Friday morning saw Newcastle fans discover that Steven Taylor was finally leaving St James Park at the age of 30, having been on United’s books for the whole of his career.
Taylor says that he thought he’d realised his ultimate ambition when appearing as a ballboy at St James Park but that he truly lived the dream when later pulling on a first team shirt.
A committed player for Newcastle, later seasons have seen an increasing number of supporters losing patience – with indifferent form, injuries and in particular, over the top comments in the media.
Almost certainly a case of staying too long at the club he supported as a boy, when an earlier departure may have paid dividends for player and club.
His last run of really decent form came in the opening half of the 2011/12 season when United finished fifth, he and Coloccini forming a partnership that looked like it could be a mainstay of the team, only for the inevitable injury to come along and put Taylor out long-term once again.
Neither Steven Taylor or the Club Captain ever really repeating what they showed that season.
With Mike Williamson already having left for Wolves, if Taylor and Coloccini follow, it will then mean that the three central defenders who were part of the squad that won promotion in 2009/10 will all have finally left.
Leaving a new era for Rafa Benitez to create a defence more to his liking, with Coloccini claiming the manager is looking to build it using players who are aged under 25 – although Friday also brought claims that 33 year old Real Madrid right-back Alvaro Arbeloa could be Benitez’ first Newcastle signing on a free.
Farewell though to Steven Taylor and this is what he had to say to the official club TV channel:
“A new challenge for me, it’s a sad day but it was always going to happen. The club and myself have agreed that this is the best time for me to move on.
“At the start of next season it will sink in. I’d rather leave after a win rather than a defeat but sad that the win over Tottenham couldn’t stop us being relegated.
“To be ballboy I thought that was the closest I would get but to live the dream and put the black and white shirt on, nobody can ever take that away from me.
“Time to move on to another chapter in my career and hopefully one day I will return here.
“Sir Bobby Robson put me in the squad with players such as Alan Shearer, Gary Speed and Shay Given – they all took me under their wings. When you are a Newcastle fan you have to turn that into becoming a Newcastle United player, which is what I always wanted to do.”
“The wins against Sunderland are always going to be good but the night we beat Anzhi in the Europa League will be something I never forget.
“Winning the Championship – we had to bounce back and everybody believed we should – redeeming ourselves.”
Low points as well?
“Obviously the two relegations are the lowest points in my career,
“The fact I have had some injuries which have meant I was out for long periods.
“I’m like the bionic man the number of injuries I have had – the good thing is though that Newcastle stood by me.”
What does Newcastle United mean to you?
“It is everything, it is everything I have ever known.
“All I have ever known is that black and white shirt. So it will be different next season wearing a different shirt…but it is time to move on.
“Lee Charnley was great and said ‘you’re welcome back whenever you want’ – I don’t think he has said that to too many people.
“Every day I go into training I get that buzz, it’s exciting, I’m living everybody’s dream.
“I just love playing at St James Park, then at away games you have the travelling Newcastle fans who have always been unbelievable.”
Do you have a message for the fans?
“Stick behind Rafa Benitez, stick behind the boys and let’s get back up first time.”