NEWCASTLE United defender Steven Taylor has been called into the England squad for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino.
The 27-year-old has been given the chance by England manager Roy Hodgson after Gary Cahill was ruled out of the match.
Taylor, a former Monkseaton High School student, has been in outstanding form at the heart of United’s defence this season, earning the chance to impress and win a first senior cap.
The Academy product has represented England at Under 16s, U17, U20, U21 and B level, and was named in the senior squad in August 2007 for a friendly against Germany but did not get onto the pitch.
Taylor, whose family moved to Whitley Bay when he was six, joined up with his England teammates for training on Tuesday.
He said: “It’s a dream come true.
“I am so happy to have received a call-up to the full squad. It is every player’s ambition to represent their country and it is the greatest honour in professional football.
“If I am lucky enough to be given that chance over the next seven days, it will be one of the proudest moments of my playing career.”
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew added: “This is a fully deserved call-up for Steven.
“He missed part of the season but since his return has been outstanding.
“He has a great chance, on this form, of going to the World Cup.
“On behalf of all the squad, staff and supporters, we wish him all the best and hope he is given the chance to win his first senior international cap.”