By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Big-hearted Newcastle United star Steven Taylor honoured a charity coaching commitment this week - after having to postpone the original session due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The Magpies defender regularly supports the NSPCC/Childline and in December last year, he volunteered to model at a Ladies' Evening held at the Marriott Hotel in Gosforth to raise money for the charity, which offers help and support to children.
He also offered an auction prize of a football training session for ten youngsters at United's Academy in Benton, which raised hundreds of pounds - but just days later, he suffered the serious injury in action against Chelsea.
It left him on crutches for several weeks and ruled him out for the rest of the season, meaning he was unable to train the youngsters near Christmas, as planned. But with his rehabilitation almost complete, Taylor and Academy Coach Gary Ives put the kids through their paces on Wednesday evening and it was well worth the wait.
Taylor said: "The injury was horrible for me for all kinds of reasons, but also meant I couldn't hold the training session for a few months.
"But I'd never have let them down and it was great to be able to finally do it this week. It was good fun and to be honest I think I was almost as excited as they were because I've missed kicking a ball about!
"Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as I did."
The youngsters who took part were Christopher Parvin, Finn Blades, Harry Carney, Joshua Blairstow, Ewan Foster, Kai Foster, Patrick Carey, Nathan Bunting, Ben Smith, Ryan Thompson and Woody Wilson. They also each received a Newcastle shirt and had photographs taken with Taylor.
Hazel Watkins, a fundraiser for NSPCC/Childline who organised the Ladies' Evening alongside Pat Harbottle, said: "Steven has been fantastic for us over the last few years and this was another example. The boys had a wonderful footballing experience and it was a great way to raise money.
"We're very grateful for his continuing support and I'm so pleased that he is recovering well from his injury."