After Kevin Keegan’s sudden resignation in October 2000, The FA called upon former England Under-21 Manager Peter Taylor to fill the void.
The former Southend United, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient winger also picked up four England caps during his playing days, scoring two goals for the Three Lions.
His managerial career began in 1986 with non-league Dartford, where he twice won the Southern Cup in his four-year tenure. He then moved to his first role in the Football League with his hometown club Southend United, spending two years at Roots Hall.
A brief spell at Conference club Dover Athletic in the 1995-96 season preceded a call from The FA and then England boss Glenn Hoddle asking him to take charge of the Under-21s for the first time.
The Young Lions enjoyed a successful period under Taylor, achieving a record of: played 15, eleven won, three drawn and one defeat. However, he had returned to League management with Gillingham and Leicester City when The FA approached him for the caretaker role of the senior squad.
Although he oversaw just one game – the 1-0 friendly loss to Italy at the Stadio Delle Alpi in Turin – Taylor made perhaps one of the most significant decisions to affect the Three Lions in the new Millennium, handing David Beckham the captain’s armband for the fixture.
While Taylor would return to League management with the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Hull City, Crystal Palace and Bradford City, Beckham went on to lead his country at three major tournaments.
Taylor had a second spell as Under-21 boss alongside his club career at Hull by taking over again in 2004. The Young Lions narrowly missed out on the Euro Finals of 2006, but qualified for the 2007 Finals in Holland, courtesy of a play-off victory against Germany.
By now, Taylor had moved to Crystal Palace and with the demands of the Under-21 job now being a full-time position, he left before the summer tournament and was replaced by Stuart Pearce.
Since then, Taylor has enjoyed coaching spells in Bahrain and the Netherlands before returning to work for The FA again as Head Coach of the England U20s for the 2013 World Cup in Turkey.