JOE Taylor admits he has experienced a 'whirlwind' time in his professional career.

But the former Colchester United striker insists he would not have it any other way.

Taylor made a huge impact for the U's in the first half of last season, after joining them on loan from Luton Town.

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The 21-year-old bagged 12 goals for Colchester in the early stages of the season before joining League One side Lincoln City, for the second half of the campaign.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind these last 18-24 months to be honest,” Taylor told

“It’s been a bit of a mad one, really, but I’ve always been a confident person and believed in my ability, even with the setbacks that I’ve had during my career.”

Taylor impressed with ten goals for Lincoln as they narrowly just missed out on the play-offs, towards the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

(Image: PPA UK)

He is now hoping to earn the right to prove himself in the Championship with the Hatters, following their relegation from the Premier League.

Taylor said: “I was a part-time barman and playing football for King’s Lynn reserves.

“I was released from Norwich City when I was 15 and told that I wasn’t good enough. Then I was released from King’s Lynn (Town) when I was 17.

“But I’ve always been confident, I’ve always believed that if I get my head down, knuckle down and keep working hard and doing what I’m good at, then eventually someone will take a punt.

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“Then it’s about whether I take it (the opportunity) or not.”

Taylor is just glad he stuck at it at King’s Lynn level, thanks in large to some expert advice from a string of former professionals.

“I was doing really well there (at King’s Lynn) and I was working with some people who have played at the top level,” recalled Taylor.

“Chris Sutton used to come to all of our games because his son (Ollie) was the goalkeeper, and Darren Huckerby was also there because his son (Tom) was a centre-half.


“I also got the chance to play with (former Scotland, Norwich, Notts Forest and Aston Villa striker) Grant Holt for a little bit because he was at the club as well.

"Luckily, I had good people around me offering advice and supporting me.”

"There was Adam Drury on the coaching staff – and he played over 500 games for Norwich.

“They all told me to keep doing what I was doing, even though I wasn’t playing in the Football League.

"They said ‘if you keep scoring goals, then someone will take a punt because everyone needs a goalscorer’. Thankfully, I did.”

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Weaker footballers could have quite easily packed it all in after suffering the setbacks he has, but not Taylor.

He balanced working as a barman and rediscovered his love for the game in a season banging in the goals for fun as an amateur for King’s Lynn.

Peterborough United took a punt on the hitman in 2021 and, even though his spell with Posh didn’t work out as he’d have liked - he played just 12 games in two season - a move to Luton in 2023 was the catalyst to an incredible turnaround in his fortunes.


In 2023, Taylor scored from the spot as the Hatters beat Coventry 6-5 in a dramatic penalty shootout to win promotion to the Premier League.

His goals last season nearly helped Lincoln challenge for promotion to the Championship, frustratingly finishing seventh after defeat to Portsmouth on the last day of the season.

“Promotions and success are why we play football – and if you get them then I owe that all to my family because they’ve stood by me when I didn’t even want to play football anymore,” added Taylor.

“I had my dad dragging me out of the house to go and play football. I owe all my success to them.”