FORMER referee Jack Taylor OBE has died aged 82 at his home in Shropshire.
The Englishman awarded the first penalty in a World Cup final when he refereed Germany's 2-1 win over the Netherlands in 1974.
Described by the Football League as 'perhaps the finest English referee of all time,' Taylor officiated in more than 1,000 matches, including more than 100 internationals and was also inducted into FIFA's Hall of Fame.
He went on to work for the Football League after retiring from refereeing.
Taylor, who also refereed cup finals in Europe, South America, South Africa and China, served on the Football League's referees committee and assisted its commercial department with its sponsor management.
Football League chairman Greg Clarke paid tribute to Taylor.
"Jack Taylor set the benchmark for refereeing, not just in this country but across the world, and in later life he applied the same levels of integrity, commitment and sheer love of the game to his other roles in football," Clarke said.
"Very few people in football can match the contribution made by Jack Taylor and fewer still have managed to do it while retaining the respect and admiration of absolutely everyone they have come into contact with.
"He will be greatly missed by everybody at the Football League and its clubs and our thoughts are with his family and friends."
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "I am extremely sad to hear of Jack Taylor's passing and send my sympathies to his wife, other family members and friends.
"Jack was one of English football's finest ambassadors who reached the pinnacle of refereeing and, until his very last days, continued to help the development of young referees.
"From our first meeting he remained a constant source of encouragement and I will miss him. The game has lost a great servant and a true friend."
Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials, said: "This is a terribly sad moment for English officiating and we send our condolences to his family and many friends.
"Every referee of our generation looked up to Jack Taylor because he set the standard. His performances at the 1974 FIFA World Cup inspired a whole generation of referees in this country.
"I was fortunate to travel to the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa with Jack for him to watch Howard Webb.
"He was incredibly proud that another Englishman had taken charge of the biggest game in world football.
"But then that was Jack, he was not only very well respected throughout the game by players and managers, he was also an extremely nice man and wonderful fun to be around."