European football is in mourning at the passing of the former UEFA General Secretary and CEO of UEFA Events SA, David Taylor, who died on Tuesday at the age of 60.
David Taylor joined UEFA in June 2007 after being appointed as the European body’s General Secretary. He had previously held the posts of chief executive and secretary of the Scottish Football Association (SFA) since August 1999.
Born in Forfar, Scotland, on 14 March 1954, David Taylor was educated at Dundee High School before graduating from Edinburgh University with an LLB degree in law. He qualified as a solicitor and practised until 1985, during which time he added to his legal qualifications with an MSc in Economics, and an MBA. He joined the Scottish Development Agency 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. Eventually, he would go on to make his mark in Scottish and European football.
A fervent football fan, and a long-standing member of the Scotland Supporters Club, David Taylor watched his country at five FIFA World Cup finals since the 1960s. He played football at amateur and semi-professional level, the highlight of his career being a West of Scotland Amateur Cup win at Hampden Park, Glasgow. He was also a qualified SFA coach.
A respected member of UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body from 2002 to 2007, David Taylor served UEFA as General Secretary from June 2007 to October 2009, before taking over as CEO of the UEFA Events SA company, and he went on to act as adviser on corporate business affairs to the European body. Among his roles, he also served as chairman of the board of UEFA Media Technologies SA, and was appointed as a board member of UEFA’s long-standing marketing partners TEAM in 2013.
“Together with the European football family, I am deeply saddened to hear of David’s passing,” said UEFA President Michel Platini in paying tribute. “He was an invaluable addition to UEFA when he first joined us as General Secretary, and brought us considerable experience and wisdom as a football administrator of the highest calibre. In addition, he gave us his boundless enthusiasm as a lover of football, who adored the game and enjoyed many memorable moments following Scotland’s fortunes.
“We will all greatly miss his outstanding professional competence, as well as his countless qualities as a colleague and a person. On behalf of the European football community, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to David’s wife Cathy, and their children James and Alan.”
“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,” said SFA president Campbell Ogilivie.
“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 !!!!