Saturday brings the embarrassing revelation that when at Newcastle, Steven Taylor approached Sunderland because he wanted a move to Wearside.
The Ipswich Town defender made a name for himself with frequent episodes of Mackem-baiting when at St James Park.
These were amusing, up to a point, at first and with Newcastle back then having the upper hand generally in derbies as well as league placings, it did sometimes raise the odd laugh.
That boat though sailed long ago and it is frankly embarrassing that just this month Steven Taylor was at it again trying to get cheap laughs/attention with derogatory comments about our Wearside friends.
Now though, the embarrassment is very definitely all on Steven Taylor, with former Sunderland owner Bob Murray, revealing that in his earlier days at Newcastle United, Steven Taylor approached Sunderland and had a meeting with the then Manager Mick McCarthy and Bob Murray, but they turned him down!
Murray says that he has kept his silence until now but the latest Steven Taylor antics have pushed him over the edge.
Mick McCarthy was Manager at Sunderland from March 2003 to March 2006, so it was in Taylor’s younger days – he would have been aged 17-20 during McCarthy’s management days on Wearside.
Back in the day Bob Murray was seen as a bit of a joke figure amongst Newcastle fans because of his sole focus being to try and be above Newcastle United in any way possible.
With both clubs increasing the size of their stadiums, Bob Murray came out with classic line of ‘We will always have one more seat than Newcastle’, as he tried desperately to outdo Sunderland’s rivals in any way.
Newcastle supporters instantly transformed that quote with only one word, ‘We (Sunderland) will always have one more EMPTY seat than Newcastle’ – happy days!
Bob Murray speaking to the Shields Gazette:
“Over the years I have been annoyed by Steven Taylor but I’ve always kept my mouth shut.
“Sunderland is a special club, with special people, in a special city.
“This young man has said various things in recent times and I’ve done my best to resist saying anything back – but I can’t anymore.
“He was under contract with Newcastle but we were told he wanted a move.
“He had been in touch with Mick and although it was very unusual that I would meet with a player, in this instance Mick asked me if I would meet him.
“I came to the boardroom and sat with him and had a cup of tea. It’s the only time I had met with a player in those circumstances.
“But we turned him down.
“At the time, we felt that he was no better than what we already had and so we let him go.”
“This is a fantastic place and the North East is a fantastic place. This kind of comment is not acceptable and he needs to stop.
“As for his views about Mackems, I think everyone should know that he wanted to be a part of our great club and wanted to pull on the Sunderland shirt.
“I have never understood his behaviour and what he said about Sunderland because of what I know. But I have had enough now.
“Everyone needs to know the truth and he needs to stop.”