Leon Taylor dead: Non-league footballer passes away aged 36 as tributes pour in for 'absolute gentleman'

DARLASTON TOWN have announced the tragic death of their player Leon Taylor aged 36.

Taylor was taken ill yesterday, with his club learning of his passing last night.

In a statement on their website, they wrote: "Darlaston last night were totally devastated to learn of the passing of our beautiful and great friend, and player Leon Taylor.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Leon’s family and friends at this most difficult of times."

Taylor was well known across the Midlands football scene, having represented a number of clubs with distinction, including Sporting Khalsa, AFC Wulfrunians, Brocton, Wednesfield, Bloxwich United, Tividale and Walsall Wood.

His former Wood team-mate and current club manager Harry Harris wrote on Twitter: "Can’t believe I’m actually writing this I’m absolutely devastated that my good good friend Leon Taylor passed away tonight.

"Rest easy big man, you looked peacefully asleep.

"I love you mate and will miss speaking to you everyday about football and in general."

Dean Gill, who managed Taylor at Darlaston, added: "Our love and support are with Leon’s family, friends, and team-mates.

"In due course, as a club, we will pay our respects to Leon in the way he deserves.

“Leon had a partner and two beautiful children, and they are understandably our number one concern at this time.

"As a club we are united in our love for Leon and devastation at his passing.

“We ask that everyone is given time to deal with this accordingly.”

Another former team-mate Ash Evans wrote: "RIP Leon Taylor will remember the best times with darlo achieving promotion together, rest easy my brother sleep tight."

Former club Sporting Khalsa offered their condolences, writing on social media: "We are devastated to hear the news that former Khalsa player Leon Taylor has passed away.

"A truly great footballer and an absolute gentleman. Our thoughts are with his family & friends at this sad time. RIP Leon."

While AFC Wulfrunians added: “We are extremely saddened to hear the news that one of our former players, Leon Taylor, has passed away. He only made a couple of appearances for us but played against us on many occasions and was a great lad. Our thoughts are with family and friends at this sad time. RIP Leon.”

Darlaston's scheduled match against Shawbury United, initially scheduled for this Saturday, has been postponed.

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