Former England manager Peter Taylor explains why he's taken charge of eighth-tier Maldon & Tiptree

Peter Taylor and Ray Wilkins at England
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Peter Taylor has said he "really enjoys" managing in the eighth tier of English football, with Essex-based side Maldon & Tiptree in the Isthmian North. 

While he recently led them to 15th out of 20 teams, the former England caretaker manager believes there are some talented players in the team who have the ability to climb four divisions higher and turn out for a Football League outfit. 

Having just completed his 37th year in management, 16 of which were spent in the top four tiers of English football, Taylor certainly has the credentials to know what he is talking about. Regardless, he is clearly enjoying his time in charge of Maldon & Tiptree, and the desire for success is evident when speaking to FourFourTwo.

"Maldon & Tiptree have got a little project to get good young players into the club that will eventually go on to be in the Football League," Taylor told FFT. "They gave me a call and put the idea to me. It just suits me and my life at the minute, because I want to be doing something and being out on the training field a couple of times a week is something I really enjoy. The club is 25 miles from my house and even though it’s a lower level, the players are keen as mustard and desperate to do well.

"Even though I’m 70, I feel as though I’m still getting better because you learn from every experience, whatever level you’re at. I’m still open enough to learn and I’ve still got the hunger to be out on the training field. The only thing I’m frustrated about is that I can’t demonstrate the way I used to. I was a half-decent player and could put a ball where I wanted it, but I can’t do that any more. That’s frustrating, but the mind is still good and my sense of humour is still good, I think.

"I had a new knee put in about four years ago that messed me up a bit and meant that I couldn’t even go on the training field at first, but that’s perfect now – not for demonstrating but for working. I may be 70 but I go out walking every day and keep myself ticking over. If I didn’t feel I looked the part on the training field, I wouldn’t go and do it, but I don’t think that’s the case. Hopefully I can keep going because you’re a long time dead, so while I can do it, I will."

Taylor has a varied 37-year career in management, working largely across the Football League, though he had a spell as Leicester City boss in 2000, as well as times in charge of the Bahrain national team and Kerala Blasters in India. 

Perhaps his proudest moment, though, came when he was appointed England caretaker manager for a game against Italy in November 2000. While his time in the dugout only lasted for one match, and he lost, he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

"As a boy from Rochford in Essex who desperately wanted to be a footballer and then a coach, getting the chance to manage England for one game is something I never thought would happen, no matter how much I was determined that it could," Taylor said.

"But it did and nobody can take that away from me. It’s the only time I’ve ever managed a team when I knew it would be the only game I was doing it for, so I made up my mind early that I was going to enjoy every last second of it. If I’d had a contract with England and my job was dependent on every result, I may not have enjoyed it so much, but that wasn’t the case – I knew it was for one game, I picked a younger squad and I enjoyed it. I think the players did, too."

The most notable moment of his short tenure was in handing David Beckham the England captaincy. Still only 25, Beckham went onto wear the armband for a further six years, vindicating Taylor's decision. 

"It was nice because it worked out so well. I had Gareth Southgate and Gary Neville in the squad too, and if you look back at it you might think, ‘Hang on, they would have been much better captains than David’, but I went for him.

"After the 1998 World Cup, when he got sent off against Argentina, he got pummelled by every supporter in the land apart from Manchester United fans and I thought, ‘What character that boy has got’. What people don’t appreciate is that every time there was a friendly or training session, David was there – he would never not turn up and he deserves a lot of credit for that.

"If David does anything, he does it right… and if he was going to be a captain, he’d have worked incredibly hard to be a good captain."

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future. 

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