Name: Steven Taylor
Squad number: 27
Born: 23rd January, 1986, Greenwich
Height: 186cm (6ft 1.5ins)
Previous clubs: Wycombe Wanderers (loan)
Signed: July 2002 from youth
Newcastle United debut: 25th March, 2004 v Real Mallorca (away), UEFA Cup
Steven, a dominating centre-half, was honoured with the captaincy of the England Under 16 and 17 teams as he first began to make a name for himself in the game. When captaining the Under 16s in the Walkers International Tournament in November 2001, his performances earned him the 'Player of the Tournament' award.
In July 2002 he captained the Under 17s in the Nationwide four Team Tournament. Later that month, Taylor joined the United academy on a full time basis and as well as that Scholarship, agreed to sign a three-year Professional Contract when he reached the age of 17 in January 2003. In 2002/03 Steven made his debut for United's Reserves, as a substitute, in the 4 - 0 win at Blackburn Rovers. He captained the England Under 17s to qualification from European Qualifying Group B in March 2003 (Slovakia, Czech Rep & Scotland) and grabbed his first two England goals in the 5 - 0 defeat of Slovakia at Bolton.
Steven played in all three of England's games in the World U20 Championships in Dubai. He spent one month on loan at Wycombe between 11 Dec 2003 and 11 Jan 2004 where he made his Football League debut on 13 December 2003 against Notts County, going on to play 6 matches for the Chairboys under the managership of Tony Adams, Steven's hero when he was a youngster. He made his England U21 debut in the 3 - 2 win over Holland at Hull on 17 February 2004.
Steven made his United first team debut on 25 March 2004 against Real Malllorca in the UEFA Cup and followed that up by making his first appearance in the Premiership three days later at Bolton Wanderers. Took over the right-back slot from Stephen Carr in November 2004 when the Irish international was injured and acquitted himself extremely well - demonstrating a calm assurance whilst producing wholehearted and committed displays.
Represented England Under 20s in the Toulon International Tournament in June 2005, scoring twice in penalty shootouts to help England finish third. Scored his first U21 International goal in England match in Germany on 6 September 2005, and added two more against Poland on 11 October. An operation on a dislocated shoulder during 2005/06 meant he was back playing without pain and with full freedom of movement in his body which helped the young Geordie enjoy a terrific 2006/07 campaign.
He scored his first United goal against Celta Vigo in the UEFA Cup in November 2006, celebrating joyously after doing so. Steven made England 'B' debut as a substitute v Albania at Turf Moor on 25 May 2007 and he finished the season at the European U21 Championships in Holland where he played a major part in England reaching the semi finals, before agonisingly losing out 13-12 on penalties to the host nation. Called up to the full England squad for the first time for friendly v Germany on 22 August 2007 at Wembley but didn't get off the bench. Appointed captain of the England Under 21s at the start of the 2007/08 season.
Led United for the first time at Peterborough on 22 September 2009. Missed the end of the 2009/10 Championship winning season with a knee ligament injury and agonisingly, after getting fit again in pre-season, suffered a dislocated shoulder at Carlisle in United's first friendly encounter in July 2010. However he is now back in the first-team.
Favourite game: My favorite game would be when we beat Sunderland 3-2 at St. James' in October 2005. That was so special because of the atmosphere, the occasion and because we beat our local rivals, so that's something I'll never forget.
Best goal scored: It was against Middlesbrough in 2008/09. We ended up winning 3-1 but we were losing 1-0 at the time. A corner came in and it was probably the best header I've ever scored. I was really happy with it.
Hero: My hero was Tony Adams, for everything he did with Arsenal and England. He was a leader. I was lucky enough to work with him at Wycombe Wanderers on loan and that was a fantastic moment in my career.
An interesting fact about myself: I played a lot of tennis when I was younger, and I played at county level. I played for England schools at under-13 level. I've always kept my tennis going and I still play now. I love watching it too, particularly Wimbledon and the US Open.
If I wasn't a footballer, I'd have been... in the Army. I love a challenge. If not that, I'd have probably gone to America and worked as a coach in order to stay in sport.