Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire born centre half Jack Taylor began his football career with Dumbarton Albion in 1889 before joining Scottish League Dumbarton in 1890. Originally an outside right, he made his Scottish League debut that August against Cowlairs, scoring in a 1-1 draw. He went on to play 73 times for Dumbarton, scoring an impressive 53 goals, winning the Scottish League Championship in 1891 and 1892. He was also a Scottish Cup Finalist in 1891 as Dumbarton lost 1-0 to Heart of Midlothian at Hampden Park.
He made his Scotland international debut in a 6-1 thrashing of Wales at Tynecastle in March 1892, and won three more caps over the next three years, scoring in a 2-1 win over Ireland at The Solitude Ground, Belfast in May 1894. His Scottish League representative debut came in April 1892 when he played in a 2-2 draw against The Football League at Pike’s Lane, Bolton, in the very first Inter-League match. He went on to win 6 Scottish League caps, scoring 4 goals, over the next three years.
He joined St Mirren in April 1895 and scored a further 12 goals in 27 appearances for The Buddies during his single season at Love Street, winning each of his last international and Scottish League caps while at St Mirren. First Division Everton signed him in May 1896, and he made his Football League debut against Sheffield Wednesday in September 1896, scoring in a 2-1 victory. In his first season at Goodison Park, Everton reached the FA Cup Final losing 3-2 to Aston Villa at The Crystal Palace. In 1898 Taylor started to play in the half back line, although he remained as a regular in the forward line until the beginning of 1902-03, the previous season bagging a hat-trick in September 1901 in a 6-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
During his 14 seasons at Goodison Park, Everton finished League runners up on three occasions, in 1902, 1905 and 1909, and additionally finished 3rd in 1904 and 1907, and in 4th place twice. They reached the FA Cup Final in 1906, when they beat Newcastle United 1-0 in the Final at The Crystal Palace, and also in 1907, when they lost 2-1 to Sheffield Wednesday at the same venue. He was Everton’s club captain for many seasons including for both of these Cup Finals, Edgar Chadwick having captained Everton in 1897. However Taylor was the only Everton player to feature in all three FA Cup Finals between 1897 and 1907, when he was described as “one of the finest players in England and a deadly shot at goal”.
In the 1910 FA Cup semi-final replay against Barnsley, which Everton lost 3-0 at Old Trafford, Taylor was struck by the ball in the throat, damaging his larynx. This effectively ended his professional career after 80 goals in 456 appearances and he was transferred to non league South Liverpool later in 1910. Taylor is currently one of only 6 players to make 400 Football League appearances for Everton, his 456 in all competitions puts him 7th in the club’s all-time appearance chart.