Tributes fit for a King
Ledley King's team-mates were quick to pay tribute to the legendary defender who announced his retirement on Thursday.
A one-club man, Ledley joined our Academy at 14 before progressing through the ranks to become a first team regular, skipper and England international.
He turned professional in 1998 and made his debut against Liverpool at Anfield in May, 1999.
In total, he made 323 appearances, including lifting the League Cup at Wembley in 2008.
Far from departing the Club though, Ledley will be involved in a wide-ranging Ambassadorial role and be a champion for the regeneration of Tottenham.
Here's what the lads had to say...
Michael Dawson – team-mate - 2005-2012
“Ledley’s a tremendous guy, and what a player. I’m sure you’ll get the same from every player, he was absolutely unbelievable. He’ll be missed. He’s one of the best, without a doubt.
“I remember the first time I saw him play, sat up in the Directors’ Box at White Hart Lane in 2005. I remember the game, Portsmouth and thinking ‘it’s just too easy for this guy’. I was stepping up from the Championship and I was thinking would I manage it?
“When you play with someone like him you see the experience, the confidence, the calmness, just the way he gets around the field. He’s a top, top guy off the field as well.”
Jermain Defoe - team-mate – 2004-2012
“Take the football away, and he’s a fantastic guy. He was here his whole career and all the lads love him. He’s just such a nice guy, chilled out.
“When I first signed here I knew Ledley from before. He’s two years older than me but we played in the same Sunday team, Senrab and I played Under-21s with him.
“He was my room-mate as well. It’s sad to come back for pre-season and not see his face. I want to wish him all the best in whatever he decides to do.
“To be honest, Ledley would probably say - and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying this - but towards the end he was struggling a little with his knee, he had a lot of problems. Even when he had his problems, he was still out there playing. I used to ask him ‘how do you do it?’ I was sure it was starting to get to him and he said ‘yes, it is’. He said to me that he couldn’t remember the last time he played a game without feeling any pain. The level he maintained even through that was incredible.
“All the lads are talking about it, everyone wants to wish him all the best and all the lads love him.”
Gareth Bale – team-mate – 2007-2012
“For me, he’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with and without the injuries, I think he could have been the best centre-half in the world. We always used to say he’s not human! He didn’t train all week and played 90 minutes on the Saturday. The way he performed with his injuries was nothing short of unbelievable.”
Les Ferdinand – team-mate 1999-2003, coach at Spurs
“It’s great news that he’s going to be involved as an Ambassador, and he’ll make a great Ambassador for the club. He’s Tottenham through and through and he often said that if he couldn’t play at Tottenham any more, he wouldn’t play anywhere else. I’m sure there are other clubs out there who would have taken him. It’s great he’ll remain involved. He’s a one-club man and will thrive in the role of Ambassador. He’s greatly respected for what he’s done on the football field but he’s a great person as well.
“As for Ledley the player, I think had he been fit, we would be talking about a centre-half with 100 caps for England.”