Mike Taylor played mainly for Nottinghamshire and Hampshire - even though one of his middle names was Somerset! - in a career that spanned from 1964 to 1980 and included 375 first-class and 226 limited overs matches.
Taylor was born at Amersham, Buckinghamshire; at the age of 15 he was being coached at Chesham Cricket Club by the ex-Derbyshire bowler Alf Pope.
Taylor was a right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium pace bowler. He made his First-Class debut for Nottinghamshire in 1964 and played until 1972, when he was not offered a new contract. He appeared in 230 matches, finishing with a batting average of 18.01 and 522 wickets at 27.88.
In that final season for Nottinghamshire he played in a Gillette Cup match against Hampshire at Trent Bridge, taking 2-39 in 12 overs and top-scoring with 58; when they learned of his impending release, Hampshire signed him. He had an immediate impact, for in 1973 he took 64 first-class wickets at 21.71 and scored 507 runs at 24.14 to help his new county to their second title. His bowling figures were even better in 1974 when Hants were foiled by the weather in the search for a second successive Championship. Throughout the 1970s he proved himself one of Hampshire’s better signings from another county. In addition to his fine medium-pace bowling, he scored his first century for the county in 1977 and there was another in 1978. In that season, age 35, he was a member of the Hampshire side that won the Sunday League, as he had been in 1975.
He retired at the end of the 1980 season and became Hampshire’s Assistant Secretary and then Marketing Manager, during the demanding 1990s and the move to the Rose Bowl (now the Ageas Bowl). He took 308 First-Class wickets for Hampshire at 24.21, plus 162 limited-overs wickets at 25.70 and an economy rate below four runs per over. His best bowling was 7-23 v his former county Nottinghamshire at Basingstoke in 1977. He retired from the office in 2002, after 30 years with his ‘new’ county.
Michael Norman Somerset Taylor was the identical twin brother of Derek John Somerset Taylor - they were born on 12 November 1942 - who was the Surrey and Somerset wicket keeper from 1966 to 1979; Derek now lives in Queensland, Australia.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 438