-79 they reached the First Division.

Within a year of Taylor's arrival, Forest were promoted to the First Division. In 1977, Taylor and Clough decided to replace John Middleton with Peter Shilton, whom they purchased for £270,000, Taylor reasoned: "Shilton wins you matches."[3] In their first season back in the top division, Forest emphatically won the Championship, finishing seven points clear of runners-up Liverpool, conceding just 24 goals in 42 games with Shilton in goal.[3] They also won the League Cup, with a 1-0 win over Liverpool in the replay. In 1979, Forest won the European Cup with victory over Malmö FF and the League Cup again. The European Cup was retained a year later, this time against Kevin Keegan's Hamburger SV, though the club were denied a third consecutive League Cup win after a defeat in the final to Wolves.

Feud with Clough

Taylor retired in May 1982 after Forest finished 12th in the league and were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round by Wrexham, but took over as manager of Derby six months later in November of that year, to the great surprise of most people in the game.[4] At the time Derby were going through serious financial problems and were bottom of the table, but he steered them to a mid-table position by the end of the season. In the third round of the FA Cup on 8 January 1983 they knocked out Clough's Forest team with a 2-0 win at the Baseball Ground. They reached the 5th round, being knocked out by Manchester United 1-0 at home. That season, Derby went through a 14-match unbeaten run. However, the following season saw the team struggle again, and Taylor resigned in early April 1984 with the club third from bottom of the Second Division. There was no money to spend on new players. Derby were almost bankrupt and were rescued at the last minute in late March 1984. However, the team reached the quarter-finals in the FA Cup that season, being knocked out 1-0 in a replay against Plymouth Argyle by means of a freak goal direct from a corner. The revenue obtained from the FA Cup run almost certainly helped to keep the club afloat.

It appears that the relationship started to fracture in the Autumn of 1980 when Taylor published "With Clough by Taylor", an autobiography which was largely based on Taylor's work with Clough. He did not consult with or tell Clough that he was writing the book at the time.

Although they initially parted on good terms, Taylor's relationship with Clough was finally damaged permanently after a dispute over the transfer of John Robertson from Forest to Derby in May 1983, when Taylor apparently didn't tell Clough was on holiday.[3] Clough attacked Taylor afterwards in a tabloid article as being a "rattlesnake", "a snake-in-the-grass" and said that "We pass each other on the A52 going to work on most days of the week. But if his car broke down and I saw him thumbing a lift, I wouldn't pick him up, I'd run him over".

Clough and Taylor would never speak to one another again.[3] During the final six years of his life, Taylor sometimes wrote newspaper articles giving his view on football. In 1989, a year before he died, Taylor urged Clough in a tabloid article to retire before 1) a chairman like Longson forced him out and 2) his health suffered under the strain of being a top-level manager, forcing him into premature retirement, which happened four years later.


Peter Taylor died suddenly whilst on holiday in Costa De Los Pinos, Majorca, aged 62 on 4 October 1990. When told of Taylor's death by Ron Fenton, Clough apparently didn't speak, put the phone down on him and cried heavily.[5] He also, whilst very upset, made a phone call to the Taylor family. Clough attended the funeral eleven days later and dedicated his 1994 autobiography to Taylor saying "To Peter. Still miss you badly. You once said: 'When you get shot of me there won't be as much laughter in your life'. You were right".[5]


Clough paid tribute to Taylor when he was awarded the freedom of the city of Nottingham in March 1993, saying that "I have only one regret today, and that is that me mate isn't here with me". He also paid tribute to Taylor in September 1999 when a bust of himself was unveiled at the City Ground, saying that he would like the "The Brian Clough" stand to be renamed the "Brian Clough and Peter Taylor Stand" in recognition of the big contribution Taylor made to the partnership.

He was portrayed by Timothy Spall in The Damned United, a multi-million pound film based on Clough's ill-fated spell at Leeds United.[4]

Derby County are considering erecting a statue of Taylor and Clough together outside Pride Park.[6] Clough is already honoured with statues in Nottingham and Middlesbrough.[7]

In October 2009, Taylor's family complained that not enough had been done to recognize his achievements, in particular his daughter, Wendy Dickinson, bemoaned Nottingham Forest having his "contribution... written out of the history".[8]

In January 2010 Wendy Dickinson appealed for help to write a new book about her father. She has asked for former players, fans and neighbours to contact her with anecdotes about her late father.[9]



as a manager

with Burton Albion


External links


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