Sunday, July 7, 2019

Farewell to Squizzy Taylor

Noel Taylor in his playing days.
CONCLUDING the special series of articles by Steve Balmforth, remembering three local identities who have passed away in recent months: George Menzie, Noel Taylor and Brenda Triffitt.

Today's final installment recalls the life and sporting career of Noel Taylor, who was a friend and team-mate of George Menzie. They spent their last days just a room apart in the New Norfolk Hospital and now rest side-by-side at the Malbina Lawn Cemetery.

Noel Francis “Squizzy” Taylor
17 March 1943 - 16 May 2019
"Squizzy" Taylor was a larger-than-life local identity who always had a smile on his face, and although he was a tough and aggressive footballer, those traits were never encountered off the footy field.

His football career started with New Norfolk Under 17s, and he had one season in Melbourne playing for Hawthorn in 1965. On returning from Melbourne he continued his career with the Eagles and in the late 1970s he went on to captain-coach Mangalore.

A talented New Norfolk footballer, Noel played as full back in the club’s 1968 premiership-winning side and was described by Keith Welsh of the Mercury as “the greatest custodial performance ever seen on North Hobart”.

Trevor Leo commented, "Noel was a great player in our era, an outstanding clubman and best-on-ground in our first premiership side in 1968’’. Taylor was well-known for his famous drop-kick from full back.

A collectors' card featuring
Jason Taylor.
Noel had a long association with the Eagles as a player, assistant coach, runner, director, match Manager, and chairman of selectors. His father Cliff "Beau" Taylor played with Geelong, Noel played for the Hawks and his son Jason played with Fitzroy, Hawthorn and Collingwood, which made three consecutive generations of AFL/VFL players in the family, which is a remarkable achievement.

Noel grew up in New Norfolk, did his schooling at St Brigid's Convent School and later at St Virgil's College. After leaving school he worked at Boyer, where he had over 40 years’ service before retiring in 2010.

Noel is survived by Pam, his wife of 54 years, as well as son Jason, daughters Lisa and Carmen, and grandchildren Sam, Chloe, Jaxen, Eboni and Giselle. He had the nickname of “Squizzy” as many Taylors do, but he was also known as “Running Bear” as this was his signature tune that was played and sung at the footy clubrooms after an Eagles win, with Noel leading the vocals and the accompanying conga line. 

The same song was played as Noel’s coffin was carried from St Peters Catholic Church after his funeral service on May 21, sparking emotional memories among the large crowd which attended the service. Donations to the Heart Foundation were accepted at the church.

Noel loved living in the "Valley of Love" and will be sadly missed by many. Condolences to his family and friends.

STEVE BALMFORTH

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