Jeff Taylor (footballer)

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Jeff Taylor
Personal information
Full name Jeffrey Neilson Taylor[1]
Date of birth (1930-09-20)20 September 1930
Place of birth Huddersfield, England
Date of death 28 December 2010(2010-12-28) (aged 80)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1949–1951 Huddersfield Town 68 (27)
1951–1954 Fulham 33 (14)
1954–1957 Brentford 94 (34)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Jeffrey Neilson "Jeff" Taylor (born 20 September 1930 in Huddersfield, died 28 December 2010) was a professional footballer, who played for Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Brentford. He went on to perform opera.[2]

Football career[edit]

In an eight-year career as a professional footballer, Taylor played in Division One, Two and Three of the Football League for Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Brentford respectively.[1] Taylor scored in double-figures in his first two seasons with Huddersfield Town.[3] He moved to Fulham in 1951, hitting a hattrick in one of his early appearances against Middlesbrough, before his music studies began to take precedence and he dropped out of the first team picture.[3] He was Brentford's second-highest scorer in the 1956-57 season, his last in football.[1] Taylor finished his career having scored 84 goals in 204 games.[1] Looking back in 1997 on his premature retirement, Taylor said, "singing won the say. I had no long-term ambitions in football and I realised that it was impossible to marry the two".[3]

Opera career[edit]

While still a footballer, Taylor was able to use his wages to pay for his studies in singing and piano at the Royal Academy of Music.[3] Taylor performed opera under the name "Neilson Taylor" and was a bass baritone. After retiring from football, he joined the Yorkshire Opera Company.[3] Taylor moved on in 1962 to understudy Michel Roux in Pelléas et Mélisande and Walter Alberti and John Shirley-Quirk in L'incoronazione di Poppea at Glyndebourne.[3] His time at Glyndebourne proved to be a breakthrough and he toured the world, spending time in Australia and a year at Mantova in Italy, which led to work at The Royal Opera in Covent Garden and in Rotterdam. Taylor failed to fully deliver on his promise as a singer, but found fulfilment when he was made Professor of Singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow, remaining in the role for 18 years.

Personal life[edit]

His younger brother, Ken Taylor also played football for Huddersfield.[3] Ken was also a professional cricketer, playing three Tests for England and first-class cricket for Yorkshire.[3] Ken's son (Jeff's nephew) Nick Taylor also played cricket for Yorkshire. While still a footballer, Taylor studied for a degree in Geography at London University.[3] After retiring from teaching, Taylor retired to Yorkshire.


  1. ^ a b c d Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920-2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 158. ISBN 978-0955294914. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brentford Matchday Magazine versus Burnley 27/09/97. Quay Design of Poole. 1997. p. 22. 

External links[edit]

  • 99 Years & Counting - Stats & Stories - Huddersfield Town History
  • The Independent obituary, 29 January 2011. [1]