Player profile

Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor

Birthdate: 18 September 1917
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Date of death: 1 December 2012
Other clubs: Bristol St George (1932-33), Bristol Rovers (1933-36); Bristol Rovers (2 / 1939-40), Brighton & Hove Albion (1940-44), Newcastle United (1941-42), Leeds United (1942-43) wartime guest
Bought from: Bristol Rovers
Signed for LFC: 5000 + Ted Hartill, March 1936
International debut: 18.10.1947 vs. Wales
International caps: 3/0 - 19.11.1947
Liverpool debut: 28.03.1936
Last appearance: 09.01.1954
Debut goal: 28.03.1936
Last goal: 21.02.1953
Contract expiry: July 1954
Win ratio: 39.07% W:134 D:98 L:111
Games/goals ratio: 10.72
Honours: League Championship 1946/47
Wartime games/goals: 96 / 24
LFC league games/goals: 312 / 32
Total LFC games/goals: 343 / 32

Player profile

Taylor changed from a promising centre-forward into a classy right-half who took over the captaincy from Jack Balmer in the 1949/50 season. Taylor harboured ambitions to become a county cricketer if his football career wouldn't work out. He played briefly for his hometown club Rovers before joining Liverpool in March 1936. Taylor scored a last-minute goal at Derby on his debut on 28 March 1936 to save a point in a 2-2 draw and made a further six first division appearances before the season closed, also netting against Blackburn Rovers. Liverpool finished in nineteenth place that year and only one place higher the following year before climbing to mid-table respectability by the end of the decade as World War II drew ever closer. Liverpool won the first post-war League championship and Taylor, by now approaching his peak at 29-years-old, played in 35 of the 42 League matches and made three appearances for the England team in the autumn of 1947. "It was a very different world back then for a player, Taylor remembers. "When I first played for Liverpool we didn't even have our own training ground, because the club didn't buy Melwood from St. Francis Xavier School until the early fifties. Most of our training on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday consisted of running with virtually no work on individual skills or team tactics at all. I think a modern player would have ten fits wearing the kind of boots we wore. Ours were so heavy, with solid toecaps that could murder you if you were kicked. I can remember sitting with my boots in a tub of water, so they would shrink to fit my feet." Taylor would continue to a key member of the team for the next four years. He captained Liverpool through their run to the club's first-ever Wembley cup final in 1950 but there was only disappointment after a 2-0 defeat by Arsenal. Once he had passed his thirtieth birthday, Taylor was selected less frequently. He remained at Anfield when he retired as a player in 1954, serving as chief coach before replacing Don Welsh as manager in May 1956. 

Taylor found the pressure of getting Liverpool back into the top division almost intolerable. Just missing out on promotion in three successive seasons eventually led to his resignation in November 1959. A terrible FA Cup defeat at non-League Worcester City earlier in the year had put extra pressure on him, but when none of the five League fixtures Liverpool played in October 1959 were won, his position at the club was no longer tenable. It was over twenty-three and a half years since he had first arrived at Anfield as an 18-year-old player. A sorrowful Phil Taylor spoke to the Liverpool Daily Post about his decision: "No matter how great has been the disappointment of the directors at our failure to win our way back to the first division, it has not been greater then mine. I made it my goal. I set my heart on it and strove for it with all the energy I could muster." He later reflected on his time in the hot seat in Alan A'Court's autobiography published in 2003. "Looking back, one of the biggest differences with today was the position of the manager. At that time, teams at almost all clubs were picked by the board of directors, though they usually did ask the advice of the secretary or coach. I know both Don Welsh and myself had to present our teams to full board meetings, often involving eight or nine directors. If you had been winning, the directors were unlikely to object to your team, but it was much harder when you wanted to make changes, and I can remember times when the side that ran out was not really the one I had wanted to play. I was probably not a strong enough personality to be a good manager, because you really need to insist on being in charge if you are going to be successful." Taylor passed away on 1 December 2012, aged 95.

Appearances per season

Please note

The three league games played in the 1939-40 season were expunged from Football League records as the season was stopped due to World War II. The games are therefore not considered valid by LFChistory.net and as the "Association of football statisticians" does not count them towards official player totals.

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 312 31 0 0 0 343
1935-1936 7 0 0 0 0 7
1936-1937 14 0 0 0 0 14
1937-1938 29 5 0 0 0 34
1938-1939 39 3 0 0 0 42
1939-1940 0 0 0 0 0 0
1945-1946 0 1 0 0 0 1
1946-1947 35 6 0 0 0 41
1947-1948 34 2 0 0 0 36
1948-1949 30 4 0 0 0 34
1949-1950 37 7 0 0 0 44
1950-1951 36 0 0 0 0 36
1951-1952 24 2 0 0 0 26
1952-1953 21 0 0 0 0 21
1953-1954 6 1 0 0 0 7

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
19 Middlesbrough
18 Sunderland
17 Bolton Wanderers
16 Everton
16 Derby
15 Charlton Athletic
15 Wolves
14 Arsenal
14 Manchester United
14 Stoke City
14 Aston Villa
14 Chelsea
14 Blackpool
13 Huddersfield Town
13 Portsmouth
11 Burnley
10 Birmingham City
9 WBA
9 Preston North End
9 Grimsby Town
8 Newcastle United
8 Blackburn Rovers
7 Brentford
6 Sheffield United
6 Manchester City
6 Leeds United
5 Fulham
4 Tottenham
3 Sheffield Wednesday
3 Nottingham Forest
3 Leicester City
2 Stockport County
2 Crystal Palace
1 Exeter City
1 Luton Town
1 Walsall
1 Notts County
1 Chester City
1 Workington
Total Competition
312 League
31 FA Cup

Goals per season

Please note

The three league games played in the 1939-40 season were expunged from Football League records as the season was stopped due to World War II. The games are therefore not considered valid by LFChistory.net and as the "Association of football statisticians" does not count them towards official player totals.

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 32 0 0 0 0 32
1935-1936 2 0 0 0 0 2
1936-1937 3 0 0 0 0 3
1937-1938 6 0 0 0 0 6
1938-1939 14 0 0 0 0 14
1939-1940 0 0 0 0 0 0
1945-1946 0 0 0 0 0 0
1946-1947 1 0 0 0 0 1
1947-1948 0 0 0 0 0 0
1948-1949 1 0 0 0 0 1
1949-1950 0 0 0 0 0 0
1950-1951 2 0 0 0 0 2
1951-1952 1 0 0 0 0 1
1952-1953 2 0 0 0 0 2
1953-1954 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Competition
32 League
Total Open play/Penalty
32 Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

Season Appearances Goals
1939-1940 11 0
1941-1942 8 2
1942-1943 5 0
1943-1944 4 2
1944-1945 37 17
1945-1946 31 3

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 28.03.1936 Derby Baseball Ground League
50 15.04.1938 Middlesbrough Ayresome Park League
100 04.09.1946 Middlesbrough Anfield League
150 11.10.1947 Chelsea Anfield League
200 01.01.1949 Sunderland Roker Park League
250 15.04.1950 Fulham Anfield League
300 29.09.1951 Derby Anfield League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 89 28.03.1936 Derby Baseball Ground League

Related Articles

The finest Liverpool v Everton of all time

The Liverpool Daily Post on 27 March 1950. More

Related Quotes

"Full respect to Phil Taylor. Definitely one of our great players of all-time. And the lovely thing about it is that he still comes to the games even now. I don't know whether he's been to every game but he must have been to as many games as probably anybody around I would think – you know, between playing, managing and watching."

Liverpool FC museum curator Stephen Done in the summer of 2006 on Phil Taylor when he was chosen in the top 100 of Players who shook the Kop

"As a schoolboy footballer, my one ambition was to assist Bristol Rovers. The possibility of one day playing for such a club as Liverpool and getting a First Division championship medal never entered my head. Certainly a possible Wembley appearance was beyond my wildest dreams. Had my football career not turned out successful, my next ambition was to be a county cricketer."

Phil Taylor in 1950

Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Bristol St George 1932-1933 Western League N/A N/A N/A N/A
Bristol Rovers 1935-1936 England Third Division South 21 2 26 6
Total 21 2 26 6
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