A bizarre sideshow to today’s Ipswich v Newcastle match, has seen Steven Taylor belatedly respond to Bob Murray’s accusations last month.

The former Sunderland owner said in an interview (see below) in March, that Taylor should stop being so childish and intimated that the player’s anti-mackem comments were particularly childish because when he was a young player at Newcastle, Steven Taylor came for a meeting with Bob Murray and then manager Mick McCarthy, as he wanted a move to Wearside.

Steven Taylor has now came out and said categorically that this  Sunderland meeting never took place, that there was no cup of tea.

It is all very strange, as somebody clearly is not telling the truth…

What is patently obvious though is that the anti-Sunderland stuff from Steven Taylor did become increasingly embarrassing.

It may have had some merit as a cheap laugh when Newcastle were dominating the derby matches but as the players increasingly lost their backbone and found it possible to repeatedly lose to some shockingly poor Sunderland sides, Taylor’s attempts at ‘humour’ just added to the humiliation.

Since 2012, amongst his various injuries and poor form that left him out of the team at times, Steven Taylor managed these derby appearances:

Newcastle 0 Sunderland 1 (21 December 2014)

Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3 (1 February 2014)

Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3 (14 April 2013)

Steven Taylor 16 April 2017:

“It (discussing move to Sunderland with Bob Murray and Mick McCarthy) never happened and I think he’s just trying to stir things up.

“Listen, when I was at Newcastle I have had rope and everything sent through the door. I don’t mind, it’s a bit of banter for me. That’s how the rivalry is for them, they (Sunderland fans) have their laugh at me and I have my laugh at them.

“It’s nothing, it’s like tongue in cheek at the end of the day. I respect the players that they have got, 100%, and I respect the manager they have got.

“I enjoyed those occasions (derbies) and as a young kid growing up in Newcastle I wanted to one day play against them. I loved it and now I’m at Ipswich I’m going to relish the derbies down here. That’s my next step, the Norwich derbies.

“I enjoy derby days and I don’t think they should be tamed down. It’s why we play football.

Why not have an exciting derby day and why do people want to tame it down?

“You’ve got to enjoy that kind of atmosphere and that’s what football fans breathe for.

They don’t want to be part of a boring thing, they want to get right in amongst it – not in a violent way though or anything like that, just to enjoy it.

“It will never change my character and it will never change me as a person.

I’ll always enjoy my derby days and I’m going to enjoy them with Ipswich, 100%.  Even if we play a pre-season derby game I’ll enjoy it as a proper game. You go out to win games, not just to take part.

“There’s always going to be rivalry between Newcastle and Sunderland, like there is between Norwich and Ipswich.

“It’s different up there (in the north east), they live, breathe, eat and drink football.

“You’d need to speak to the gaffer (Mick McCarthy) about it but I’ve never had a cup of tea with the gaffer.”

Bob Murray speaking to the Shields Gazette 25 March 2017:

“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 (Steven Taylor) came to the boardroom at the Stadium of Light with Mick McCarthy when Mick was manager here.

“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.”

His comments are immature and ignorant.

“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.”