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Rod Taylor RIP – An Obituary

21
Sep

ROD TAYLOR

1946 – 2017

Rod finally lost his valiant battle against a brain tumour during the early hours of the morning of Wednesday 13th September. He had brought all the qualities of resilience, positivity and no little degree of stubbornness to his battle against the illness which finally beat him. He had refused to give in and his spirit and energy in terms of tackling any of the problems which presented themselves to him during his lifetime will remain a long and lasting memory of all those who knew him and held him in such high regard.

Those qualities he brought to bear on behalf of the football club to huge effect.

I will never forget the day that he walked into my office without an appointment asking to see me on the basis that he felt sure that he could solve our well documented ground problems. I was of course intrigued I did not know Rod at that time although I of course remembered him as being a fresh faced blond haired athletic fullback that had signed for the Club in Eric Webber’s day in the summer of 1966 when I was but a short trousered 11 year old supporter standing on the terraces at Poole Stadium. Always keen to meet former players of the Club I gave Rod time and was quickly impressed by his energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the cause. He was full of ideas as to how the Club were going to progress. He had observed our problems from afar having retained a keen interest in local football all his life.

So impressed were myself, Clive Robbins and my other colleagues on the Board at the time that Rod was quickly invited to join us as the Club’s Facilities Director taking responsibility for all things in relation to the ground.

In 2009 and 2010 we won the Wessex Premier League Championship and in each of those seasons were prevented from securing promotion and taking our place in the Southern League South and West Division because the ground was not enclosed. On 7th March 2011 and being on the verge of a third successive League title (the date sticking vividly in my mind by virtue of the fact there were only 24 days to go until the 31st March deadline when all ground improvements to be in place) we were totally unexpectedly at a meeting with the Local Authority and the school given permission to enclose the ground.

Although this was a major breakthrough I pointed out that we only had 24 days to carry out the work. We had not expected to be given permission and therefore had nothing ready. Was it an impossible task? Not for Rod Taylor! He masterminded the project which we were able to pay for because of the Charlie Austin transfer fee which we had put to one side.

Rod contract managed that huge task and ensured that the whole job was completed within the 31st March deadline so that 24 days after unexpectedly being given a green light the job was done and we took our place the following season in the Southern League.

Two years later we won the Southern League South and West Championship and got promotion to the Southern Premier League. The upgrade that we needed to carry out in order to stay at that level was a £300,000 project. It was Rod Taylor who drove through the grant application, who secured the specification and job descriptions to obtain quotations and eventually place the contracts. It was he who worked tirelessly alongside Dick Thomas and the main contractors Jaytrack Limited (Dean Hoyland) to ensure that the project was completed in time to satisfy the FA ground grading team. The task was successfully completed and we retained our place in the Southern Premier League. We then of course went on to win the Premier Division Championship and secured promotion to National League South.

We quite simply would not be where we are today without Rod Taylor.

Rod’s playing career started with AFC Bournemouth or Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic Football Club as they were then known and after his spell in our colours he played extensively on the local scene for Christchurch, Ringwood and Bournemouth Poppies. His achievements for our Club during his time on the Board of this Club will provide a long lasting legacy.

Rod is truly a Poole Town legend. His funeral will take place on Thursday 28th September at Poole Crematorium at 2:30pm. It is entirely fitting that during the course of the evening that same day in the Clubhouse at a function which is advertised elsewhere in the programme he will be inducted into the Poole Town Hall of Fame.

Rest in Peace my friend.

Chris Reeves

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