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TOMMY
TAYLOR

Tommy Taylor was appointed as Darlington manager on October 25 2001, 10 days after resigning as manager of Leyton Orient where he had been in charge for almost five years.

A former player with Orient, Tommy was appointed manager at Birsbane Road in November 1996 having vacated the manager's seat at Cambridge United where he had assembled a promising young side.

As an O's player, Tommy made over 250 appearances during two spells at the club having made his debut as a 15 year old. He was an ever-present in the side that won the Third Division Championship in 1970.

He later moved to West Ham United making 396 appearances in all competitions and was a member of the Hammers side that beat Fulham in the F.A. Cup Final in 1975, also playing in the Cup Winners Cup team that lost to Anderlecht the following season.

Tommy was an accomplished centre-half who won 16 England Under 23 caps.

With boxing and snooker promoter and entrepreneur Barry Hearn prepared to back the club financially, Orient looked to make their way up the divisions in a similar fashion to Fulham.

The first stage of that plan was almost achieved in the 2000-2001 season when Leyton Orient finished fifth in the Nationwide League Third Division and qualified for the play-offs.

The Londoners overcame Hull City in the semi-finals of the play-offs but fell at the final hurdle when they were defeated by Steve McMahon's resurgent Blackpool side at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The following season began disappointingly and O's fans began to get on the manager's back, eventually causing Taylor to tender his resignation, which was regretfully accepted by the board.

Taylor barely had time to get used to being out of the game when the opportunity arose to take charge at Darlington following Gary Bennett's resignation.

He was appointed to the post intially in a caretaker capacity until the end of the season with a view to taking over permanently after that.

The Darlington Chairman George Reynolds said of Taylor's appointment: "There were thirty one people in for the job even in such a short space of time. I went through the applications thoroughly and was impressed with what Tommy's done.

"He's got an excellent record at Leyton Orient, where he took them to the play offs twice.

"He's on contract until the end of the season, and if he proves himself, then we'll keep him."

Former manager Gary Bennett has reverted to his role as reserve team coach with The Quakers.

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