Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is to leave the club.
The Magpies have announced that the 30-year-old defender will leave when his contract expires at the end of the month.
Taylor, a former pupil at Monkseaton High School and grew up in Whitley Bay, has spent 13 seasons with the club and made his 268th and final appearance for the Magpies in the 5-1 win over Tottenham on the final day of the season.
Manager Rafa Benitez said: “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.”
Managing Director Lee Charnley said: “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.”
Steven said: “It’ll 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. 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.”
Steven earned a scholarship with the United Academy in July 2002 and signed his first professional contract with the club, aged 17, in July 2003.
Steven made his United first team debut on March 25, 2004, against Real Mallorca in the UEFA Cup and followed that up by making his first appearance in the Premiership three days later at Bolton Wanderers.
Steven won England caps from Under 16 level right through to England ‘B’ level, representing his country on no less than 58 occasions, many as captain, and scoring seven goals.
He was called up to the full England squad for the first time for the friendly against Germany on August 22, 2007.