PFA Chief pays tribute to his former team-mate and mentor
Gordon Taylor paid tribute to Bolton Wanderers legend Roy Hartle, praising his former team-mate for the instrumental influence he had on the PFA Chief’s own career.
A boyhood Whites fan, Hartle was one of Taylor’s heroes growing up while the duo played together at Burden Park during the latter days of the one-club man’s career.
Following Hartle’s retirement in 1966, Taylor replaced him as Bolton’s PFA delegate and told bwfc.co.uk that his career would not have panned out the same way had it not been for his former mentor.
“For Bolton Wanderers I’d say he was a legend. It was an honour to share the field with him. There have been some great players who have played for Bolton of course, but Roy would be up there with the very best. Not just for his ability on the pitch but for his whole stature and demeanour as well," Taylor said.
"I could not have wished for a better mentor. He was one of a number of senior players at the time, like Nat Lofthouse and Eddie Hopkinson, but Roy was there more than most and it was great to have him in the team behind you.
“He was a great advisor, not just about football on the pitch but off it as well. He inspired me to eventually take over from him as delegate at Bolton and to follow in his footsteps in getting involved with the PFA, so I owe him a great deal.
“He showed me the ropes with the PFA and was very much one of the reasons why I was delighted to take over from him as PFA delegate. I was PFA delegate at all my clubs and made the PFA committee, which I knew Roy had been on. It would be fair to say that he was very instrumental to that from my point of view.
“I would like to pass on the sympathies and sincere condolences of myself and everyone at the PFA to a man who was an absolute credit to his profession, to his widow Barbara and to his entire family.”