Webb leads tributes to Taylor

27 July 2012 09:47

Howard Webb hailed the legacy Jack Taylor left on refereeing in this country as tributes poured in for the former official who has died at the age of 82.

On Friday afternoon the Football League announced that Taylor OBE, who they described as "perhaps the finest English referee of all time", had passed away at his Shropshire home.

Taylor officiated in more than 1,000 matches during a career than lasted more than 30 years. He also took charge of more than 100 international fixtures, including the 1974 World Cup final between West Germany and Holland in Munich, where he made history by awarding the first-ever penalty in a World Cup final.

He also left a lasting impression on fellow official Webb, who in 2010 became the first Englishman since Taylor to referee a World Cup final when he took charge of the clash between Spain and Holland in Johannesburg.

Webb said: "Jack was the referees' referee: he was a cool character who exuded authority.

"The great thing about him was that he always had time to pass on advice and I don't think my career would have progressed the way it did without Jack. I'm very sad that I'll no longer be able to turn to him for advice and laughter but refereeing in this country is much richer for Jack Taylor."

Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials, echoed those thoughts, saying: "Every referee of our generation looked up to Jack Taylor because he set the standard. His performances at the 1974 FIFA World Cup inspired a whole generation of referees in this country.

"I was fortunate to travel to the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa with Jack for him to watch Howard Webb. He was incredibly proud that another Englishman had taken charge of the biggest game in world football.

"But then that was Jack, he was not only very well respected throughout the game by players and managers, he was also an extremely nice man and wonderful fun to be around.

"And he never stopped inspiring match officials. Over the last five years he has played an important role for PGMOL passing on his many years of experience to tomorrow's referees. We will miss him greatly."

Source: PA