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You are in: Nottingham > History > Local history > Peter Taylor, my father

Peter Taylor in 1980

Peter Taylor in 1980

Peter Taylor, my father

Wendy Dickinson is the daughter of Peter Taylor who, with Brian Clough, saw the Reds through their glory days.

The Damned United, a film and book principally about Brian Clough, has made people think more about one of the film's other protagonists, Peter Taylor.

Peter Taylor worked alongside Brian Clough at Hartlepools, Derby and later Forest, bringing success at each club.

Wendy Dickinson is Taylor's daughter. She grew up in the 1970s, witnessing her father's time at Derby and then at Nottingham Forest.

"I love my Dad, he was a great man. I'm not silly enough to believe he got everything right. "

Wendy Dickinson

She went to every game of Forest's European Cup campaigns and describes the time as 'magical'. She says her dad was constantly being mobbed in the street by fans.

However, Wendy says Clough and Taylor's roles were not as simple as journalists and historians have made out.

"Dad was much more than a talent scout, Brian was much more than the motivator...

"I don't think it was a question of dad being the good guy and Brian being the bad guy. As Martin O'Neill says, you could get a pasting from Peter and Brian would be the one to put his arm around you."

The big fallout

Peter Taylor retired from football in May 1982 breaking his partnership with Brian Clough.

Peter Taylor and Brian Clough

Peter Taylor and Brian Clough

To everyone's surprise he became Derby County's manager six months later.

In May 1983 he signed John Robertson behind Clough's back. It was the incident that ended their friendship and all contact was severed. Wendy says:

"I love my dad, he was a great man. I'm not silly enough to believe he got everything right. Signing John Robertson without telling Brian was probably not the greatest decision of his life."

In 1990, Peter Taylor died aged 62 whilst on holiday in Majorca. Wendy was obviously devastated and so too was Brian who called her at home after finding out.

"He was deeply upset. I think he always regretted not making it up with dad. If dad had lived I think possibly they would have."

Peter Taylor Statue

In November 2008, a statue of Brian Clough was installed in the Old Market Square.

Clough with Taylor

Brian Clough with Peter Taylor

Some would argue that Peter deserves the recognition for his role in Forest's glory days, including Wendy:

"The reason why Nottingham Forest are on the map is because of those years when they were together, Brian didn't do it alone.

"[Brian] said that himself. Why couldn't the city recognise that and why can't Nottingham Forest?"

The Damned United

One of the plotlines of The Damned United concerns Clough and Taylor's friendship during the 1970s.

Peter Taylor is played by Timothy Spall in the film so what did Wendy think to his performance?

"It was very, very weird and strange to see my father portrayed and to actually see part of my life [on screen]."

Wendy says she was thrilled when she heard Timothy Spall was playing her father but says the film didn't get him right.

"Timothy Spall is a bit short, a bit rotund and played my dad with a Brummie accent which I did find a bit strange...

"I think they made my father too nice and they portrayed Brian as a bit of an arrogant, over-emotional nutter! Both men were far more complex than they were portrayed on screen."

*Since Wendy's interview with BBC Radio Nottingham's John Holmes a statue of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor has been proposed at Derby County's Pride Park stadium.

last updated: 17/04/2009 at 10:54
created: 17/04/2009

You are in: Nottingham > History > Local history > Peter Taylor, my father



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