Former Swansea City defender Neil Taylor announces retirement

7th November
Neil Taylor

Former Swansea City and Wales defender Neil Taylor has announced his retirement from football.

Taylor, 33, had spells with Wrexham, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, but it is for his time with the Swans and in the national shirt that he will be best remembered.

Moving to the then-Liberty Stadium from the Racecourse in 2010, Taylor would go on to make 179 appearances for Swansea across six-and-a-half years in SA1.

He quickly became a regular under Brendan Rodgers as the Swans secured promotion to the Premier League in 2011, although a red card in the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Nottingham Forest ensured he missed out on the famous 4-2 win over Reading at Wembley.

He continued to impress during the club’s maiden top-flight campaign, and featured for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, only for a serious ankle injury at the start of the following campaign to cruelly deny him any involvement in the Swans march to League Cup glory.

Neil Taylor

However, he would get the chance to experience European football the following year, featuring in Europa League fixtures against Malmo, Petrolul Ploesti, Kuban Krasnodar, St Gallen, Valencia and Napoli as he and Ben Davies battled it out for the left-back slot.

Taylor rediscovered some of his best form as the Swans finished eighth in the Premier League under Garry Monk during the 2014-15 season, and was nearly an ever-present that campaign.

By this time he was also firmly established as a Wales regular, and he was part of Chris Coleman’s squad as they ended a 58-year wait for qualification for a major tournament.

Taylor would start every game during the Euro 2016 finals, memorably scoring in the 3-0 win over Russia in Toulouse which clinched Wales’ spot in the knock-out stages.

The Dragons would end up going all the way to the semi-finals before being beaten by eventual winners Portugal, with Wales' unheralded run seeing Taylor miss a Beyonce concert he had bought tickets for.

Taylor’s time with the Swans would come to an end halfway through the following campaign as he moved to Aston Villa in January 2017.

He would feature for the Villans in the 2019 play-off final as they beat Derby at Wembley returning himself and the club to Premier League level.

The defender had a short spell with Middlesbrough last term, and he has already started working on his coaching badges.

He hangs up his boots with 377 professional club appearances to his name, and 43 caps for Wales under his belt.

Everyone at Swansea City wishes Neil every success for the future and thank him for his contribution to a memorable era in our club’s history.