According to the dedicated Wikipedia Page for Tommy Taylor,

"On 8 July 2011 a Blue Plaque will be unveiled at 22 Great Stone Road in Stretford. This was a boarding House in the 1950s and Manchester United used it as lodgings for their single players. Tommy lived there with David Pegg and (briefly) Mark Jones until these players were killed at Munich. The Blue Plaque is sponsored by Stretford High School (which is only 50 yards away) and came about as a result of a local history project undertaken by the students at the school. The plaque will be unveiled by Dickie Bird MBE, who was at school with Tommy Taylor in Barnsley".

It's a fitting honour for a legendary player who was cut down in his prime in the Munich air disaster, which took place on the 6th February 1958.

Whilst I can't claim to have watched Tommy Taylor play (unfortunately, I was born a number of year later), the tale of one of Barnsley's most famous sons is probably well known locally amongst football fans of many ages.

At the age of 14 Tommy found employment at Wharncliff Colliery, where he continued to work for the next two years before his professional football career started with Barnsley Football Club.

Through his appearances for Smithies United, his talents were recognised by Barnsley scouts Horace Plant and Harry Wass after only a handful of games and on his sixteenth birthday, Taylor was offered a place on Barnsley's ground staff after trials with the club.

It was at Oakwell where Taylor really made a name for himself. In just 44 appearances he struck a magnificent 26 goals (1949 - 1953), arriving on the radar of of Matt Busby.

Taylor was subsequently transferred Manchester United in March 1953 for a fee of £29,999 (Matt Busby did not want to burden young Taylor as being a “£30,000 pounds player”. Apparently giving a £1 pound note to the tea lady)

The story goes on, not least that in 166 appearance he struck 112 goals for Manchester United, but was in his era a leading international striker. In gaining 19 caps for England,  he hammered in a further 16 goals. Some ratio!

Taylor died instantly in the Munich air disaster, and is buried at Monk Bretton Cemetery.

The memorial plaque at Old Trafford, Mancheste...Image via Wikipedia
It's had me thinking. Maybe I'm being above and beyond my station by suggesting that if Stretford High School have been able to provide this posthumous honour, then why shouldn't Barnsley FC or it's supporters attempt to do the same or more?

How you organise such a tribute is beyond me. It would be interesting to hear if there is a groundswell of support for such an idea and maybe large numbers of people would back the plan and carry it through.

But surely, as a statement to the Barnsley FC Academy lads and supporters of the club we all love, It would be a tender reminder that although Barnsley FC is sometimes humbled by the might of many others in the football world, we're always capable of shining our own blinding light.

RIP Tommy Taylor, Barnsley FC, Manchester United and England.

Share To:

Ian Wilkinson

Post A Comment:

0 comments so far,add yours