Former Wanderers midfielder Matt Taylor has made a surprise appearance for boyhood club Abingdon United.

The 41-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Abingdon suffered a 1-0 defeat against Clanfield 85 on Tuesday. The Abbots finished the game with nine men after Rhys King and Isiah Stallone were given their marching orders.

It was Taylor’s first appearance for the club since 1998 and he nearly managed to get on the scoresheet on a couple of occasions, but he was denied both times by goalkeeper Jamie Zoldan.

Abingdon are currently sixth in the Hellenic League second tier, having won 11 of their opening 20 matches since the start of the campaign.

Taylor made more than 130 appearances during a three-and-a-half-year spell at the University of Bolton Stadium, scoring 23 goals.

The midfielder also had spells with Portsmouth and West Ham among others before calling time on his playing career in 2019 after a stint in League Two with Swindon.

He also had a spell as caretaker manager at the County Ground before joining the coaching staff at Tottenham Hotspur as part of their youth set-up.

Taylor’s most recent position was at Walsall but he was sacked back in February after just eight months in the hot seat. He has also worked as a pundit for Sky Sports this season.

Speaking earlier this year, the 41-year-old said about his retirement: “For me, it was more mental than physical. So what else was I striving to achieve from a personal point of view?

“I felt a little bit that, if I took another contract, was I taking a young player’s opportunity away from them? And would that be fair? And what is the reason I’m doing it for?

“But also, it was really important for me that I could finish my career on my terms. That was one of the biggest things I had to do because then mentally I was prepared.

“I wanted to be able to enjoy my life after football. What I mean by that is I wanted to remain physical.

“I wanted to be able to continue to run and I felt that if I’d have carried it on, I would have run the risk of not finishing my career in the way that I wanted.”