Gordon Taylor OBE


Gordon Taylor OBE

Gordon is the former Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association a position he held for over 40 years.

A former professional player, Gordon made over 250 appearances for Bolton Wanderers and scored over 50 goals before being transferred to Birmingham City in 1970. He then joined Blackburn Rovers in 1976, spending the 1977 close season playing in the North American Soccer League for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Upon his return he played for Blackburn and finally Bury before retiring in 1980 to work full-time for the PFA.

Gordon’s direct involvement with the PFA started in 1972 when he was appointed to the PFA Management Committee, keeping company with fellow players such as Terry Venables and Bobby Charlton. In 1978 he was appointed Chairman of the PFA succeeding Derek Dougan, before joining the union full time in 1980 after his retirement from professional football. In 1981 Cliff Lloyd OBE handed over the stewardship of the PFA to Gordon and he was duly appointed Secretary/Chief Executive.

During the 1980s Gordon was instrumental in the implementation of the YTS programme into professional football and has been central to the evolution of this scheme that has resulted in the current Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence Programme (ASE) which is delivered to the majority of 16–18 year olds entering football. Gordon also pioneered the 'Football in the Community' initiative, starting with a pilot scheme of 6 clubs the successful model was eventually rolled out to all 92 Football League clubs. He also introduced a new standard contract for all players in 1981 together with a non contributory pension scheme in the same year.

In 1994 Gordon was appointed President of FIFPro (the International Association of Football Players’ Unions), a position he held until he retired in 2005, but he still remains as Honorary President. FIFPro supported Jean Marc Bosman in his successful case for freedom of contract.

Gordon was a pivotal ambassador for anti-racism campaigns within football and has ensured that the PFA remains a major funder and key partner for both the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ and ‘Kick It Out’ organisations. Gordon was inducted into the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’s Hall of Fame’ in 2004.

Gordon has a degree in economics and honorary degree from Loughborough and De Montfort Universities. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008, recognising his services to Football. In 2011 he received the ‘Lifetime Contribution to North West Football’ award and also the ‘Contribution to League Football Award’