Sunday, 27 June 2010

62 Steve Taylor

Position : Forward

Played : 1984-5 to 1986-7 ; 1988-89

Appearances : 101

Goals : 6

Vic Halom did some bad deals but selling Les Lawrence for £20,000 and replacing him with Steve on a free from Stockport was the best bit of business by a Rochdale manager period. The 29 year old began his career with Bolton but scored his first league goals on loan to Port Vale. In 1977 he was sold to Oldham for £40,000 and repaid them with 25 goals in 47 appearances. That earned him a £200,000 move to Luton but Steve failed to settle in the south and after one goal in 20 appearances he was sold on to Mansfield. After one modest season there he moved on to Burnley where he won a Third Division Championship medal and was a key figure inb their run to the League Cup semi-finals. At the end of 1982-3 he was released in a post-relegation clearout and signed for Wigan but moved on to Stockport on deadline day recovering his best form with 6 goals in 12 games. The following season he fell out of favour and hence his free transfer to us.

Steve made an immediate difference to a side which had only won one game at home and helped us climb to a mid-table finish. He was good in the air, fast over 10 yards and a lethal finisher - some of his goals were in the back of the net before the keeper had even moved. He tackled back as well belying a reputation for laziness. His first touch could have been better but you can't have everything. In his second season he was the Division's top scorer (slightly fortunately as Chester's Stuart Rimmer got injured in the autumn when well ahead) with 25 League goals and 31 in total. He got us into the Third Round of the FA Cup and a tie with Manchester Uinted almost singlehanded.

He started the following season in the same style scoring 5 in 9 appearances and one thought he would keep us out of trouble again. However when Rob Wakenshaw was signed "to take the pressure off Steve Taylor" alarm bells began to ring and sure enough just a fortnight later he was gone. John McGrath in the third and worst of three bad turns he did us signed him for Preston for £20,000. For a 31 year old that doesn't seem too bad but we were lost without him and only survived by the skin of our teeth.
To rub salt in the wound McGrath hardly played him and sold him on to Burnley after only 5 appearances.

After Vic Halom was sacked Tommy Cannon said he and Taylor had had an argument but that seemed like he was covering his own back. After 18 undistinguished months at Burnley Steve re-signed for Dale under Danny Bergara in March 1989 marking his second debut at home to Hereford with an outrageous claim to a goal that he was nowhere near to scoring. Though he was better than what we had he was a changed player and spent most of the time berating the referee when you wanted him to get on with the game. He scored 4 in 17 games.
His departure is still shrouded in mystery. He lined up in the team picture for 1989-90 but never featured even in pre-season and eventually re-surfaced on the coaching staff at Boundary Park. Terry Dolan later mumbled something about an injury. Steve next popped up as player-manager at Mossley in 1993 but lasted only a few months with the team winning only once. Steve played four and scored once. He is now a gym manager in the prison service.

No comments:

Post a Comment