Tommy Taylor makes an immediate impression at international level...
The Munich air disaster ended too many promising careers, but in the case of Tommy Taylor it also robbed England of a player who had already begun to make a name for himself on the international stage.
The raw-boned Yorkshireman joined the Reds from Barnsley in March 1953, and such was his impact at centre-forward in Matt Busby’s side that within two months of his United debut the 21-year-old was making his England debut against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Taylor’s England bow was played in front of 120,000 people, but was abandoned because of a water-logged pitch. The youngster did not have to wait too long for a second chance to impress, as a week later his goal helped England to a 2-1 win over Chile in Santiago.
Seven days later he scored again – England lost by the same scoreline to world champions Uruguay – but Taylor had set the standard for what became an impressive goals-to-games ratio at the highest level.
Sixteen goals in 19 outings for England included two hat-tricks, and hopes must have been high that Taylor could have spearheaded England’s attack at the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden. Tragically, it was not to be.