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banner Tuesday, 27 February, 2001, 16:30 GMT
The rise and rise of Peter Taylor
Peter Taylor announces his England squad to face Italy
Peter Taylor announces his England squad to face Italy
On Side started Monday 5 March, BBC One 2235-2315GMT

  • real 56k Click here to watch Peter Taylor's interview.

    Peter Taylor must find it hard to believe what has happened to him in the space of a single season.

    Winning promotion to the First Division with Gillingham before taking charge of Leicester following Martin O'Neill's decision to leave for Celtic would be enough for any manager.

    But being asked to take over as England coach following Kevin Keegan's unexpected departure in October catapulted him - and his coaching ability - into the public eye.

    I was making twice as much money as I subsequently earned as assistant manager at Watford but I never really had any job satisfaction
      Taylor on working in insurance
    Taylor had a distinguished playing career, picking up four England caps in the process, but was forced to retire at the age of 30 due to injury.

    Taylor had always wanted to be a manager: "I ran Sunday morning teams for nearly all my pro career as a player."

    Malcolm Allison, under whose management Taylor played at Crystal Palace, had been a his major influence, introducing him to the 3-5-2 formation he has favoured ever since.

    Taylor was a 23-year-old left winger with the Third Division when Don Revie put him in the England team against Wales in 1976.

    He scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 win. Allison admired Taylor's appetite for hard work in the gym, "That boy's got a physique like a middle weight boxer," he said.

    Even today his appetite for fitness, sees him run 25 miles a week.

    Taylor unveils new Leicester signing Roberto Mancini
    Taylor unveils new Leicester signing Roberto Mancini
    After he joined Spurs for 200,000, his friend Dave Roblin asked him to coach his Sunday team, Roblin Sports.

    He worked in insurance when he retired from playing football, after breaking his leg at the age of 30 but wanted to pursue management.

    He said: "I was making twice as much money as I subsequently earned as assistant manager at Watford, but I never really had any job satisfaction.

    "I got a lot of business but I always felt it was because brokers and building society managers wanted me to talk football for half an hour, not because I was clever at selling pensions or mortgages.

    "The big thing insurance did for me though was to make me more organised - I also feel I can adapt to anything now."

    Dream targets

    After a storming start to the season, Leicester have fallen away a little but are still well within Taylor's ambition of finishing in the top ten in his first season in charge at the club.

    Despite having to fill the void left by Martin O'Neill, Taylor has immediately won over the team's respect.

    "With the money Premiership players have I don't think getting them up against walls works anymore - well not with me anyway; most of them are about twice my size.

    "If you rule by fear they'll rebel. Seriously, you've got a bit more chance if they quite like you."

    On his appointment to the England job before their game against Italy Taylor said: "I'm honoured and privileged to do it for just one game and I've made no secret of the fact that I'd like to be England manager at some stage in the future.

    "Since I was a kid I've always set myself dream targets."

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