Steven Taylor retires from football over Covid impacts 2 months ago

Steven Taylor retires from football over Covid impacts

The defender has called time on his playing days

Former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has retired from professional football, citing a desire to live "a normal life" after being forced to spend long periods of time in quarantine.

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Earlier this year, Taylor began a second spell in New Zealand with Wellington Phoenix, who compete in Australia's A League.

The strain of playing in COVID-19 hubs in Australia and subsequent lockdowns in New Zealand, he explained, had taken its toll, and the 35-year-old will now return to England.

"The thought of having to relocate and hub again - I got caught in a lockdown at the end of last season and then again (in Wellington) one day after I got out of managed isolation - it feels like it’s followed me everywhere,” Taylor said in a Phoenix press release.

"There’s only so much of that I can take and I haven’t seen my family [in the UK] in a long time; as a professional footballer in the UK I’ve always had my dad watching my games – from when I first started with Newcastle United and having him watch me from the Terraces at St James’ Park– so it’s come to that period of my life where family is more important than football and I’m excited for the next chapter and to see my family back home in the UK."

David Dome, Wellington Phoenix General Manager, added: "Covid has been tough on this Club, its players and staff over the past two years; especially for Steven with six stints in quarantine – that’s three months alone in a hotel room – over the past two-odd years; that kind of thing takes a toll on a person."

Taylor came through the youth ranks at Newcastle, staying with the club for 13 years before moving to the States with Portland Timbers.

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He returned to the UK in 2017 and had stints with Ipswich Town and Peterborough before moving to New Zealand the following year. His two spells with the Phoenix were interrupted by a brief spell with Odisha FC in India.

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