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.”
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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.”