Ledley Testimonial - fans' Q&A special
15 May 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Ahead of Ledley King's Testimonial, we asked fans on Facebook to submit their questions for the chance appear in the night's souvenir programme.
As always, we had so many questions to choose from, but 20 were selected - and here's what the great man had to say...
Don't forget we've fantastic content following Ledley from his preparations to the big night itself - including exclusive, FREE highlights - on Ledley's microsite, King of the Lane.
Also, Ledley's Testimonial programme proved so popular that we're having a re-print, you can order now - details here.
How can you describe your love for Tottenham Hotspur? From Raji Keyrouz
Ledley: “It’s been central to most of my life and it’s hard to put into words how important the club has been for me.”
Which player did you pretend to be when playing football with friends as a kid? From Zaren Courtenay
Ledley: “It was always attacking players, the likes of John Barnes and Gazza. Italian football was big then as well, and you had players like Roberto Baggio at that time, he was another I pretended to be.”
Who was your toughest opponent? From Carl Clifton
Ledley: “There were different types of tough opponents. I always said Kevin Davies was one of the toughest strikers to player against, he was always a handful. Then you have players like Thierry Henry, who had all the ability in the world. Most of the time in the Premier League you are playing against top-quality strikers and they are always going to battle and make life difficult for defenders.”
Who's the best player you've played alongside? From Ti Immanuel
Ledley: “That’s a tough one. There were a few – Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Dawson and I always mention Nouredine Naybet. He was a good defender and I learned a few tricks of the trade from him! I played a lot with Younes in my last season and he was terrific as well. I was lucky to play with some top centre-backs.”
What was your proudest moment in a Spurs shirt? From Jake Horrocks
Ledley: “Lifting the League Cup after beating Chelsea in the final at Wembley in 2008. It was something I’d always dreamed of and I was delighted it came true.”
When you look back over your career do you have any regrets? From Billy Andrews
Ledley: “Obviously there are games where you wish you could change the result. I always gave my best, 100 per cent, so no regrets from that aspect. Of course, maybe a few in terms of certain results and injuries, but that’s part of the game.”
What's the best match you played in? From Bruce Harris
Ledley: “The League Cup Final, for a start. There were so many great games but as a defender, I don’t like the 4-4s, even though they might have been good to watch!"
How does it feel to hold the record for the quickest goal in the Premier League, especially as a centre-back! From Ariel Shapiro
Ledley: “It’s a nice one, not something I really think about though. I always say, it’s better that people just see my name there than actually see the goal itself!”
What size shoe are you? From Chris Sherwood
Ledley: “In football boots, I can be 11 or 12.”
What's involved in your ambassadorial role at Tottenham? From Simon White
Ledley: “Tottenham Hotspur Foundation do a lot of great work in the community and I’m able to be a part of that, go out and try to help in the community, to help the youngsters try to achieve their dreams. I’m also able to go abroad to represent the club and meet supporters, to really engage with fans. I enjoy that.”
What was your favourite ground apart from the Lane? From Carl Clifton
Ledley: “I always liked St James’ Park at Newcastle but I’ll go for Anfield, that’s where I made my debut.”
If you could have played alongside any centre back in the history of the game - past or present - who would it be? From Jason Gibbs
Ledley: “There are so many but I’ll go with Bobby Moore, one of the greats.”
As a goalkeeper myself, who is the best keeper you have ever played in front of for England or Spurs? From Alex Stokes
Ledley: “I’ve always said Heurelho Gomes is an incredible goalkeeper. He could make saves that no other goalkeeper could make. David James, who I played with for England, was also like that. Gomes was terrific, especially in the season when we qualified for the Champions League.”
What's the best way for a young player to become a professional? From Gwinyai Mushede
Ledley: “Work hard, listen and practice. Play as much football as you can.”
Who was your football idol growing up? From Robert Doherty
Ledley: There were many players I respected and I’ve mentioned John Barnes and Gazza already, the way they played attracted me to football at a young age. Paolo Maldini as well, I was a big fan of his throughout my career. He was one of my favourite defenders.”
What makes a complete defender? From Jamie Clark
Ledley: “Intelligence, composure, reading of the game, bravery, pace.”
How did you treat your sore knees in the short term as I've been playing football for a long time and I also suffer with this. From Jack Ward
Ledley: “That’s a tricky one, but one thing I would say is ice the knee after playing."
You've been involved in Tottenham Hotspur for almost 20 years. What are the biggest changes you've seen at Spurs in that time? From James Regal
Ledley: “The game has got bigger and bigger, the coverage of the Premier League is huge all around the world. The players are more like rock stars now, there is much more attention on footballers and lots of stuff away from the game that players have to be so aware of now with social media. In terms of the game, it’s got a little quicker and there are more overseas players in the league which has taken it up another level.”
Who was the biggest joker when you were playing? From Sharron Lee
Ledley: “Ben Thatcher, when I was younger and then Woody and David Bentley were non-stop jokers. I don’t think they slept. When we went away they shared a room and it was constant noise. You didn’t want to be next to them!”
What was the best bit of advice given to you as a professional footballer? From Stuart McNulty
Ledley: “I received a lot of great advice along the way. I do remember George Graham saying to me ‘don’t waste your talent, work hard to make sure you achieve what you can achieve’.”