Obituary: David Taylor

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of David Taylor. David died in the morning of Tuesday 2nd July 2024 after a final battle with cancer.

David, known locally as Davie, has been one of the most prominent individuals in the Moray Firth – and wider Highlands & Islands – area since the mid 1970’s and his drive, enthusiasm and competitive spirit has inspired and encouraged decades of players. A number of tributes have been paid to him below.

Davie will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and we offer deepest condolences to his family.

A funeral service will take place at St Laurence Parish Church on Thursday 18th July at 11.00am thereafter to Clovenside Cemetery, Forres.

An image of David Taylor standing on the squash court promoting a junior coaching initiative at Forres Squash Club.

The Highlands & Islands Squash Association (HISA) have paid tribute to Davie “The Legend” Taylor by reflecting on his ‘Services to Squash lifetime achievement’ award from the national governing body in 2020. The HISA nomination charted Davie’s introduction to the sport at Forres Squash Club in 1973, and as he quickly progressed to become the leading player in their first team and then on to become the leading player in the North of Scotland. The eight time HISA (formerly North of Scotland) champion, one of his great strengths was his superior fitness, often playing two matches on Friday evening, four on a Saturday – two either side of a full football (which was his other great passion) match – and a final two or three on the Sunday. Davie also led Forres Squash Club, both as President and their leading player, in to the Scottish National Leagues. This was a first for a North team to play in the league, with Davie captaining the team and successfully playing at number one for many years.

Off the court, Davie joined the Moray Firth Squash Rackets Association committee in the 1980’s as league secretary and then as President, a post that he held until the end of the 2000’s by which time it had grown to the Highlands and Islands Squash Association. His ambition was always to increase participation in the region and this ambition was achieved with the establishment of local squash leagues and many, many weekends of organising tournaments. Davie also had a great passion for coaching, across numerous clubs in the region, and most recently he was involved with the junior development Going for Gold initiative at Forres Squash Club.

An image of David Taylor and two members of staff from the local authority's sports development team standing on a squash court, promoting a junior coaching initiative at Forres Squash Club.

On a national level, tributes have been paid via Scottish Squash from many of Davie’s former competitors and teammates. Davie was a prominent player on the masters circuit, regularly representing Scotland at the Masters Home Internationals, including across the men’s over 35, 40, 50, 55 and 60 categories.

Davie was also on track to secure a place in the men’s over 65 team in season 2019-20, only for Covid restrictions to force the latter stage of the season to be cancelled. It had been a fine season for Davie as he secured victory in all three of the domestic circuit events he had entered. This included a win at the Grampian Masters in October 2019, victory in the East of Scotland Masters in January 2020 and a further winners medal at the Central Masters in February 2020.

Other highlights included captaining the Scottish men’s over 50 team in Dublin and, in Cardiff in 2015, Davie was voted the best player in the team, winning seven points out of nine in the men’s over 60 category. Having been involved in what was described as the most exciting game of the night on the Friday evening, Davie came back from 2-1 down in games and 5-1 down in the fourth game to dig out an historic 3-2 match win over his Irish counterpart. Despite losing in a close four set game to his English opponent, a 3-0 win against Wales earlier on the Saturday morning capped a fine weekend of squash from the team’s most valuable player.

An image of David Taylor standing on a squash court having just played a squash match. An image of David Taylor standing on a squash court in the Scottish representative kit ahead of a Masters Home Internationals tie.