Alan Taylor was an experienced winger and striker who joined Hull City in February 1984 following the end of his contract in Canada with NASL side Vancouver Whitecaps. He played an important support role to Colin Appleton’s Tigers as they attempted to win a second consecutive promotion out of the Third Division, only to fall a goal short of their target when needing a 3-0 win at Burnley in the last game of the season. He scored seven goals in his four months at the club, four of which were netted in the inaugural Associate Members’ Cup, in which City reached the final only to lose 2-1 to Bournemouth. His three League goals were all scored in City victories – a 3-1 win over Bournemouth, a 3-0 win over Preston and the only goal of a tight game against Exeter. At the end of the season Appleton had left and Taylor was not offered a longer contract by new boss Brian Horton.
Born in the Leicestershire market town of Hinckley but raised in Lancaster, Taylor was an apprentice at Preston North End in late 1960s but did not make the grade at Deepdale and dropped into non-league football, playing for Lancaster City and Morecambe. He joined Third Division side Rochdale in May 1973 and made 36 league starts in his first season, scoring just once in a 2-1 over Southend in September 1973. Deployed in a more central striking role in 1974/75 Taylor scored six times in the league in the first 19 matches, and his pacy approach to the games prompted West Ham manager Ron Greenwood to pay £40,000 for Alan’s services in December 1974.
Taylor became a first team regular striker for the First Division side in March 1975 and was instrumental in West Ham’s FA Cup victory that May, scoring braces of goals in the Sixth Round away at Arsenal, in the Semi-Final replay against Ipswich at Stamford Bridge and at Wembley in a 2-0 win over Fulham (the Cottagers had eliminated Hull City in the Third Round). His form continued into 1975/76 when Alan scored 13 times in 35 league appearances, including five goals in the opening three fixtures. He also scored three times in seven European Cup Winners Cup appearances as the Hammers reached the Final in Brussels only to lose 4-2 to locally-based Belgian side Anderlecht. In 1976/77 Taylor contributed five league goals as the Hammers flirted with, and narrowly avoided, relegation, with Alan missing four months of football due to injury. In 1977/78 the Hammers were relegated and Taylor scored only twice in only 11 appearances as injury curtailed his season in early October. The following season saw the Hammers score plenty of goals and narrowly miss out of immediate promotion back to the top flight, but Taylor was a peripheral figure playing in only 13 league games. During his four and a half seasons at West Ham United Taylor scored 36 goals in 124 appearances.
In August 1979 Taylor joined Norwich City but spent only one season at Carrow Road before joining North Amercian Soccer League side Vancouver Whitecaps in July 1980. He scored 21 goals in 49 starts for the Canadian side prior to joining the Tigers.
Taylor signed for Burnley in June 1984 – the side that had denied Hull City promotion a few weeks earlier – and at Turf Moor he rediscovered his goalscoring form. He netted eleven times in 24 games in 1984/85 as the Clarets slipped into the Fourth Division, including a hattrick in November 1984 as Burnley slammed non-leaguers Penrith 9-0 in the FA Cup. In 1985/86 he rolled back the years and scored 21 goals in 51 appearances as the Clarets finished midway up the Fourth Division. In June 1986 he joined Third Division Bury and enjoyed another two years in the first team before ending his professional career in 1988/89 back at Norwich City, where he started only four league games all season. He went on to play in the East Anglian non-league scene for Bury Town, Thetford Town (where he was player-manager) and Dereham. He settled in the Norwich area after football where he worked as a newsagent and a pall bearer for a funeral director, as well as working in the corporate lounges at West Ham on matchdays.
Date/Place of Birth: 14 November 1953, Hinckley
Hull City First Game: 4 February 1984, Wigan Athletic H (Division Three), 30 years, 82 days old
Hull City Final Game: 24 May 1984, Bournemouth H (Associate Members’ Cup Final), 30 years, 192 days old
Preston North End (1969-1970), Lancaster City (1970-1971), Morecambe (1971-1973), Rochdale (1973-1974), West Ham United (1974-1979), Norwich City (1979-1980), Vancouver Whitecaps (1980), Cambridge United (1980-1981), Vacouver Whitecaps (1981-1984), Hull City (1984), Burnley (1984-1986), Bury (1986-1988), Norwich City (1988-1989), Bury Town, Thetford Town, Dereham
Hull City Record
Career: 20 apps, 7 goalsAlan Taylor
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