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Former England Manager Graham Taylor Dies Aged 72

The former Watford, Lincoln, Aston Villa, and England manager died on Thursday after a suspected heart attack.

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Graham Taylor, the former England manager, has died at the age of 72 from a suspected heart attack.

Taylor enjoyed a long career as a player and manager at club level and built a reputation as a tenacious coach whose teams won several promotions.

Latterly, Taylor was a frequent pundit on TV and radio, summarising domestic English games as well as several international tournaments.

Taylor's family said in a statement: "With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack.

"The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss."

Tributes from former colleagues and players flooded social media:

Sad sad news that my old and last manager at #AVFC Graham Taylor has passed away. Deepest condolences to all of Graham's family and friends.

Sad news about Graham Taylor . Had so much respect for him . Gave me my premier league debut and I will always be thankful .

Why? Because he subbed me in one game? He made me his England captain and I will be eternally grateful to him for…

Dion Dublin, who played under Taylor, told the BBC: "He was a very, very, funny man. When I played under him at Aston Villa he taught me so much. He was very understanding of people's situation. He had my utmost respect and was a pal as well as a manager.

"It is quite devastating news. He had two sides. He could lose his temper when he wanted but also put an arm around you and say 'you're doing OK'.

"He was a very clever man manager. You don't last as long as he did if you don't know your job. He ticked most boxes when comes to being a manager."

Despite a decorated club career, including stints at Lincoln City, Watford, Wolves, and Aston Villa, Taylor may be best remembered for his troubled spell as England manager from 1990 to 1993, which culminated in a failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

A TV documentary that followed the team's qualification campaign in 1993 captured Taylor's idiosyncratic touchline expressions, including "Do I not like that" and "Can we not knock it?!".

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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