Gerry’s Job With A Difference
Careers That Were Oceans Apart
Weren’t ex-footballers supposed to go into the pub trade or a sports shop business in the decades before media and coaching jobs starting presenting themselves in abundance?
Gerry Taylor did strike out briefly as a trainee licensee but also had a bash in an altogether more obscure profession – on the Ekofisk oil rig in the North Sea.
And it’s a venture that might conceivably have taken the long-time former Wolves full-back on a relocation to the Mexican Gulf.
“I had done a hotel management course at Buxton through the PFA but my brother worked in the North Sea, so I looked at that line of work instead and went off for interviews and medicals at Great Yarmouth,” the 64-year-old said.
“I got a job on a rig in admin, just over the international line and in the Norwegian sector. We used to do two weeks on and two weeks off, so we would fly in and out of Teesside Airport by helicopter.
“I was on an accommodation rig next to the drilling rig and the facilities were very good. We had about 300 people on, mainly from the north-east – it was a floating hotel really.
“Although the winter was tough, there wasn’t as much rocking about as on some boats because the rig was anchored to the sea bed by five legs. The whole complex was over a mile long.
“I was responsible for areas like ordering, helping with wages and booking helicopters and had an opportunity to follow my brother out to the Mexican Gulf. But I decided against it and embarked on a long career in the police force instead.”
Ekofisk, which is 200 miles south-west of the Norwegian city of Stavanger, certainly suited the Taylor family better than the pub trade did.
Following 192 games for Wolves, including the 1972 UEFA Cup final and the FA Cup and League Cup semi-finals of the following season, there would have been plenty for the regulars to chat to ‘mine host’ about as he did his relief management with M & B in the mid-1970s at the Holly Bush on the Penn Road and The Firs at Castlecroft.
But Gerry’s wife did not take to the way of life and it wasn’t long before he was spreading his wings much further during his 12-month stint on the waves.