Tributes flood in after death of footballer Leon Taylor aged 36

Tributes have poured in for popular footballer Leon Taylor, who has died at the age of 36.

Leon Taylor pictured in action for Darlaston Town 1874
Leon Taylor pictured in action for Darlaston Town 1874

The striker, who lived in Walsall and was well known across the West Midlands football scene having played for numerous clubs in the Black Country and Staffordshire, was taken ill on Wednesday.

He was most recently at Darlaston Town 1874 and also counted Sporting Khalsa, AFC Wulfrunians, Brocton, Wednesfield, Bilston Town, Bloxwich United, Tividale and Walsall Wood among his former clubs.

Current Walsall Wood manager Harry Harris, who played with Taylor for four years, said: “I spoke to him every day – he was one of my best mates.

“He was just a great lad – I had so many good times with him.

“No-one ever had anything bad to say about him and he wouldn’t ever say anything bad about anyone else.

“From the first time I joined Walsall Wood I knew we were going to be good mates forever.”

Dean Gill, who managed Taylor at Darlaston, said on behalf of the club: “Our love and support are with Leon’s family, friends, and team-mates.

“In due course, as a club, we will pay our respects to Leon in the way he deserves.

“Leon had a partner and two beautiful children, and they are understandably our number one concern at this time.

“As a club we are united in our love for Leon and devastation at his passing.

“We ask that everyone is given time to deal with this accordingly.”

Clubs across the Midlands have also paid their respects to Taylor on social media.

Dudley Town posted: “The club are hugely saddened to hear the news of the passing of Darlaston Town player Leon Taylor, a fantastic character, player and man.

“We would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Leon’s friends and family, along with everyone at Darlaston Town.”

Walsall Wood wrote: “We are devastated to hear the news that former Wood player, Leon Taylor has passed away.

“A top player but more importantly a top bloke who was loved by everyone at the Wood.

“We send our prayers to Leon’s family and friends at this difficult time. Rest easy Leon.”

AFC Wulfrunians added: “We are extremely saddened to hear the news that one of our former players, Leon Taylor, has passed away. He only made a couple of appearances for us but played against us on many occasions and was a great lad. Our thoughts are with family and friends at this sad time. RIP Leon.”

A statement from Bilston Town said: "Devastating news to hear about the passing of Leon Taylor. He will be remembered as a Darlo legend and the glowing tributes across social media are a reflection of the impact he had on so many. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and former clubs at this terribly sad time."

Darlaston’s match with Shawbury United on Saturday has been postponed.

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