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The History

Towards the end of the 1997 season, the WLAF was starting to re-evaluate the team's situation in its market, believing that the return to London had not been as big a success as hoped. In conjunction with general manager Alton Byrd, the team was rebranded the England Monarchs and travelled the country, playing home games at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, Ashton Gate (home of Bristol City F.C.) and Alexander Stadium, an athletics stadium in Birmingham - another step down in the size and quality of the stadiums used. This venture divided opinion dramatically amongst the Monarchs support and rather than increase interest in the team, attendances slumped to an average of 5,944. The announcement at the end of the 1998 season that the league would add a new team, the Berlin Thunder, led to weeks of speculation that either one of the existing teams would be shut down, or that the Monarchs and Claymores would be amalgamated into a single British team. Confirmation that the Monarchs were to close down came in July that year.

Like other WLAF/NFL Europe teams, most of the Monarchs' players were young American "developmental" players assigned from teams in the National Football League. The league paid these players' salaries, as well of that of the coaches, who tended also to be Americans, though there were exceptions - in the early Monarchs Walter McKone, D.O. was a team osteopath and Stewart Parkinson a team manager. A few players of European extraction also participated, primarily as kicking specialists, although league rules required the participation of at least one player of European extraction on every other series of four downs. The league's points leader in 1991 was Phil Alexander, kicker with the Monarchs, who is currently Managing Director of Crystal Palace football club. One exception to the "kicker phenomenon" was Victor Ebubedike (later Victor X Ebubedike, and later still Victor Muhammad) who played as running back for the Monarchs for a number of years, and who became the first European to score a touchdown (versus the Orlando Thunder) in 1991. Notable players for the Monarchs included Stan Gelbaugh, William Perry, Obafemi Ayanbadejo, Steve "Hollywood" Brooks, Tim Simpson, and Brad Johnson, a quarterback who would go on to win Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also of note was Dedrick Dodge, a special teams maven, who went on to win a number of Super Bowl rings with teams including the Denver Broncos. Notable British players include Marc 'Big Bird' Cohen, one of the best European WR of his time. He is currently terrorising defenses for the Coventry Cassidy Jets in the BAFL Premier division and the EFL.\


June 24, 1998

The NFLE suspends operations of the England Monarchs and announces that the league will remain with six teams in 1999.

The Coach

Coach Lionel Taylor in 1997
Coach Lionel Taylor as a player in the NFL

Lionel Thomas Taylor (born August 15, 1935, in Kansas City, Missouri) is an American former collegiate and Professional Football wide receiver who led the American Football League (AFL) in receptions each year for the first six years of the league's existence.

College football

Taylor attended New Mexico Highlands University, where he had starred in basketball and track, earning all-conference wide receiver honors in 1956 and 1957.

Professional football

Taylor first played eight games with the Chicago Bears of the National Football League(NFL) before moving to the Denver Broncos of the AFL for the 1960 season. Second in all-time receptions (543) for the Denver Broncos and their all-time leading receiver in yardage (6,872), Taylor was the Broncos' team MVP in 1963, 1964 and 1965, and an AFL All-Star in 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1965.

Taylor was the first professional football receiver ever to make 100 catches in a single season, accomplishing the feat in only 14 games (1961). He had four seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving, and averaged 84.7 catches per year from 1960 to 1965, then the highest six-year total in professional football history. Taylor completed his career with the Houston Oilers in 1967 and 1968.

Professional Coaching

Taylor was on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ staff in the mid-1970s as a part of two Super Bowl winners By the late ’70s, Taylor was offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, while Chuck Noll’s Steelers had procured a former college quarterback was trying to make the conversion to pro safety. That young player’s name? Tony Dungy.

Taylor was the Rams’ offensive coordinator in Super Bowl XIV, but two years later, he was dismissed, having never had the chance to interview for an NFL head-coaching position.

Eventually, Taylor would become a pro head coach … but had to do so across the Atlantic Ocean, for the England Monarchs of NFL Europe. Nevertheless, his sideline legacy became clear late Sunday night … and it’s one at least as noteworthy as the on-field kudos he earned with the Broncos in becoming the franchise’s leading receiver and establishing standards that wouldn’t be surpassed for three decades.

http://blog.denverbroncos.com/tag/lionel-taylor/ & www.wikipedia.org

The Stadiums

Location: London, England
Stadium: London Crystal Palace Athletics Arena (23,000), Bristol Ashton Gate Stadium (20,000), Birmingham Alexander Stadium (15,000) 1998                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Owner: Jon Smith
General Manager: Alton Byrd (1997-1998) 

The final game of the 1997 season saw Taylor reappointed as head coach for the following year. The off-season was a momentous one in the franchise's history with the name being changed to 'England Monarchs' in October. It was also announced that the team would play at three different home venues in 1998 - three games at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre (south London), one at Ashton Gate Stadium (Bristol) and another at Alexander Stadium (Birmingham).

Team Name:
Previously known as London, the franchise became 'England' in October 1997. Great Britain's monarchy is a vibrant part of the nation's heritage, and London is the traditional home of the king and queen. All the members of the royal family are celebrities as well as political and historical figures.


1998 Home Grounds

Crystal Palace National Sports Centre,
Ledrington Road,
London, SE19 2BL.

Three home games have been played at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre inside their main athletics area. The capacity is 23,000 and over the years this ground has seen many great achievements in British athletics. Watch out for the huge power party which will be held in the grounds of the complex.
The Monarchs are very familiar with the venue, having lived and trained in the grounds for the past two seasons. It‘s not the first time that gridiron has been staged at Crystal Palace, several British amateur finals have been held there over the last 10 years.


Bristol City FC,
Ashton Gate Stadium,
Bristol, BS1 4QF.

Ashton Gate is the home of Bristol City FC and had a capacity of 20,000 for their Monarchs game. It was the first time that an American football game had been staged here.


Alexander Stadium,
Stadium Way,
Off Walsall Road,
Perry Barr,
Birmingham, B42 2LR.





The 1998 England Monarchs Uniform

The 1998 England Monarchs uniforms were about as simple as you can get.  The second generation of the WLAF saw the London Monarchs with very colorful uniforms with the "crown" log prominent on the jersey.  In 1997, the Monarchs reverted back to their original jersey-look from 1991-1992.  When the league changed its name to NFL Europe, the WLAF look went away and the simple uniforms took their place.  The Monarchs new jerseys were red (home) and white (away).  They were made by Champion and had a logo patch on each sleeve.  Lender's Bagels was the sponsor and there was a patch sewn on the left chest.  The pants were white with a red and blue stripe down the side and a logo patch on the hip. These were made by champion too.  The socks where white with a dark blue top (or black).  The logo was new for the team also.  The Monarchs "crown" was now seen inside of St. George's Cross.  The helmet was white with a blue stripe down the center with the Monarchs logo on both sides.  The helmet was made by Riddell. In the picture below you can see what the initial idea was for the helmet. Also in the photo above with the cheerleaders, you can also see another idea for the helmet.

Logo on helmet below that Alton Byrd is holding
Helmet logo from cheerleader photo above

England Monarchs Promo Helmet (black or dark blue)

1998 England Monarchs Home Jersey
Home Jersey (back)
1998 England Monarchs Helmet
1998 England Monarchs Away Jersey
Away Jersey (back)
1998 England Monarchs pants

1998 England Monarchs Results

 Regular Season
04/05/1998Frankfurt Galaxy @ England MonarchsL, 36-130-1-06,541
04/11/1998 (Sat.)Rhein Fire @ England MonarchsL, 31-70-2-05,523
04/18/1998 (Sat.)England Monarchs @ Frankfurt GalaxyL, 23-17 OT0-3-029,312
04/26/1998Scottish Claymores @ England MonarchsW, 14-101-3-06,246
05/02/1998 (Sat.)England Monarchs @ Amsterdam AdmiralsL, 25-241-4-010,112
05/10/1998Amsterdam Admirals @ England MonarchsL, 16-71-5-06,235
05/17/1998England Monarchs @ Scottish ClaymoresL, 27-241-6-09,213
05/23/1998 (Sat.)England Monarchs @ Rhein FireL, 12-71-7-021,288
05/31/1998Barcelona Dragons @ England MonarchsW, 17-52-7-05,215
06/07/1998England Monarchs @ Barcelona DragonsW, 28-203-7-010,834


1998 NFLE Statistics - England Monarchs

Josh LaRocca25712247.516416.3974t145.4114.32315368.6
Wally Richardson431944.21944.513724.724.732153.8
Brian Greenfield100.000.00000.000.00039.6

Reggie Jones3664918.0774t
Alan Allen3145114.5442
Toderick Malone2529711.9344
Shawn Turner2222010.0230
Sean Manuel69616.0031
Tyrone Edwards6244.009
Shon Mitchell4215.3012
Rowelle Blenman3144.706
Obafemi Ayanbadejo22814.0020
Bobby Phillips22211.0014
Victor Muhammad210.506
Charles Talley177.007
Jerod Fiebiger155.005
Tyrone Edwards894174.7257t
Victor Muhammad441373.1118
Josh LaRocca17774.5019
Shon Mitchell26702.7112
Reggie Jones6498.2019
Bobby Phillips17382.2011
Charles Talley8243.0010
Rowelle Blenman12121.0021
Shawn Turner2115.509
Wally Richardson492.307
Brian Greenfield100.000

 Kickoff Returns
Anthony Rice1324819.1036
George Harris816420.5034
Toderick Malone59919.8035
Bobby Phillips49323.3039
Tyrone Edwards55110.2014
Tom Tovo13333.0033
Charles Talley12828.0028
Oscar Gray12424.0024
Shon Mitchell11212.0012
Jerod Fiebiger1-7-7.00-7
 Punt Returns
Toderick Malone17855.013013

Brian Greenfield48217045.26491312320636.4

Rob Hart0/01/22/20/00/03/43119/1928
Don Silvestri0/00/00/02/51/33/8500/09

Dana Cottrell1.0--000.000
Scott Fields4.0--000.000
Carlos Fowler3.0--000.000
Uhuru Hamiter7.0--000.000
George Harris0.0--22211.0016
Hudhaifa Ismaeli0.0--100.000
Randy Neal1.0--000.000
Emile Palmer3.0--000.000
Anthony Rice0.0--22412.0020
Darren Studstill0.0--294.509
Tom Tovo0.5--000.000
Tony Watkins3.0--000.000
Ben Williams5.5--000.000

1998 England Monarchs Roster

PlayerPosGGS Birthdate College
10 Allen, AlanWR---- 08/09/1971 Idaho  
70 Augustino, JasonOT---- 03/31/1973 Virginia  
44 Ayanbadejo, ObafemiRB---- 03/05/1975 San Diego State  
Bailey, KennyDB---- 02/03/1974 Delaware  
52  Ballard, KarlLB---- 06/07/1973 Colorado State  
21 Blenman, RowelleDB---- 12/31/1967 Harper  
60 Bloedorn, GregC---- 11/15/1972 Cornell  
Brannon, SteveDE---- 11/27/1968 Hampton  
20 Butler, DuaneDB---- 11/29/1973 Illinois State  
66 Capes, LewisDE---- 05/26/1971 Colorado State  
77 Castro, CayetanoOG---- 11/27/1974 Wisconsin  
58 Cottrell, DanaLB---- 01/11/1974 Syracuse  
72 Couch, RobertOT---- 09/04/1973 Vanderbilt  
25 Crespina, KeitaDB---- 02/25/1971 Temple  
74 Dittman, SethOT---- 07/23/1972 Stanford  
24 Edwards, TyroneRB---- 04/28/1973 California  
67 Fequiere, FritzOG---- 01/31/1972 Iowa  
80 Fiebiger, JerodTE---- 10/09/1972 Texas Tech  
56 Fields, ScottLB---- 04/22/1973 Southern California  
75 Fowler, CarlosDT---- 08/30/1972 Wisconsin  
Gray, OscarRB---- 09/25/1972 Arkansas  
18 Greenfield, BrianP---- 06/06/1969 Pittsburgh  
90 Hamiter, UhuruDE---- 03/14/1973 Delaware State  
22 Harris, GeorgeDB---- 11/13/1973 Kentucky  
Hart, RobK---- 11/04/1974 Murray State  
2 Hatega, FrancisSS---- 04/04/1973  
30 Ismaeli, HudhaifaCB---- 07/30/1975 Northwestern  
81  Jones, ReggieWR---- 05/08/1971 Louisiana State  
LaRocca, JoshQB---- 03/09/1973 Rice  
64 MacKenzie, TonyOG---- 06/11/1973 Hastings  
84 Malone, ToderickWR---- 11/11/1974 Alabama  
82 Manuel, SeanTE---- 12/01/1973 New Mexico State  
33 Mitchell, ShonRB---- 10/08/1973 Texas  
29 Muhammad, VictorRB---- 02/01/1966 Vauxhall  
54 Neal, RandyLB---- 10/29/1972 Virginia  
94 Newbill, RichardLB---- 02/08/1968 Miami  
78 Oltmanns, ChrisOT---- 11/21/1972 Kansas State  
76 Palmer, EmileDT---- 04/05/1973 Syracuse  
18 Perry-Smith, RyanQB---- 02/13/1974 Oregon  
1 Phillips, BobbyRB---- 12/08/1969 Virginia Union  
26 Rice, AnthonyDB---- 11/29/1973 La Verne  
14 Richardson, WallyQB---- 02/11/1974 Penn State  
3 Silvestri, DonK---- 12/25/1968 Pittsburgh  
27 Studstill, DarrenDB---- 08/09/1970 West Virginia  
23  Talley, CharlesRB---- 02/12/1974 Northern Illinois  
91 Tovo, TomDE---- 07/20/1971  
99 Townsend, LarryDT---- 09/16/1974 Nebraska  
11 Turner, ShawnWR---- 05/18/1973 Utah State  
63 Warren, CraigOT---- 07/26/1974 Stephen F. Austin  
39 Watkins, TonyDB---- 04/04/1971 South Carolina  
96 Williams, BenDE---- 05/28/1970 Minnesota  

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