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Ledley named as One Game, One Community ambassador

Ledley King will act as the Club's ambassador for Kick It Out's One Game, One Community weeks of action initiative this month.

Ledley King will act as the Club's ambassador for Kick It Out's One Game, One Community weeks of action initiative this month.

The weeks, a 12 day period from 16-28 October, will see thousands of events taking place across the country.

"We're delighted that Ledley is pledging his support to the One Game, One Community weeks of action initiative," said Kick It Out's Media & Communications Officer Danny Lynch. "He's renowned not only for his exploits on the field, but his work with the Tottenham Hotpsur Foundation and in the community, which for us, make him an ideal choice of ambassador."

In an exclusive interview for Kick It Out's One Game, One Community magazine, Ledley praises the Club's community work and spoke of his years at star studded youth side, Senrab FC...

You played for renowned youth side Senrab, which has produced an astonishing number of Premier League stars. There must also have been some great talents that didn't make it though, why do you think that is?
Senrab has a very good record of producing professional players and thankfully I was one of them. Players do and don't make it to a professional level for different reasons and of course there are some great players who didn't make it. I was given the opportunity and I took it with both hands

You were born in Bow, East London, which has recently earned a reputation as a breeding ground for musical talent, do you get a sense of local pride in seeing the area represented?
I'm very proud of my background and it's always nice to see people from the same area being successful and making a difference.

Did you encounter personally, or were you witness to any discrimination or abuse whilst growing up?
Fortunately I have never directly been a victim of discrimination or abuse while growing up, but I've seen racism in football on occasions.

Although football without black players is now unimaginable, there are still far too few Asian players, why do you think that is?
I'd like to think that if a player is good enough then they'll get the opportunity to play at the highest level. Football is such a big business now that if you're good enough race or colour should not really be a barrier.

Which individuals do you think have had the most profound effect on your career?
My mother has played the most integral role in my career. She more than anyone else influenced, encouraged and supported me and without her I wouldn't have made it as a professional footballer. Also, when growing up I was lucky enough to have a very good friend whose parents would take me training and to games whenever my mother couldn't.

Even now, the issue of homophobia looms large over the sport, how do you think clubs and authorities can get the message across that it will not be tolerated?
Discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated in football and it's not tolerated at Tottenham Hotspur. The Club takes a very hard line against supporters using abusive or obscene language and I know that the Club has taken serious action in the past by banning supporters for life and will do so whenever or wherever it finds fans guilty of such unacceptable behaviour.

The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation does a great amount of work in the local community, as someone born just down the road, does it hearten you to see the club giving something back?
Football clubs are often criticised for not giving enough back into the community, but at Tottenham Hotspur it's certainly not the case. The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation works closely with local councils and charities to create opportunities for young people in the area, and they do a fantastic job. I'm often involved in the community work and it's always pleasing to see how the Club is making a difference first hand.

Give us an idea of the responsibilities associated with being a Club captain.
In addition to representing the Club at certain events and formalities, I am also on the Player Committee which liaises with Club officials to ensure everything runs smoothly, and then in both the dressing room and on the pitch I need to show leadership and direction. I'm not the kind of captain that shouts, I always prefer to lead by example

How do you feel abut being a Kick It Out ambassador during the weeks of action?
Kick It Out plays an important role in highlighting and addressing issues and it's great to be part of that. I'm looking forward to representing Tottenham Hotspur and playing my part in making a difference with Kick It Out.

To visit the Kick It Out website, please CLICK HERE.