Obituary: St Albans City joint-club historian Peter Taylor

Club historian Peter Taylor was a regular visitor to the library at County Hall in Hertford as he re

Club historian Peter Taylor was a regular visitor to the library at County Hall in Hertford as he researched anything and everything to do with St Albans City. - Credit: Archant

Peter Alban Taylor, a lifetime supporter of St Albans City and joint-club historian for the final 10 years of his life, died on Tuesday, August 27, aged 76.

Peter Taylor pictured in 1989 with his fellow St Albans City quiz team members. Back row: Geoff Peck

Peter Taylor pictured in 1989 with his fellow St Albans City quiz team members. Back row: Geoff Peck, Steve Trulock. Front row: Andy Hammond, Peter Taylor, Mick Melnyk. Picture: Brian Hubball - Credit: Archant

He was born in St Albans to Alban and Joan and grew up with his parents and younger brother Roger in Hazelwood Drive, later living in Charmouth Road, Liverpool Road, Furse Avenue and finally Cranbrook Drive.

He attended Beaumont School but football was his passion from a young age and before the 1940s were over he was being taken to matches at Clarence Park by his father.

He was also a huge follower of rock 'n' roll and right up until his final days still collected vinyl from that era. On his 76th birthday, just nine days before his death, his son, David, presented him with a highly collectable test pressing of a Gene Vincent album from the late 1950s.

Elvis Presley made a big impression on Peter when he broke-through in 1956 and one of Pete's most treasured holidays was a trip to the Sun Studios and Graceland.

A return trip to America, to Memphis, was booked for this September.

In his home he had an old-fashioned and still-working jukebox and he loved live music, frequently attending live concerts in London.

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Trained as a bookkeeper, he worked for the building firm Laing Construction (John Laing Group) at Page Street, Mill Hill, and then at Borehamwood for 35 years.

After leaving Laing's he moved into the office at Mill Hill Golf Club and kept their financial records straight for almost 20 years until retiring last December. He retained a fond affection for the golf club and returned most weeks for a game or two of snooker with other members of staff.

In 2000 he also kept the books for the testimonial year of Steve Clark, the second-highest goal scorer and appearance maker in St Albans City's history. Peter's all-time favourite City player was another forward from earlier days, John Butterfield.

Throughout his working career he followed the Saints. He did not drive and went to away games either by public transport or with fellow supporters Steve Trulock, Rick Laver and Geoff Peck. He also travelled further afield and saw City play two matches in Frejus, France, in 1992 and in Worms, Germany, in 2004.

Having met the then future secretary of the club Steve Trulock through football the pair became close friends going on cruises, along with Steve's wife Jane, to the Mediterranean and the Nile, whilst also visiting Krakow, Prague and the war graves of France and Belgium.

In the late 1980s he teamed up with David Tavener and the duo set about finding the line-ups for every first-team match played by the Saints. Using records provided by Derek Christmas, City's historian for over 50 years until his death in 2009, and countless hours of research they found the line-ups for all but one match, a visit to Chelmsford in April 1909 when City fielded a scratch side.

In 1990, along with esteemed football historian Leigh Edwards, they published a 56-page booklet entitled, 'St Albans City, Facts & Figures, A Statistical History.' Over the next 30 years the duo searched far and wide to find details about the club, the players, the staff and competitions in which Saints competed, in fact anything related to St Albans City.

Their collection includes a vast number of matchday programmes, many from the late 1930s onwards donated by Derek Christmas, medals, letters, photographs, books and other memorabilia, mostly all at a personal cost.

Peter contributed articles to the matchday programme and other publications and in recent years he worked with David Tavener and City supporter Nick Moon to present a history talk about the football club, held in the clubhouse. They also presented a display of Club memorabilia in the St Albans library and met up with players of long-gone times to discuss the good old days and pick up more memorabilia along the way.

Peter was keen on pub quizzes and in the 1980s was a member of a highly-successful team that St Albans. He continued to attend quizzes right up until his final days.

Just like his brother Roger, he was also a keen railway enthusiast and had an impressive model layout in his garage on which, alongside part of the track, is a football ground with a team playing in blue and gold.

He leaves a son, David, and a daughter, Susannah.

Peter Alban Taylor (born August, 18, 1943, died August 27, 2019)