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Full name Brian Taylor
Born June 19, 1932, West Ham, Essex
Current age 82 years 285 days
Major teams Essex
Batting style Left-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Education Central Park School, East Ham
|First-class span||1949 - 1973|
|List A span||1963 - 1973|
Brian Taylor was an Essex stalwart for almost two decades, an utterly reliable wicketkeeper-batsman and an inspiration captain who led the side with humour and no little skills despite the county's financial difficulties which meant they operated throughout on a shoestring. He captained them at the start of the Sunday League and quickly forged them into a tight one-day outfit.
His career was delayed by two years national service and he initially played as a specialist batsman, alternating as wicketkeeper with Paul Gibb.
In 1956 he was chosen as the Cricket Writers' Club's Young Cricketer of the Year and that winter was picked as Godfrey Evans' understudy for the England tour of South Africa. He was never likely to usurp the brilliant Evans, but by the time he stood down Taylor had been overtaken in the pecking order by Jim Parks, and the depth of wicketkeeping talent in the country meant another chance did not come along.
As a batsman Taylor alternated between the dazzling and the baffling, probably because he tended to play across the line of the ball. His timing could be exquisite and he was a real crowd-pleaser, earning the nickname Tonker.
Taylor was also a good footballer who played for Brentford, Bexley United - for whom he was also manager - and Dover.
Whatever happens, the Australia-New Zealand World Cup final at the MCG will be the most divine fun