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Sports

Former England manager Graham Taylor dies

Former England manager Graham Taylor has died at the age of 72. He is remembered for managing Watford to multiple promotions, but also for failing to lead England to qualification for the 1994 World Cup.

Graham Taylor's family announced on Thursday that the former England manager had passed away.

"With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack," a statement issued by his family read. "The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss."

Taylor first came to national prominence in Britain in the mid-1970s by leading Watford, whose chairman at the time was the rock star Elton John, from the fourth division of the old English League to the first division within the space of five years. He also took Watford to the final of the 1984 FA Cup.

Following the 1990 World Cup, Taylor was rewarded with the England job, succeeding Bobby Robson, whose contract had not been renewed by England's football association.

Under Taylor, England qualified for the 1992 European championship, but he failed to lead England to qualification for the 1994 World Cup in the United States, making him a popular target of derision for the London tabloids.

He later went on to spells as manager of Wolverhampton, a second go-round at Watford and Aston Villa. He spent the past several years as a pundit at the BBC.

pfd/dv (AP, Reuters)