view Taylor's match-by-match record

Whilst many big name players who join the Town towards the end of their careers have tended to disappear quickly without making much impact, Taylor made 76 appearances for Town over two years after joining from Northampton in August 2017.

Born in Oxford but part of the Luton youth setup, Taylor was one of the brightest prospects in the lower leagues of English football as he debuted as a 17-year old and won the club’s player of the season a year later. A move to Portsmouth for a tribunal-set £750,000 proved immensely successful over six seasons, five of them in the Premier League, with Taylor’s habit of thumping one in left-footed from long range endearing him to the Fratton Park faithful and making him an absolute fixture on the mid-2000s Premier League Years and Match of the Day Goal of the Month compilations. Across that spell at Portsmouth and later with Bolton, West Ham and Burnley, Taylor made over 300 top flight appearances, scoring almost 40 goals from midfield.

Taylor was clearly on the way down as a footballer after a storied career, but consistently showed that, technically if no longer physically, he was a class apart from most other players in League Two. Playing at left back or in central midfield, Taylor’s lack of speed was occasionally exposed but his passing range was second to none and he could still do remarkable things from dead ball situations. He scored highlight reel free kicks against Port Vale and Wycombe, as well as a brace from open play against Yeovil, and won the club’s Player of the Year award after 41 appearances - not bad for a man who had turned 36 during the season and who had briefly had to take the role of caretaker manager after David Flitcroft resigned and before Phil Brown arrived at Town.

At the end of his one-year contract, Taylor agreed to sign on for a further year in a player-coach role. In truth, it was probably a season too far as his performances failed to reach the heights of his first season and his lack of pace was regularly exposed by players he would have made look silly at his peak. Taylor got through another 35 games, mostly at left back, but was clearly targeted by opposition sides, leading to Town bringing in the youthful Ali Koiki on loan. Taylor announced his intention to retire in March, and made his final professional appearance as a substitute on the final day of the season against Notts County.

After retirement, Taylor joined Tottenham Hotspur as a coach in their youth academy, and then went into management with Walsall.


Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls
'18/'19 29 (+4) 3 (+1) - 1 - - - 30 (+5) 3
'17/'18 34 (+4) 6 2 1 - - 1 - 37 (+4) 7
TOTAL 63 (+8) 9 2 (+1) 1 1 - 1 - 67 (+9) 10


22 AUG 2017 IN Northampton Town
Free transfer
8 MAY 2019 OUT (retired)

full name

Matthew Simon Taylor

'B' international apps

1 apps
U-21 international apps

3 apps

date of birth
27 November 1981


usual positions
central midfield

youth career
Luton Town

senior career
Luton Town
Bolton Wanderers
West Ham United
Northampton Town
player-caretaker manager

Tottenham Hotspur
youth coach