Brian (Joseph) Taylor
Date of birth 24 March 1937 (age 77)
Place of birth Walsall, England
Playing position Winger
Years Team Apps
1954–1958 Walsall 77
1958–1961 Birmingham City 54
1961–1963 Rotherham United 42
1963–1965 Shrewsbury Town 73
1965–1967 Port Vale 46
1967–1968 Barnsley 24
1968–1970 Kidderminster Harriers
1970–19?? Bromsgrove Rovers
Taylor started his career as an amateur with Walsall, and turned professional in September 1954. He made more than 70 appearances for the “Saddlers” in the Third Division South. Frank Buckley failed to keep Walsall out of the re-election zone in the 1954–55 season, and the Fellows Park outfit continued to struggle in the lower half of the table in 1955–56 and 1956–57 under the stewardship of John Love. Despite the introduction of new boss Bill Moore, a 20th place finish in 1957–58 left the club to become founder members of the Fourth Division.
He moved to First Division club Birmingham City in June 1958 in exchange for £10,000 and the inside-forward Jimmy Cochrane. Manager Arthur Turner described him as a “wonderful prospect”. He scored six goals from 30 appearances in the 1958–59 season. Each of the six was the last goal of its match: his first top-flight goal, “tearing through straight from the second-half kick-off”, helped earn his club a draw at Portsmouth, the other five all came in comfortable wins. Having come into the first team early in the 1959–60 season when Gordon Astall was injured in the home defeat of Newcastle United, Taylor suffered double vision in the reverse fixture a week later and was out for a month. He was selected regularly during October by manager Pat Beasley until a broken leg, sustained in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup semi-final win over R.U. Saint-Gilloise in mid-November, kept him out for a year. Though he returned to the first team, the injury had robbed him of much of his pace. He scored on his return, against Manchester United, and made 24 appearances during the remainder of the season, sharing the outside-left position with Billy Rudd: Taylor was preferred on a heavy pitch.
After the removal of the maximum wage in 1961, Taylor was unable to agree terms for the coming season, so Birmingham circulated other clubs inviting offers for him. By mid-September, it became clear that the remaining few contract “rebels”, Taylor included, would get no help from the League in settling their disputes with their clubs, and the Professional Footballers’ Association advised them to submit transfer requests. Taylor played four first-team matches during September, then signed for Rotherham United on 13 October for a £10,000 fee.
Rotherham were competing in the Second Division under the stewardship of Tom Johnston. Taylor quickly became an established member of the team at Millmoor with his “good crossing ability”, making a total of 26 appearances in the 1961–62 season. In the following season he was in and out of the team under new boss Danny Williams, but still managed another 20 appearances for the “Millers”.
He moved to Shrewsbury Town for the 1963–64 season. Arthur Rowley’s “Shrews” posted 11th and 16th place finishes in the Third Division in 1963–64 and 1964–65. Taylor played 73 league games in his two seasons at the Gay Meadow.
Taylor was sold to Jackie Mudie’s Port Vale for £3,000 in July 1965.] He scored three goals in 42 appearances in the 1965–66 campaign, but made just 11 appearances at Vale Park in the 1966–67 season. He was given a free transfer to Fourth Division rivals Barnsley in May 1967.
Taylor played 24 games, and helped Johnny Steele’s “Tykes” to win promotion with a second place finish in 1967–68, five points behind champions Luton Town. Despite this success, he left Oakwell and entered non-league football with Kidderminster Harriers (West Midlands (Regional) League), Bromsgrove Rovers, Welshpool Town, Oswestry Town and Darlaston.