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)[2]
Place of death Holmfirth, England
Playing position Forward
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.

Jeffrey Neilson "Jeff" Taylor (20 September 1930 – 28 December 2010) was an English professional football forward, who played in the Football League for Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Brentford. He went on to perform opera.[3]

Football career[edit]

In an eight-year career as a professional footballer, Taylor played in the First Division, Second Division and Third Division South 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.[4] 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.[4] 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 day. I had no long-term ambitions in football and I realised that it was impossible to marry the two".[4]

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.[4] Taylor performed opera under the name "Neilson Taylor" and was a bass baritone. After retiring from football, he joined the Yorkshire Opera Company.[4] 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.[4] His time at Glyndebourne proved to be a breakthrough and he toured the world, spending time in Australia and a year at Mantua in Italy, which led to work at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and in Rotterdam. Taylor failed fully to 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.[4] Ken was also a professional cricketer, playing three Tests for England and first-class cricket for Yorkshire.[4] 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.[4] After retiring from teaching, Taylor retired to Yorkshire.

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brentford 1954–55[5] Third Division South 13 4 0 0 13 4
1955–56[5] 43 15 2 1 45 16
1956–57[5] 38 15 2 2 40 17
Career total 94 34 4 3 98 37


  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. ^ "Jeff Taylor". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Jeff Taylor: Footballer who went on to forge a career as a popular singer and inspirational teacher". The Independent. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brentford Matchday Magazine versus Grimsby Town 30/08/97. Quay Design of Poole. 1997. p. 22. 
  5. ^ a b c White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. pp. 383–384. ISBN 0951526200. 

External links[edit]

  • Ian Thomas, Owen Thomas, Alan Hodgson, John Ward (2007). 99 Years and Counting: Stats and Stories. Huddersfield Town A.F.C. ISBN 095572810X. 
  • The Independent obituary, 29 January 2011. [1]