Graham Taylor: In His Own Words, the autobiography of former England, Lincoln City, Watford and Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor, will be published by Peloton Publishing on 30 November 2017 with a foreword by Elton John.
Taylor, who passed away aged seventy-two in January, had been working on his book with journalist Lionel Birnie since 2014. Birnie worked closely on the final stages of the book with editorial director Charlotte Atyeo, who was Sports Publisher for the past ten years at Bloomsbury Publishing.
In His Own Words has been completed in line with Taylor’s wishes and with the support of his family. His widow, Rita Taylor, said: “Graham spent two years working on his book and it was very important to him to tell the story of his life and career the way he wanted to. As his family, we are so pleased that it has been possible to complete the book. We are very happy with it and we know Graham would have been proud of it too.”
The book covers Taylor’s playing days at Grimsby Town and Lincoln City and his development into one of the best young club managers in the country, first with the Imps and then with Elton John’s Watford, who he guided from the Fourth Division to the top flight in a remarkable five-season run.
An equally successful spell at Aston Villa, where he came close to winning the league title, led to his appointment as England manager in 1990. The failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup and the impact the subsequent press mockery had on his family proved to be the biggest disappointment of his career, although he restored his reputation as a great club manager with a second spell at Watford.
In His Own Words tells the story of a life and career spent working with the people and the game he loved. It is an intimate and affectionate depiction of how English football changed during the forty years of his career, and a lasting portrait of a man whose humour and decent values saw him cherished by so many.
Graham Taylor: In His Own Words
Peloton Publishing, hardback, 336 pages, 153mm x 234mm, £19.99