RYAN Taylor says he couldn’t have got through the last two years without his family – and Newcastle United’s fans.
Taylor is closing in on his comeback after almost two years on the sidelines.
The 29-year-old is hopeful he can return to competitive action in August, two years after he first ruptured his cruciate ligament.
Taylor – dubbed “over the wall” on Tyneside for famous free-kick against Sunderland – has drawn strength from the support he has had over the past 22 months.
“No matter where I go, I get ‘over the wall’ everywhere I go,” Taylor said.
“From town to the MetroCentre. It’s the same everywhere I go. It’s nice.”
Taylor, grateful for the backing he has had from the club’s supporters, joined his team-mates on their “lap of appreciation” after the final home game of last season against Cardiff City.
However, the former England Under-21 international feels he can only really thank them by pulling on his boots – and helping the team.
“It was a nice touch after playing Cardiff to go round and say thanks,” he said.
“Although I haven’t played, it was nice to say thanks for the support they give me day in, day out through the likes of Twitter.
“It does make you want to come back even quicker, but you just can’t.
“After the game they were singing the song.
“It still feels the same as it did when I was playing.
“It makes me want to get back on the pitch and say thanks in the way I would rather as opposed to going on the pitch like that.”
Taylor’s wife Kimberley and their young son Henri have also given him strength.
“I can have such a bad day here, you go home and see him and forget about it,” said Taylor.
“It makes it so much easier. That’s why I’m so mentally tough to get through this.
Taylor suffered two broken legs earlier in his career at Wigan Athletic
“I was young then – I was 21 and then 22,” he added. “Looking back now, I can’t remember how I got through them.
“I was on my own at the time. There were good people around me then, but this time it’s been a lot easier because I’ve got my wife and little boy to go home to.
“He makes it so much easier for me.
“We’ve got a little family together.”