Jack Taylor, the English referee who officiated the 1974 FIFA World Cup final between the Netherlands and West Germany, has died aged 82. Taylor, born in Wolverhampton, oversaw more than 1,000 club matches in a refereeing career which spanned three decades. In 1971, he was the man in the middle for the European Champion Clubs' Cup final at Wembley between AFC Ajax and Panathinaikos FC, which the Dutch side won 2-0. He also handled over 100 international fixtures, the highlight being the 1974 World Cup final in Munich, where he made history by becoming the first man to award a penalty in a global showpiece.
Former English FIFA referee Mike Riley, now General Manager of the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL), said: "Every referee of our generation looked up to Jack Taylor because he set the standard. His performances at the 1974 FIFA World Cup inspired a whole generation of referees in this country. I was fortunate to travel to the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa with Jack for him to watch Howard Webb. He was incredibly proud that another Englishman had taken charge of the biggest game in world football. But then that was Jack, he was not only very well respected throughout the game by players and managers, he was also an extremely nice man and wonderful fun to be around. And he never stopped inspiring match officials. Over the last five years he has played an important role for PGMOL passing on his many years of experience to tomorrow's referees. We will miss him greatly. This is a terribly sad moment for English officiating and we send our condolences to his family and many friends.”