To run alongside Rich at Vital Walsall’s Q & A we also asked Neil Ravenscroft of the long-running independent Wasall website UPTHESADDLERS.COM
2) Supported the Saddlers since?
3) Your first Walsall match?
Walsall vs Sunderland.
4) Your All-time favourite Walsall player(s) and why?
Colin Taylor. A free scoring left winger from the sixties who was with us for three spells, showing a great love for the team. Ferocious shot, so nicknamed “The Cannonball”.
Colin Taylor was born in Stourbridge on August 24, 1940.
He started his football career with his hometown club before making to short trip to Fellows Park to join Walsall in 1958.
His first season with the Saddlers in the old 4th Division was impressive bagging 12 goals in 44 appearances.
Taylor was a revelation in his first spell. Overall he scored 93 times in 213 outings – this co-incided with Walsall’s rise from the 4th to the 2nd Division. In the 1960/61 season Taylor scored 33 times in only 41 games. Remarkably “The Cannonball” didn’t finish the season as Walsall’s top scorer, that went to Tony Richards who scored 36 times!
The fact that Taylor was a winger highlights how good this guy was, this achievement is matched only by Arsenal’s Cliff Bastin as the highest scorer of goals from the wing in a single season.
A £20,000 switch to Newcastle followed in 1963 but after only 33 appearances and 7 goals he returned to Walsall in October 1964.
During his second spell Taylor played 148 times scoring 52 goals.
One more season away from Fellows Park followed, this time back in the 2nd Division with Crystal Palace. However, he returned for a third and final time in 1969. During his final spell he played 96 times and scored 24.
Colin Taylor sadly passed away in 2005, aged just 64.
5) Your All-time least favourite Walsall players(s) and why?
Paul Merson. If he never had come, he`d never have been made the totally disastrous manager he was.
6) 2 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses so far are you happy with Walsall’s start?
Not really. It`s not so much the results, though, (we`ve played Leeds and Norwich, for example) it`s the fact that we lack creativity and look like having problems scoring.
7) Are the fans still fully behind Chris Hutchings?
Yes. Most know that the lack of quality is more to do with lack of resources and the Chairman`s unwillingness to give him the money we`ve made from the sale of Gerrard and the sell on money for Scott Dann and Danny Fox.
8) How is Sam Parkin doing at the Bescott?
How is Sam Parkin doing at the Bescot? He isn`t. Looks slow and cumbersome and has not made much of an impression. Mind you, we haven`t been making chances.
9) Who has been your most impressive player so far this season and who has disappointed?
Impressive? All of the defence but especially youngster Westlake, who is keeping out a very good player in Rhys Weston.
Disppointed? All of the creative players, especially the two wingers who are supposed to provide our threat, Till and Jones.
10) Score Prediction – Walsall vs. Swindon Town:
Thanks once more to Neil Ravenscroft for answering those questions.
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