Sporting Life stalwart Graham Taylor has died

Graham Taylor, who spent 40 years at The Sporting Life, including a period of just more than a year as Editor when the paper was owned by Robert Maxwell, died on Sunday. He was 80 years old.

The Gentleman Ranters blog carries an obituary, written by Jeremy Chapman, Taylor’s former deputy on the defunct horseracing daily.

“One of the people he helped was John McCririck in his days as an award-winning investigative journalist,” Chapman writes. “‘Big Mac’ often used to have trouble writing intros but Graham would always come up with a good one and get the piece started.”

Taylor joined the Life at 16 in 1946, and made his way up the ranks after starting on the sports desk and he later produced a widely read football pools page. He was appointed successor to long-serving editor Ossie Fletcher in March 1985, when Maxwell interrupted Ossie’s retirement party to announce: “Brother Taylor will be your new editor.”

According to Champman, “On being replaced in April 1986, Graham said his overriding emotion was one of relief, saying: ‘I was on the paper for 40 years and enjoyed them all apart from the last one’.”

Taylor leaves a wife, Norma, two sons, David and Jonathan, and daughter Jane. No funeral details are yet available.

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