Alan Taylor was born on November 15, 1953 in Hinckley, Leicestershire. In the course of a 15-year career he played for Rochdale, West Ham United, Norwich City, Vancouver Whitecaps, Cambridge United, Hull City, Burnley, and Bury.
After impressing in non-league football for Morecambe and Lancaster City, Taylor joined Rochdale in 1973.
At the end of 1974, West Ham manager John Lyall decided to trust his judgement and pay Rochdale £40,000 after seeing Taylor score ten goals in five games. Taylor signed for the club on his 21st birthday.
Fortunately, Taylor was able to play in West Ham's FA Cup campaign when they joined the competition at the Third Round stage in January 1975, even though Rochdale's lower league status meant that they had started two rounds earlier. Taylor had been injured during Rochdale's FA Cup matches and was therefore not cup-tied.
West Ham progressed to the quarter finals and Taylor scored both goals as they beat Arsenal 2-0 at Highbury. The semi-final against Ipswich Town ended goalless and went to a replay at Stamford Bridge, with Taylor again scoring both goals in a 2-1 win. His second clinched a place in the Wembley final with just eight minutes to go.
In the final, West Ham played Fulham, who were a division below them, and were captained by former Hammers legend Bobby Moore.
In the 61st minute, Billy Jennings hit a low, outswinging shot from 25 yards which Fulham goalkeeper Peter Mellor could only parry across his goal. Taylor, following up, planted a low drive through the unfortunate Mellor's legs and into the net.
Three minutes later, Graham Paddon again hit a vicious shot from a wide left position at the Fulham goal, but this time it was more directly at Mellor, who stopped it but failed to hold on. Once more, Taylor was following up and he instinctively guided the rebound into the top of the net.
Taylor made all the headlines as West Ham won 2-0, especially as he had scored three consecutive FA Cup braces and had been a player in the lowest division of English football just six months previously.
Injuries took their toll on Taylor afterwards and he lost his place at West Ham, who were relegated in 1978. Taylor left for Norwich City in 1979, and had subsequent periods at Cambridge United, Hull City, Burnley and Bury, plus some time in Canada at Vancouver Whitecaps. He ended his career back at Norwich.