Former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has claimed that he actually received death threats from fans of bitter rivals Sunderland during his time on Tyneside, and that he never held talks with the club about a possible move as alleged by then-chairman Bob Murray - as reported by the Chronicle Live.
The 31-year-old is now plying his trade in the Championship with Ipswich after a brief spell in the MLS upon leaving Newcastle in 2016.
The ex-England U21 captain spent 13 years at the north east club and became a massive hate figure in the eyes of Black Cats supporters, so much so that they apparently spent him death threats on occasions.
Speaking on Sunderland chairman Bob Murray's claims he held talks with the club, Taylor said: "It never happened. I think he’s just trying to stir things up. Listen, when I was at Newcastle I’ve had rope and everything sent through the door. I don’t mind, it’s a bit of banter for me. That’s how the rivalry is for them – they have their laugh at me and I have my laugh at them.
"It’s nothing, it’s like tongue-in-cheek at the end of the day. I respect the players they’ve got, 100 per cent, and I respect the manager they’ve got.
"I enjoyed those occasions and as a young kid growing up in Newcastle I wanted to one day play against them. I loved it and now I’m in Ipswich I’m going to relish the derbies down here. That’s my next step, the Norwich derbies."
Taylor joined up with Ipswich in January, and will be hoping to help the club make a late push to finish in the top half of the table before the season is out.