He has impressed ever since arriving in the Hyundai A-League and Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor is still a very popular man in the north of England.
Taylor grew up in Newcastle and went from the youth teams at Newcastle United to be club captain at the English Premier League heavyweights.
The 32-year-old centre-back made more than 200 appearances for the club and was a fan-favourite for his always-committed displays before leaving Newcastle in 2016 and trying his luck in the United States and England’s lower leagues.
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Now settled in New Zealand, Taylor has made a fast start to his Wellington Phoenix career, helping Mark Rudan’s side into the top six with a host of impressive performances.
And while he may be on the other side of the world, Taylor said meeting Newcastle fans was a regular occurrence.
“There’s been a few around, coming to games in Wellington as well,” he said.
“For me, it’s refreshing… the fan base [is] still out here.”
Shown a series of videos from Newcastle fans wishing him good luck in the Hyundai A-League and reminiscing on his career, one fan compared him to club legend Alan Shearer.
“For me, Shearer, he’s the main man in Newcastle, everywhere you go,” Taylor added.
“I was very fortunate to play with him. So for me to put alongside that, especially from the fans’ point of view - that means a lot.”
Taylor also had a message of his own for Newcastle United’s fans.
“They’re brilliant. Every game I played, I always give 100 per cent. I think the fans appreciated that.
“Over my years, they have been amazing.”
Be there as Taylor and the Phoenix take on Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday December 28. Get your ticket here.