Former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has revealed the toll of Covid-19 lockdowns led to his decision to retire from football at the age of 35.

The ex- Magpies defender who began his career in black-and-white in the Sir Bobby Robson era confirmed on Monday that he has hung up his boots.

Taylor enjoyed 13 years with his boyhood club, and enjoyed spells with Ipswich Town and Peterborough United before finishing his career with A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix.

Days after being named captain of the New Zealand club, the centre-back made the shock announcement and cited the desire for a 'normal life' after the impact of successive lockdowns.

Phoenix's general manager David Dome believes Taylor may have spent as much as three months 'alone in a hotel room' as a result of the pandemic.

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Taylor told the BBC: "Family is more important than football.

"The thought of having to relocate and hub again... I got caught in a lockdown at the end of last season and then again one day after I got out of managed isolation.

"It feels like it's followed me everywhere. I haven't had any type of a normal life for some time.

"I'm excited for the next chapter and to see my family back home in the UK."