‘I loved every minute of being a Portsmouth player.’ - Where Matt Taylor ranks his Blues stay among Bolton, West Ham United, Burnley, Swindon and Luton tenures
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The attacking left-sided player was back on the south coast on Friday, turning out in the Lee Rigby Memorial Cup at AFC Portchester.
Taylor amassed 742 matches and 94 goals in his career before announcing his retirement in March 2019, having turned out for Luton, Bolton, West Ham, Burnley and Swindon.
There was also, of course, six-and-a-years at Fratton Park gaining hero status for his role in promotion to the Premier League, the 2006 Great Escape of 2006 and that Everton goal.
In total, he made 203 outings and scored 29 times before departing the Blues for Bolton in January 2008 – yet there is one favourite club.
Taylor told The News: ‘I have lots of great memories, it was the best time of my career. It was probably the best six-and-a-half years that I had.
‘I made a huge connection with the people down here and thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club.’
During his first Pompey season in 2002-03, Taylor played an influential role in Harry Redknapp’s Division One title-winning side.
En-route to the Premier League, he made 38 appearances before an injury sustained in March prematurely ended his season.
Despite the late disappointment, he chose his maiden campaign as his favourite Blues memory.
The 40-year-old added: ‘I would probably pick out my first season when I signed because there was no expectation. Then we went on to win the league like we did.
‘Only 12 months after leaving League Two, to be a Premier League footballer was something that dreams were made of, so I would say that was probably up there with my achievements.
‘I loved every minute of being a Pompey player.’