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
Academy product Steven Taylor progressed through the ranks on Tyneside before making his debut as a substitute for Andy O'Brien in a UEFA Cup tie at Real Mallorca on 25th March, 2004.
Having been handed a three-year professional contract at the age of 17, the commanding centre-back made his first Premier League appearance for his boyhood club at Bolton Wanderers three days after his maiden European outing.
Before breaking into the first-team squad, Taylor spent a month on loan at League Two Wycombe Wanderers. There, he made his Football League debut under the guidance of then-Chairboys boss and Arsenal legend Tony Adams - one of Taylor's footballing idols - and went on to feature in six games at Adams Park.
It was in another European campaign that Taylor nodded home his first United goal, helping the Magpies to a 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo at St. James' Park in the 2006/07 campaign. At the end of that year, he was awarded the North-East Football Writers' Association's Young Player of the Year award.
He has since gone on to net 11 times for the Club, most notably a thumping header in the 2008/09 Tyne-Tees derby, and is fast approaching his double century of league appearances for the Magpies.
Playing for the Newcastle during a rollercoaster decade, which has seen relegation, promotion and series of European adventures, Taylor has remained a mainstay of the squad throughout the reigns of seven different managers and the affable Geordie is still a valuable member of Alan Pardew's playing staff.
Taylor was a member of esteemed local youth team Wallsend Boys Club, who have produced a succession of Geordie first-teamers over the past 30 years.
He also featured for Cramlington Juniors, and played as a centre forward before switching to a defensive role at the age of 13.
During the nascent stage of his career, Taylor was an integral part of the England youth sides, skippering the under-16s - winning the Player of the Tournament award at the 2001 Walkers International Tournament in the process - and also leading out the under-17 team.
He continued to rise through the England ranks, playing for the under-20s in the 2005 Toulon Tournament, where he tucked away two penalties in shoot-outs.
Taylor made his England Under-21 debut in a 3-2 win against Holland in February 2004 before scoring his first goal against Germany the following year, and being awarded the captain's armband ahead of the 2007/08 season.
That summer, he was a regular at the UEFA Under-21 European Championships, in the Netherlands, where England reached the semi-finals, only to suffer a 13-12 defeat on penalties to the host nation, who went on to win the trophy.
Taylor has twice been called up to the senior England squad. He was named in Steve McClaren's party to play Germany in August 2007 but was an unused substitute, and was again selected in March 2013 for a World Cup qualifier against San Marino but wasn't brought off the bench.