Tributes paid to former SFA chief David Taylor

David Taylor
David Taylor
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Tributes have been paid to David Taylor, the former chief executive of the Scottish Football Association and UEFA, who has died aged 60 after an illness.

Taylor was appointed general secretary of UEFA in 2007. He was viewed as the architect of the move to expand the European Championships from 16 to 24 teams.

SFA president Campbell Ogilvie said: “On behalf of his friends and former colleagues at the Scottish FA, and throughout Scottish football, I would like to express our profound sadness at the tragic news of David’s death.

“I would also wish to send our deepest condolences to his wife Cathy, and their children James and Alan, at this dreadful time.

“David was a solicitor to trade but it was his love of Scottish football and, in particular, the Scotland national team that stirred his passion during his tenure as chief executive.

“He was great company, had an astute business mind and a forward-thinking approach to the game that, allied to his patriotism as a member of the Scotland Supporters Club, helped take the Scottish FA forward administratively.

“It was no surprise to any of us who witnessed his work at close hand when UEFA came calling for his services as General Secretary in 2007. He has remained a friend and supporter of the Scottish FA and the game in general in this country and he will be dearly missed by all of us.”

In 2011 Mr Taylor had to be resuscitated after collapsing during a football match between officials from Uefa and Fifa. Speaking after the incident he said he was saved by quick acting medics who used a defibrillator.

Taylor became the first chief executive of the SFA in 1999, succeeding the long-serving secretary, Jim Farry.

Born in Forfar in 1954, Taylor was educated at Dundee High School and Edinburgh University, graduating with an LLB degree in law. He qualified as a solicitor and practised until 1985, during which time he also gained an MSc in economics and an MBA.

He joined the Scottish Development Agency (now Scottish Enterprise) in 1985, and held a succession of senior positions before being appointed the first Director of Scottish Trade International - a body set up to promote Scottish business overseas - before his appointment to the SFA.

He worked as general executive of UEFA before moving to the post of executive director.