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News Archive > General > Memories of England boss at Fistral

Memories of England boss at Fistral

By Simon Fernley 18th January 2017

Memories of England boss at Fistral
England manager Graham Taylor in Newquay in 1991.

THE  death of former England manager Graham Taylor last week has sparked happy memories in Newquay of when he played football on Fistral Beach more than a quarter of a century ago.

It was in the spring of 1991 that the England chief visited Newquay to give his high-profile backing to attempts to set up a Sand Soccer football tournament in the resort.

The initiative, backed by the then Director of Tourism at Restormel Council, Ebby Anstey, was eventually scuppered by opposition from the Cornish FA, but the visit by Taylor left a lasting memory.

Ebby visited the town’s newspaper office on Friday to recall the episode and echoed the thoughts of many in football on the warmth of Taylor’s character.

Ebby said: “Graham Taylor was an absolutely great bloke as so many people have been saying in recent days.

“We took him out for an evening meal near Newquay and he was brilliant, a super bloke.

“He got fully behind the Sand Soccer initiative, which I was backing to bring extra visitors to Newquay, and even played football with local school kids on the beach.

“The launch was staged at the Headland Hotel and Graham spoke out enthusiastically about the tournament.

“Sadly, we fell victim to some backward thinking at the time and the football authorities scuppered the event as they said we could not play football outside of the main season.

“Still, it was a memorable time and great to meet the England manager who was a real gentleman.”

By Simon Fernley 18th January 2017

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