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  Monday, 31 December, 2001, 00:23 GMT
Taylor awarded OBE
Graham Taylor celebrates his team's promotion to the Premiership in 1998 after beating Bolton 2-0 in the Division One play-off final
Taylor will always be synonymous with Watford
Former England manager Graham Taylor has been awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours for his services to football.

The 57-year-old former England, Lincoln, Watford, Aston Villa and Wolves boss retired from management at the end of the 2000-2001 season.

His colourful managerial career spanned 36 years and 1,020 league games, and encompassed all the English professional divisions.

But he was as famous for his failures as his successes and became a figure of fun after a disastrous end to his tenure as England boss.

  Taylor's managerial career
1976 Wins promotion with Lincoln
1982 Watford, in Division Four when Taylor took over, promoted to top flight
1983 Watford reach FA Cup final
1990 Villa finish second in top flight
1992 England disappoint at Euro 92
1993 England fail to qualify for 1994 World Cup
1998 Watford promoted to Premiership
2001 Taylor retires from management
"I'm very honoured by this award, and like a lot of people, probably very surprised as well," said Taylor, who is now a director at Aston Villa.

"I'm very pleased and I know how much it means to me and my family - my parents, my wife and my daughters."

As a journeyman player Taylor made 189 league appearances for Grimsby and a further 150 games for Lincoln.

But it is as a manager that Taylor made his mark.

Forced to retire with a hip injury at the age of 28, Taylor took over as Lincoln manager in 1972.

Four seasons later the Imps were promoted as champions from the old Fourth Division.

Shortly afterwards Taylor joined lowly Watford and the Hornets meteoric rise through the divisions began.

Watford were promoted from Division Four in 1978, amassing a then-record 74 points during an emphatic title-winning season.

Taylor clashes with an official during England's 1993 World Cup qualifying defeat in Holland
Taylor: Do I not like that
The following season the team were promoted from Division Three and in 1982 finished second in Division Two and clinched a place in the top flight.

Watford finished second in their first season in Division One and reached the 1983 FA Cup Final, losing 2-0 to Everton.

"At Watford, to go from Division Four to the First Division, the FA Cup final and Europe in five years was also a real highlight," said Taylor.

Taylor eventually left for Villa in 1987 and won promotion to Division One with his new club before guiding them to a runners-up place behind Liverpool in 1990.

Later the same year Taylor took up his biggest challenge, succeeding Bobby Robson as England manager.

Taylor's England qualified for Euro 92 but were eliminated from the tournament at the group stage and failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

He was vilified in the English press for his long-ball tactics and acquired the nickname 'Turnip Head' after England's failure to win a crunch game against Sweden at Euro 92.

Taylor was also mocked following his 'Do I not like that' line in a television documentary chronicling England's failure to reach USA 94.

But, despite the barrage of abuse Taylor received as England boss, it remains the highlight of his career.

Graham Taylor's Watford were relegated from the Premiership in 1999
Taylor feels the pain of Watford's relegation in 1999

"There have only been about 10 England managers, so when you accept the job, it is a very, very proud moment."

Taylor returned to club management after resigning as England boss and, after one mediocre season at Wolves, began his second spell at Watford in 1996.

Taylor could not avoid relegation to Division Two but guided the Hornets to the Premiership, his team sealing their place in the top flight with a 2-0 play-off win over Bolton.

The Hornets made an immediate return to the Division One and Taylor retired from management at the end of the 2000-2001 season.

Despite his failure as England manager, the likeable Taylor remains a popular and respected figure throughout the game.

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See also:

26 Apr 01 | Watford
23 Jan 01 | Football
01 Jun 99 | Watford
04 Jun 01 | Aston Villa
29 Mar 01 | Watford
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