Rejuvenated John Taylor enjoying non-league life again

JOHN Taylor has seen it all and done it all in his 30-year footballing career.

The 47-year-old, who admitted he fell out of love with the game a few years ago, is back enjoying it after returning to where his senior career began in the Eastern Counties League.

Taylor, who was adopted just two days after being born and was brought up in Felixstowe, played in what is now known as the Ridgeons League in 1982 when Colchester United Reserves were members of the league - and is still pulling his boots on and making cameo appearances for Walsham-le-Willows.

He is assistant manager to old friend Paul Smith and helping with the coaching, after his former Sudbury Town team-mate was lured back to the village side just a season after resigning when ill health forced his successor Chris Soanes to step down in the summer.

Taylor, who used to work for a shipping agent in Felixstowe and still considers the seaside town to be ‘home’ after all these years, said: “I had no real desire to get back into non-league football.

“I have got an extended family with a wife and six kids, so my time is valuable, but Smithy rang me and explained the situation with Chris and said would I help out and do some coaching.

“I quite enjoyed it and so I have got involved and I am now really enjoying it, although results could be better.

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“I try to be the link between the under-18s and the reserves because it takes the pressure off Paul, and if I can add any experience and knowledge to the football club I am there to bounce ideas off.

“It was the only club I would have joined because Paul has been a friend for so many years and because I live ten minutes down the road it suited me, and it has grown on me and I am really enjoying it.

“For a village club it is brilliantly run and has great facilities. We just need to get a few more positive results and get a few more through the gate.”

Taylor made more than 500 appearances in the Football League, scoring 153 goals, the majority of them for Cambridge United, where he was later appointed manager in January 2002 before his long association with the club ended in him being sacked in March 2004.

“I was suffering from deep vein thrombosis, so when I finished my professional career I took six months off, but was okay to play again after

three months,” recalled Taylor.

He played and coached at Mildenhall Town before playing and then managing at Long Melford. He was appointed manager of Newmarket Town in February 2007 but was sacked just three games into the following season.

He rejoined Mildenhall in September 2007, and has worked for Home Store Ltd, the self storage company run by Mildenhall Town chairman Martin Tuck, for nearly four years.

After calling time on his playing days at Rec Way, it appeared Taylor had hung up his boots until turning out for Walsham this season.

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