By Will Butcher
Former Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has revealed how he was forced to find other accommodation after being caught up in Turkey’s military coup.
The 30-year-old spent the summer in search of a new club after deciding to end his contract with the Magpies following a 21-year stay with the Toon, after signing with the club at just nine years of age.
Speaking to the Mirror, the commanding centre back revealed that his search for a new club led him to Istanbul just as the troubles started.
“I was there when it all happened,” Taylor told the Mirror. “A Turkish side came in for me and got me out there. I’d agreed nearly everything until that night we went to a restaurant in Istanbul and everyone suddenly started leaving.
“I couldn’t get back to the hotel as the military came in and blocked us off. It was a nerve-racking thing, but the Turkish people looked after us. I got back to the hotel the next day.”
Taylor, who made an impressive 29 appearances for the England Under-21 side without gaining a senior cap, has now signed for MLS side Portland Timbers after deciding not to extend his stay in Turkey.
Boyhood Newcastle fan Taylor made 267 first-team appearances for the club over a 13-year period, after making his debut against Mallorca in the UEFA Cup in 2004.
The centre-back scored 15 goals during his time at St James Park, but injuries marred the latter part of his Newcastle career.
A versatile defender, Taylor was out for up to seven months last season before returning in February as he was unable to prevent the club from getting relegated to the second tier of English football.
In other Newcastle news, this goalkeeper has posted this tweet after being handed a new four-year deal.