Jeff Taylor (footballer)
|Full name||Jeffrey Neilson Taylor|
|Date of birth||20 September 1930|
|Place of birth||Huddersfield, England|
|Date of death||28 December 2010(aged 80)|
|* 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.
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. Taylor scored in double-figures in his first two seasons with Huddersfield Town. 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. He was Brentford's second-highest scorer in the 1956-57 season, his last in football. Taylor finished his career having scored 84 goals in 204 games. 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".
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. Taylor performed opera under the name "Neilson Taylor" and was a bass baritone. After retiring from football, he joined the Yorkshire Opera Company. 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. 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.
His younger brother, Ken Taylor also played football for Huddersfield. Ken was also a professional cricketer, playing three Tests for England and first-class cricket for Yorkshire. 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. After retiring from teaching, Taylor retired to Yorkshire.
- Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920-2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 158. ISBN 978-0955294914.
- Brentford Matchday Magazine versus Burnley 27/09/97. Quay Design of Poole. 1997. p. 22.
- 99 Years & Counting - Stats & Stories - Huddersfield Town History
- The Independent obituary, 29 January 2011. 
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