Taylor began his playing career with his hometown team, Sheffield Wednesday, turning professional in 1971, but only made six first-team appearances before being sold to York City in 1973. He again failed to establish himself as a regular at Bootham Crescent and was loaned out to Hereford United and Colchester United. In 1974 he was sold to Southport, where he finally established himself as a first-team regular, making over 100 appearances in total.
In 1981, Taylor returned to England as assistant manager of Gillingham after the appointment as manager of Keith Peacock, with whom he had worked in America. He remained in this role until Peacock was sacked in December 1987, whereupon he was promoted to manager. His reign was unsuccessful, however, and he was himself sacked less than a year later.
After leaving Priestfield Stadium, Taylor joined Walsall, where he served as coach and assistant manager and also had a very brief spell as manager. In 1994 he became Director of Football, a post he holds to this day.