Jack Taylor (referee)

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Jack Taylor
Jack Taylor - referee.jpg
Full name John Keith Taylor
Born (1930-04-21)21 April 1930
Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England, UK
Died 27 July 2012(2012-07-27) (aged 82)
Shropshire, England, UK
Other occupation Butcher
Years League Role
1963–1977 FIFA listed Referee

John Keith Taylor OBE (21 April 1930 – 27 July 2012) was an English football referee, famous for officiating in the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final during which he awarded two penalties in the first 30 minutes.[1] The first of these penalty kicks, awarded after just a minute of play, created World Cup history – it was the first penalty kick ever awarded in a World Cup final.

Refereeing career[edit]

Taylor served as a referee for 33 years, taking charge of more than 1,000 games, over 100 international fixtures played in 60 countries; Taylor first refereed at the FIFA World Cup in 1970, taking charge of a group game between Italy and Sweden. He was again selected for the 1974 tournament for which he became most noted.

He took charge of several major club competition finals: Firstly, in 1966, when he officiated the FA Cup Final between Everton and Sheffield Wednesday, followed by the 1971 European Cup Final between AFC Ajax and Panathinaikos, both staged at Wembley Stadium.[2]

Taylor was inducted into the FIFA Hall of Fame on 1 February 1999 in Barcelona.[2] On 25 September 2013, he became the first referee inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.[3]

1974 World Cup Final[edit]

Taylor was awarded the final between hosts West Germany and the Netherlands.

The kick off had to be delayed when Taylor spotted the ground staff had forgotten to put the corner flags out on the pitch. They had been removed to accommodate the closing ceremony which took place before the final. After just a minute of play he created World Cup history when he awarded a penalty kick, the first ever awarded in a World Cup final. The Netherlands were given a penalty after Uli Hoeneß threw himself into a challenge just on the right edge of the German penalty area, felling Johan Cruyff; it was successfully converted by Johan Neeskens.

In the 26th minute, he awarded a second penalty, this time to West Germany, penalising Dutch midfielder Wim Jansen for tripping German left midfielder Bernd Hölzenbein.

Taylor has said of the incidents: "The first penalty wasn't difficult to call. All I remember is thinking it was a 100% correct decision. As the ball went on the spot the whole stadium went quiet. Beckenbauer, the German skipper, came to me and said 'Taylor, you're an Englishman'. The kick went in and there was complete euphoria."[citation needed]

"What really does annoy me is the suggestion that I gave [the second penalty] to even things up. It was a trip or an attempted trip and the laws of the game are that's a penalty."[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Taylor grew up above the butcher's shop next to Wolverhampton Wanderers' Molineux home.

After closing his butcher's shop he spent two seasons refereeing in Brazil before returning to England to become Commercial Director at Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1979. He was sacked in August 1982 when a new consortium took charge of the club. Taylor later became a refereeing coach in South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

He died at his Shropshire home on 27 July 2012, aged 82.[4]


Nick Owen in his column in the Luton Town programme refers to one of Taylor's favourite anecdotes. Taylor was hit by a flying penny thrown from the crowd as he left the pitch after one match at Kenilworth Road. It cut his face and he had to have six stitches. Fan and director of Luton Town Eric Morecambe went to see him to ask if he was OK and to make sure he wasn't going to report Luton. When Taylor confirmed he wasn't, Morecambe replied "Good, now can I have my penny back?".[4]


  • World Cup Final 'changed my life'
  • Soccer Refereeing : A Personal View, Jack Taylor (January 1978) ISBN 0-571-11299-4;
  • Jack Taylor, World Soccer Referee, David Jones & Jack Taylor (January 1976) ISBN 0-7207-0890-7.


  1. ^ "Jack Taylor OBE, referee of 1974 World Cup final, dead aged 82". www.dailytelegraph.co.uk. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "World Cup final referee Taylor dies aged 82". www.fourfourtwo.com. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b Powell, Jeff (27 July 2012). "Jack Taylor, the fearless man in black: Jeff Powell looks back at the charismatic referee's life". www.dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2012.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Jack Taylor
Preceded by
1965 FA Cup Final
William Clements
1966 FA Cup Final Referee Succeeded by
1967 FA Cup Final
Ken Dagnall
Preceded by
1970 European Cup Final
Concetto Lo Bello
1971 European Cup Final Referee Succeeded by
1972 European Cup Final
Robert Helles
Preceded by
1970 FIFA World Cup Final
East Germany
Rudi Glöckner
1974 FIFA World Cup Final Referee Succeeded by
1978 FIFA World Cup Final
Sergio Gonella