Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor has revealed he was caught up in the aftermath of last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
The former Tranmere Rovers centre back and his wife India were in the city on the night of 13 November when 130 people were killed in series of six co-ordinated atrocities.
They were there on a short holiday after the Pittodrie club’s players were given some time off during the international break but their hotel was not in the areas targeted by terrorists.
In fact, the first Taylor knew about it was when his mobile phone started going crazy as worried friends and family frantically phoned and texted to make sure they were all right.
Taylor said: “I had been asleep when everything happened, then I woke up with my phone going mental with calls from family and friends.
“I quickly got on the phone to them and said: ‘Listen, everything is all right, we’re nowhere near it, we’ll be home in the morning.’
“Obviously it’s a frightening thing to be just 20 or 25 minutes down the road from it all.
“We were due to come home that next day, anyway, so it was a no-brainer to get to the airport because we knew security was going to be a lot higher because of the situation. The airport was just madness. Just very, very busy with everyone clamouring to get out.
“But it was great just to get home safe and sound.”
Taylor is now completely focused on helping Aberdeen to a win against Hearts at lunchtime today that would move them back to within a point of Celtic at the top and seven clear of their Edinburgh rivals, although both still have games in hand.
Derek McInnes’ side have won three of their last four games which is much more like the form that saw them comfortably beat today’s opponents when they last met at Tynecastle in September.
That completed their eight-game winning start but Taylor warned they can play even better than they did back then.
He added: “It was a very impressive performance from us when we won at Tynecastle but I think we’ve got more to give. I think we’re not far off the level we were at the start of the season, which I think you can see from the recent performances.”
Veteran midfielder Barry Robson is the only definite absentee for the Dons but Niall McGinn faces a fitness test on a groin strain.