|Thomas Taylor (January 29, 1932 – February 6, 1958), better known as
Tommy Taylor, was an English footballer, who was known for
his aerial ability. He was one of the eight Manchester United players
who lost their lives in the Munich air disaster.
Taylor began his career playing for a local coal mining team at the colliery where he worked. At the age of just 16, local scouts offered him the chance to play for Barnsley.
After impressing at Barnsley, Taylor was transferred to Manchester United in March 1953 for a world-record transfer fee of £29,999. He was not sold for £30,000 as the manager, Matt Busby, did not want to give him the pressure of being the world's first £30,000 footballer (Busby gave the extra pound to a tea lady).
He got off to a great start, scoring twice on his debut. By the end of the 1952-53 season, Taylor had scored 7 goals in only 11 games for United. He eventually led the team to league titles in 1956 and 1957 and scored in the 1957 FA Cup Final, when United were denied the double. Such was Taylor's worth that Matt Busby decided to reject an offer of £65,000 for him from Inter Milan in 1957.
At the time of his emergence, many saw Taylor as the perfect replacement for Nat Lofthouse in the England side. In all, he played 19 times for England, scoring 16 goals. Had he not lost his life at Munich, he could conceivably have become one of the greatest goal scorers ever to play for England.