Ashton John "Ash" Taylor (2 September 1990) is a footballer and a former Wales under-21 squad member, who currently plays as a defender for Northampton Town. He began his career with Tranmere Rovers and during his time there had a loan spell at Colwyn Bay and after, played for Scottish club Aberdeen.
Taylor started his footballing career at Tranmere Rovers as a youth team player at the age of 10. In the summer of 2007, he signed as a first-year scholar at Tranmere Rovers. In January 2009, Taylor signed his first professional contract with the club.
He joined Colwyn Bay on loan in 2009, where he made a total of 14 appearances. Whilst on loan, Taylor scored a hat-trick in a 4–1 win over Lancaster City in the Northern Premier League Division One North in March 2009.
Following his return from Colwyn Bay, Taylor made his first team debut in a League One match against Scunthorpe United, a 1–1 away draw on 2 May 2009, replacing Antony Kay as a substitute in the 89th minute.
At the start of the 2009–10 season, Taylor signed a twelve-month contract extension keeping him at the club until 2011. He scored his first goal for Tranmere in a 1–0 win at Leyton Orient in the FA Cup First Round in November 2009. His first league goal came on 26 January 2010, as Tranmere beat Yeovil Town 2–1. In February 2010, Taylor sustained a hamstring injury that kept him out for three weeks. He made his return, in a 0–0 draw against Bristol Rovers on 15 March 2010. After making his return, Taylor continued to make more appearances and went on to make thirty-three appearances. At the end of the season he won Tranmere's "Young Player of The Season" award for the 2009–10 season. On 21 May 2010, he extended his contract by another year, until 2012.
Taylor missed the first the half of the 2010–11 season when he damaged his cartilage in training, requiring an operation that would keep him out of action for "four to six weeks at best and up to three months if the damage to a cartilage requires a full repair." He returned to training and started his rehabilitation process in September 2010. Following his return, Manager Les Parry praised Taylor for his recovery. After being on the bench for three matches since his return, Taylor made his first appearance of the season, in the Football League Trophy Northern Area final, as Tranmere lost 2–0 to Huddersfield Town. After the match, Taylor said he was surprised to have been selected having initially expected to play a reserve match before making his return Following his 50th appearance for the club, Manager Parry said that he believed Taylor had the potential to become the next captain of Tranmere Rovers.
In Tranmere's opening match of the 2011–12 season Taylor scored the equalizer in a 1–1 draw with Port Vale in the first round of the Northern section of the Football League Trophy. With the scores level after extra–time the match went to a penalty shootout where Taylor scored the winning penalty as Tranmere won 4–2. He scored his first league goal of the season, on 17 September 2011, as Tranmere won 2–1 against Wycombe Wanderers. In the second round of the Football League Trophy, Taylor scored Tranmere's first goal in the match against Accrington Stanley, but the game was later abandoned after 39 minutes following a serious injury to Accrington's Tom Bender. In the rematch on 13 October 2011, Taylor scored from a free kick, in a 1–0 win to send Tranmere through to the next round. Taylor's season ended early when he missed the final two league matches due to a calcium problem. Taylor made thirty-seven league appearances during the season, scoring twice. He also played 3607 minutes in all competitions.
On 8 May 2012, Taylor signed a new two-year contract with Tranmere. He scored his first goal of the 2012–13 season in a 2–2 draw against Portsmouth on 7 December 2012. Then, his second goal of the season came on 23 February 2013, in a 5–1 victory over Colchester United. Taylor made forty-four league appearances, missing two others while on international duty with Wales Under-21s.
On 23 November 2013, Taylor received a straight red card in the second half against Coventry City after a foul on Franck Moussa, despite that Tranmere won the match 5–1. Afterwards Tranmere Manager Ronnie Moore said he was disappointed with Taylor's challenge and decided against appealing the decision. Following his return, it took time for Taylor to score his first goal of the season, it came on 29 December 2013, in a 3–1 victory over Sheffield United. He then scored his second goal of the season, in a 2–1 loss against Preston North End on 8 February 2014. After the match, Taylor expressed his disappointment with the result. Taylor scored his third goal, on 22 March 2014, in a 3–2 loss against Port Vale. With Tranmere in a relegation fight, Taylor remained confident that the club would remain in League One, however on the final day of the season a home defeat against Bradford City and results elsewhere meant they were relegated to Football League Two. At the end of the season, Taylor was among five players to be offered a new contract.
Taylor signed for Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen on 28 May 2014. He made his debut for the club on 11 July 2014, against FK Daugava Riga in the Europa League first qualifying round second leg. On his league debut in the opening game of the season against Dundee United, he was criticised when his pass back to his goalkeeper was intercepted by Ryan Dow who went on to score as Aberdeen lost 3–0. Taylor scored his first goal for the Dons in a 4–0 win against Livingston in the Scottish League Cup. Taylor began to find his form from then on in and scored his first league goal in a 3–0 win against Hamilton Academical. On 15 January 2015, Taylor extended his contract with the club until 2017. Just a week after signing new contract, Taylor suffered a knee injury and had to be substituted in the 63rd minute during a 3–3 draw against Dundee. As a result, Taylor had a surgery on his knee and was out for two months. After making his return, coming as a substitute in a 4–0 loss against Celtic, Taylor scored his second goal in the next game, in a 2–1 win over Motherwell on 13 March 2015. His third goal later came on 8 April 2015, in a 1–0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Taylor made 37 appearances in all competitions as Aberdeen finished second and qualified for European Football for the second season running. At the end of the 2016–17 season, Aberdeen confirmed that Taylor would be leaving the club after playing a total of 100 league appearances.
On 5 July 2017, Taylor signed a three-year contract with EFL League One club Northampton Town.
Taylor represented Wales under-19 in the Milk Cup in 2009.
He was named in the Wales Under-21 squad for the friendly match against Austria on 18 May 2010. Two years later, he was selected again for Wales Under-21 squad for the qualifying match against Andorra where he made his debut, coming on as a substitute in the 57th minute, in a 4–0 win.
He attended South Wirral High School and grew up in Eastham, Merseyside. In 2014, he was engaged to model India Lea and planned to marry in Italy before his contract with Aberdeen began.
Former Youth Teams
Former Senior Teams
Former Club Staff