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Steven Taylor heading for Newcastle exit at the end of his contract

Published 03/06/2016

Steven Taylor spent 13 years at Newcastle
Steven Taylor spent 13 years at Newcastle

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor will leave St James' Park when his current deal expires at the end of the month, the club have announced.

Taylor, 30, has spent 13 seasons on Tyneside and made his 268th and final appearance for Newcastle in their 5-1 win against Tottenham on the last day of the season.

"Steven has been a very good player for this club for a long time and his character and personality has always been very positive, including during difficult times. I would like to thank Steven for his service and I wish him well for his future," manager Rafael Benitez told the club's official website.

Taylor, who progressed through Newcastle's academy and signed his first professional contract with the club at the age of 17 in July 2003, is now looking forward to the next chapter in his career.

"It will be a huge wrench to leave Newcastle but I've been offered exciting opportunities both in the UK and abroad and I'm really looking forward to my next challenge," he said.

"I've loved my time at Newcastle. I'll always be a huge fan of the club and I'll be returning to St James' Park as a supporter whenever I can."

Taylor made his first-team debut for Newcastle in the UEFA Cup in March 2004 against Real Mallorca and made his Premier League bow three days later in a 1-0 defeat at Bolton.

He represented England from Under-16s through to 'B' level and captained the Under-21s on numerous occasions, but did not make a senior appearance for his country.

He was named in the full England squad for the first time for the friendly against Germany in August 2007 and received a senior call-up again six years later as a replacement for Gary Cahill for a World Cup qualifier against San Marino, but failed to appear in either match.

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley added: "I have known Steven since he first joined the club as a teenager and during that time his enthusiasm and love for the club has never wavered.

"He has always shown great commitment over the years. He has also been a superb ambassador for the club, representing Newcastle United at countless community and charitable events across the region during his time with us. I wish him all the very best for the future."

Meanwhile, Newcastle have taken up an option to extend defender Kevin Mbabu's contract for two more years.

The 21-year-old Swiss left-back, who joined the club from Servette in January 2013, made his debut against Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup in September.

His Barclays Premier League debut quickly followed in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea and he went on to make three further appearances before his season was cut short by a thigh injury.

Versatile defender Macaulay Gillesphey, midfielder Liam Smith and striker Tom Heardman have agreed new deals while Stefan Broccoli, Kyle Cameron, Liam Gibson, Brendan Pearson and Callum Williams have all been offered professional contracts.

Academy players Luke Charman, Jamie Holmes, Jack Hunter, Sean Longstaff, Michael Newberry, Ben Smith, Dan Ward and Paul Woolston have been given extended scholarships.

Jamie Cobain, Louis Johnson, Adam Laidler, Lewis Suddick, Jake Trodd and Ben Pollock, who has agreed to sign for Hartlepool, have been released.

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