Michael Taylor ‘Talla’ a longstanding and loyal fan sadly passed away this weekend at the terribly young age of 59. Michael followed Pools home and away all of his life and he was a ,without any shadow of a doubt, a ‘Poolie through and through’. As a close friend I spent many an afternoon and night with him and fellow friends dissecting the previous game in the Hartlepool Supporters Club on Sandringham Road.
He was very knowledgeable about the game and was always constructive about the team and would support them to the hilt whatever our circumstances. As fans we all dreamt about becoming a professional footballer and in particular for your home town team.
As with 99.9% of the football fan base his dream never came to fruition but he did get the next best thing when his son Ellis signed for Pools on loan from Sunderland at the beginning of this season. I sat and had a few drinks with Michael the night before Ellis signed and it was a joy to see the immense and bursting pride he had knowing that his son was going to play for Pools. I did ask him if we wanted to come to the Directors box to watch his home debut and I received the not so unexpected response “shut up you fool, no prawn sandwiches for me, I’m watching from the Mill House terrace as always”.
Michael’s passion for the club is a family thing also shared by his brother Kevin a Poolie regular and has subsequently been passed down to Ellis who can be seen watching Pools home and away when he isn’t playing for Sunderland, loyalty at its best! Even when he was very ill and in great pain Michael still managed to attend the games with his daughter Sophie and partner Wendy supporting the team right until the very end.
I will be watching the next home game from the Mill House terrace where he stood with many of his friends and do what he did best, support the team with positivity and passion no matter what the circumstances. I can think of no greater tribute to him than the whole crowd to give him a rousing round of applause on the 59th minute of the next home game to celebrate his life and his love for Pools. He will be missed by so many a truly special man and 100% ’Poolie through and through’.