Personal reflections by Dick Chestnut

Dateline: THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2018


Along with Carl Asaba, Taylor had produced an assured performance against Manchester City in the 1998/1999 Play-off Final in front of a massive crowd at Wembley.  The following season Taylor started quietly but then notched up 18 goals in 19 games, including two hat tricks. This prolific scoring, together with Bob’s Wembley performance, convinced Joe Royle, the Manchester City manager that Bob Taylor was the man to boost City’s flagging campaign in Division One.

I have a friend who is a Gills supporter but is resident in a village outside Dublin. There are quite a few Manchester City supporters in the area and one particularly jubilant fan on hearing that Taylor had signed for City, shouted across the street, “We’ve got your man.” 

Sadly Bob did not stay long as his family found it difficult to settle in the Manchester area and he went out on loan to Wolves but eventually came back to his happy hunting ground, Priestfield.

However, Bob was a shadow of his former self and in this, his second eleven game loan spell, he failed to find the net. After retirement Bob Taylor joined the managerial ranks returning to his native Norfolk and took charge of local side Watton United in 2003, winning the Anglian Combination in his first season in charge. From there he moved on to become Kings Lynn reserve team manager before taking on caretaker duties briefly in 2004.

Having made one appearance for Gorleston Town and had a brief spell at Holt, Taylor took on the manager role at Dereham Town in January 2005, charged with keeping the side in the Eastern Counties Premier Division, which he managed to do. Taylor spent a further three years at Dereham, taking them to progressively better finishes in the division before being appointed as boss of Diss Town where he remained for four years.

The former Gills striker stepped down in October 2012 though, after criticising the negativity of his own supporters in the wake of back-to-back defeats against Haverhill and Gorleston. Bob moved to manage Swaffham Town and then in 2017 became manager of Acle United.

Super Bob did return to Priestfield in August 2013 and before the first game of the season against Colchester he marked the occasion by launching the Club’s brand new `Legends Lounge` in Gills Conference and Banqueting centre.


Total League apps: 61

Total Gills League Goals: 33

Previous Club:                      Norwich City

Next Club:                            Manchester City