Newcastle United confirm the retirement of ‘cult hero’ former player
Via their official website, Newcastle United have confirmed the playing retirement of Steven Taylor.
The defender spent over two decades at NUFC from the age of nine, eventually released in 2016 by Rafa Benitez.
Steven Taylor going on to play in America, India and New Zealand, as well as spells in League One and the Championship, after leaving Tyneside.
Announcing the news, Newcastle United included in their statement (see below) that Steve Taylor was: ‘A popular figure…His passion and commitment made him something of a cult hero with Newcastle supporters.’
Hmmm, I’m not sure many fans will be including Steven Taylor in any lists of NUFC ‘cult heroes’ and as for ‘popular’, earlier in his career Taylor had looked a decent prospect and did ok – but certainly any popularity was seriously on the decline by the time he was released on a free transfer in 2016.
Newcastle United official announcement:
‘Former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has announced his retirement from professional football.
The 35-year-old confirmed that his time as a player had come to an end this week after a total of 421 games during a club career which spanned 18 years.
Taylor, who was captain of Wellington Phoenix in the A-League at the time of his retirement, was born in London but grew up in the North East, joining the Magpies’ Academy from Cramlington Juniors.
Having progressed swiftly through the ranks at United, he spent time on loan at Wycombe Wanderers before Sir Bobby Robson handed him his Newcastle debut in a UEFA Cup tie away at Real Mallorca in March 2004.
That was to be the first of 268 outings Taylor made for his boyhood club as he became a mainstay under a succession of managers including Robson, Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Chris Hughton, Alan Pardew, Steve McClaren and Rafa Benítez.
A popular figure, the centre half netted 15 goals for the Magpies before departing at the end of the 2015/16 campaign, having served the club as a first team player for over a decade.
His passion and commitment made him something of a cult hero with Newcastle supporters, while he also received international recognition; Taylor was capped by England from under-16 to under-21 level, making 29 appearances for the under-21s.
He was also called up to the senior squad by McClaren for a friendly against Germany in August 2007 and by Roy Hodgson for a World Cup qualifier against San Marino in March 2013 and while he didn’t feature in either of those fixtures, he did appear for an England B side in a 3-1 win over Albania in 2007.
He subsequently had spells with Portland Timbers, Ipswich Town, Peterborough United, Wellington Phoenix and Odisha following his departure from the Magpies, before bringing the curtain down on his playing days during his second spell with the Nix.’
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