Steven Taylor recalls his unexpected final fling at Newcastle – after THAT game at Southampton

Steven Taylor
Steven Taylor

It wasn’t the way Steven Taylor wanted to end his Newcastle United career.

Taylor lasted just 45 minutes of the club’s game against Southampton late last season.

Once it got to half-time, I couldn’t go on any longer. I didn’t want that to be my last game.

Steven Taylor

And it had been a forgettable half for the defender and his team.

Newcastle had conceded two first-half goals at the St Mary’s Stadium, and went on to lose 3-1. To make matters worse, United’s Daryl Janmaat – who had limped out of the game after the second goal – fractured his hand after punching a door in the tunnel.

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“I remember in the warm-up things didn’t feel right,” said Taylor, now at MLS club Portland Timbers.

“But you can’t shy away. I remember very early in the game my hamstring wasn’t feeling too good. I tried to play on but couldn’t. I remember looking at the clock and it was nine minutes into the game.

“Even then I thought I couldn’t go off. Once it got to half-time, I couldn’t go on any longer. I didn’t want that to be my last game.”

Fortunately for Taylor, it didn’t prove to be his last game.

The 30-year-old returned to fitness a few weeks later and was an 11th-hour replacement for an unwell Jamaal Lascelles for the final game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur.

Newcastle, already relegated, won the game 5-1.

“That couldn’t have ended any better,” said Taylor.

“People thought we might have crumbled, but we had to do ourselves justice.

“It was incredible. We looked a real force. I felt great, the legs felt great. I wished we’d played like that all season. I was just devastated we were relegated.”