Our legendary former captain and current Club Ambassador pulled on the Spurs shirt once again last weekend for a clash with the Gunners – albeit one with a unique twist.
The central defender got together with players from his Spurs Academy year group from the late 1990s to take on their Arsenal counterparts in a ‘friendly’ outing at the Gunners’ Hale End facility.
Having graduated from our youth ranks to make 323 senior appearances for us between 1999 and 2012 – not to mention leading us to League Cup glory in 2008 and representing England at two major international tournaments in Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup – Ledley was naturally the star name.
And, after enjoying an all-action 7-7 draw in the indoor nine-a-side outing, the 34-year-old was thrilled to catch up with some of his former youth team colleagues and discover what they’ve been up to since their days in our Academy set-up.
“It was great to see some old faces – many of whom I spent a lot of time with in the youth team back in the 1990s,” said Ledley. “It was nice to get together and have a little game, and it was good to see that everyone could still play to a good standard!
“Both teams obviously wanted to win, but it was really enjoyable, played in the right spirit and it’s something that we’ll probably look to do again in the future.”
Both sides held the lead at various stages of the contest, with a Mark Gower hat-trick accounting for our goals in the first period.
Neale Fenn, who scored once in 10 appearances for our first team between 1997 and 1998, subsequently bagged a brace – his goals coming either side of a well-taken effort from defender Mark Arber.
Ledley and goalkeeper Gavin Kelly combined to keep a resurgent Gunners side at bay in the latter stages, with former striker Steve Slade adding his name to our side of the scoresheet.
There was some late controversy, though, as Gower had what appeared to be a last-minute winning goal chalked off by the match officials!
The Gunners’ side included the likes of Paolo Vernazza, Jamie Day and Lee Canoville.
Spurs squad: Gavin Kelly, Stephen Mills, Narada Bernard, Mark Gower, Ledley King, Mark Arber, Charlie Mapes, David Lee, Steve Slade, Neale Fenn, Ross Fitzsimons.