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Gareth Taylor: VIP guest

Gareth Taylor is the VIP guest for the visit of Burnley on Tuesday evening. Hold on to your hats.

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

The news that Gareth Taylor is the VIP guest for the visit of Burnley on Tuesday evening grabbed us by the hand and took us back to a very dark place.

Taylor had the ignominy of captaining the team as they slipped out of the Championship with barely a yelp back in 2005. It wasn't Taylor's fault of course but in some ways, he came to symbolise the haplessness of that season.

The tall streaky haired one does hold the much coveted distinction of featuring in two of the 'Worst Away Days' feature we ran last year. A dismal evening at Highfield Road in which Taylor lead the side out was notable for this:

In retrospect, we were up against it from the start. Hugely ineffectual back post header specialist Gareth Taylor somehow ended up with the captain’s armband and as he led the team out, he went to the fans to acknowledge and applaud their support: a worthy gesture. However, it might well have counted for more if he had directed this towards the Forest fans, as opposed to the Sky Blue fans. It was only a brief moment, perhaps missed by most but on realising his error, he laughed at his own muppetry and told a teammate.  Oh how we laughed long with him stood in the cramped Highfield Road stand.

The ensuing 2-0 defeat edged City closer to safety and Forest closer to League 1.

The nail in the coffin came at Loftus Road though, beautifully described by Daniel Storey here:

Gerrard, Curtis, Morgan, Taylor, Melville, Robertson, Gardner, Evans, Powell, Commons, Dobie. It sounds like a deeply symbolic dark poem, and they might as well have been the names of those lost at sea, such was the dismay at hearing them. These were our saviours, were they? Well, we might as well go home then.

It doesn't end there either. Do you recall him sheepishly leading the team out to a 'lap of appreciation' in the final home game of that torrid season? The team wore lettered t shirts spelling out 'Ta for the support' while clapping all four sides of the City Ground from the centre circle.

'Ta for the support'? This gesture couldn't have been more half arsed if it ran out on to the pitch and dropped its pants. Indeed, it's a good job the players did this from the safety of the centre circle otherwise they might have heard the abuse spat at them from the side.

Here are some more golden Gareth memories:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/InTheTopOne_">@InTheTopOne_</a> The only home player I can recall who, after being called over by the ref, the forest fans shouted &#39;OFF! OFF! OFF!&#39;</p>&mdash; Rhys Cooper (@dizzee_rhyscal) <a href="https://twitter.com/dizzee_rhyscal/status/654676629130604544">October 15, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/InTheTopOne_">@InTheTopOne_</a> He was sponsored by Mrs Bunns Cob Emporium on Musters Road. Well worth a visit.</p>&mdash; Mike (@nowthenyoungman) <a href="https://twitter.com/nowthenyoungman/status/654664161306087424">October 15, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Welcome back, Gareth. Enjoy your evening.