Graham Taylor has passed away at the age of 72 from a suspected heart attack. The former England and Aston Villa boss enjoyed an impressive managerial career spanning over 30 years and also played for Grimsby Town and Lincoln City.

Taylor is best remembered for his spell in charge of England; despite losing just one of his first 23 games in charge of the Three Lions he failed to secure qualification to the 1994 World Cup. The Birmingham Mail reported the news of his passing this afternoon, with the cause of death currently unknown. The Football Association confirmed the news on social media.

A family statement reported by the BBC said: "With the greatest sadness, we have to announce that Graham passed away at his home early this morning of a suspected heart attack. The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss."

Taylor enjoyed two spells in charge of Aston Villa and his success with the Midlands club earned him the opportunity of managing the national team. He is also a much-loved figure at Watford and was behind their iconic early 1980s team that featured players like John Barnes, Luther Blissett and Pat Rice and finished second in the old First Division. Aston Villa and another of Taylor's former clubs, Wolverhampton Wanderers, are set to face each other in the Championship on Saturday.

I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Graham's passing. He was like a brother to me. We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met. We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever. He took my beloved Watford from the depths of the lower leagues to unchartered territory and into Europe. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius. This is a sad and dark day for Watford. The club and the town. We will cherish Graham and drown our sorrows in the many brilliant memories he gave us. I love you Graham. I will miss you very much. My thoughts go out to Rita, Joanne, Karen and the whole Taylor family. @watfordfcofficial #GrahamTaylor #RIP

A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on

After retiring from management in 2003 Taylor assumed the role of vice-president at Scunthorpe United and also forayed into the world of punditry. In 2014 Watford named a stand at Vicarage Road after Taylor as a way of paying tribute to his two spells at the club.

graham taylor
England football manager Graham Taylor smiles at a press conference on 4 Ocober 1993 Reuters