Taylor's lucky escape

Last updated : 12 October 2003 By Brian Cartlidge

First a mobile phone battery was thrown in the direction of Taylor from the Athens crowd and when the Northern Ireland international keeper tried to bring it to the referees attention he was booked for time-wasting.

Then, just twelve minutes into Saturday's Euro 2004 Group Six clash a mobile phone was hurled in the direction of of the Blues keeper.

"It was very intimidating with things being thrown on the pitch, " said Taylor after Northern Ireland's 1-0 defeat.

"I got booked for a mobile phone battery being thrown on the pitch. Then the mobile followed soon afterwards.

"You get some small mobiles these days, but this was a large one.

"They have got all the nets up there but it somehow managed to get through.

"I tried to bring it to the attention of the referee but he had already made his mind up. He came over at 100mph to show me the yellow card.

"It was very daunting. When a firecracker lands four feet away and explodes and you feel the force of it on your ankle, it is worrying.

"When you are taking a goal-kick, you are half-looking over your shoulder wonder what's going on".