Local singer’s Newcastle ditty gets United legend Wyn Davies’ backing to be played at every game

Junior Taylor released ‘Banks of the River Tyne’ earlier this year

Newcastle United legend Wyn Davies' has backed a Geordie singer/songwriter's ode to the city, saying it should be played at every Magpies' game.

Junior Turner from Wallsend has been working in pubs, clubs and holiday resorts in the UK and abroad since the age of 16.

Now 37, Junior released his single 'Banks of the River Tyne' in July of this year.

In the track, the local singer pays tribute to Newcastle's historic past and "the place I love best because it's better than the rest".

With a pride of Newcastle at its core, the single is unsurprisingly getting compared to Busker's infamous 'Home Newcastle'.

Junior said: "The one thing I wanted to do during lockdown was write a local anthem and that's how the song was born.

"I met Ronnie Lambert, that was Busker's real name, when I was 15 and I have a signed copy of a record from him wishing us well in my career.

"I had the chorus for the song in my head for about three years but it was a precarious situation to be in. Being from here, I couldn't put this song out and not got it 100% right, there wasn't any room for error."

Junior labelled the response to the song as 'amazing' and admitted that something new seems to happen with the track every day.

He's had videos of people driving through the Australian outback with it on, CD orders from Canada and fans of the track in the armed forces - even Alan Shearer and Brenda Blethyn have been in touch.

On Tuesday morning this week, Junior received his latest praise, and this one was from a Newcastle legend.

"Yesterday was a rainy day, I had nothing planned - a TV day on the sofa that's all.

"Then a guy called Bill Gibbs, chairman of Newcastle United Fairs Cup Winners' Club, sent me a message.

"He asked for my phone number then he put a Facebook post up saying he'd been on the phone to Wyn Davies and played it down the phone to him.

"Wyn loved the song and wanted to speak to me in person.

"He was very kind about the song and loved the bits about the shipbuilding, it reminded him of the 60s when he was up here.

"He said Newcastle United should be playing it every game... that would be a dream."

Junior has also been invited to appear as a Guest of Honour at an event celebrating Wyn Davies' 80th birthday next year.

A Magpies fan through and through, Junior also revelled in the chance to shoot part of the 'Banks of the River Tyne' music video in St. James' Park.

He said: "It's a boyhood dream. I'll never play football there so that's as close as I'll get in my world. It was a bucket list ticked that day.

"When I first finished the song I was playing it to everyone, all my nearest and dearest to get some feedback. A friend of mine, Neil Stoker, is the kit man for Newcastle United.

"I popped around his and he came to the car and I played him the track.

"Straight away Neil said it had everything about Newcastle in it and he said I had to do part of the video in St. James' Park.

"He made a call and got me in on a Sunday. It was so surreal.

"When I was there, even though you're lipsyncing for the video, you're hearing your song in the stadium which is mindblowing stuff."

It's not the first time Junior has been involved in community projects.

Throughout his career, he has recorded songs for Children In Need and a tribute track for the MH17 crash called 'United We Stand'.

For those wanting to follow Junior's work and catch his live performances, you can follow him on Facebook here.

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