Ledley our King has retired, having spent all of his footballing life at Tottenham, he could "never wear the shirt of another club". A rare and precious species of footballer, is the One club man and there have been a few down through the years who have inspired, driven and embodied everything we the fans love about our clubs and football.
In these days of disposable revolving door football, where there are many Mercenaries, Stars and Overpaid Prima Donna's, it is refreshing to reflect on the nature of those true pros who commit themselves and their careers to one club. Sadly given the nature of todays game, this species of footballer is moving towards extinction.
So who are these guys and what have they done?
Lets start with one Bill Nicholson who was devoted to Tottenham as a player and Manager from 1938 to !974.
Bob Paisely Liverpool -'39 to '83. Enough said, they defined and characterised the clubs they helped to create.
When you look at the list of the guys who have lived and played for their clubs, you just need to close your eyes and try imagine any of them in the Jersey of another club, it's not possible.
You can also close your eyes and you will quickly see, magic footballing moments, last gasp tackles, incredible goals scored, playing to the death. The list that follows is just a snippet of those who have played for one club and only one club for their professional careers.
I will leave you to your own imagination to remember their magic moments or to add others to the list.
I am throwing in a few abiding memories of my own, In Honour of these True Men of Football, The One Club men.
Ledley King-Tackle on Robben at the Lane, where he made up 10 yards to successfully tackle Robben who was through on goaL- CLASSIC. One of the best defenders in the game Ever
Jamie Carragher- Liverpool- his tackles in the dying minutes of the Champions league final, when his legs were in severe cramp. Scouse magic.I will never forget his courage that night.
Ryan Giggs - Man u- Easy, his dazzling run down the left wing in the semi finals of the FA cup against Arsenal, ending up beating all before him and scoring a quality goal. His hairy chest display afterwards is Legend!!!!
Matt Le Tissier- Southampton- pick any volley any goal, he was in a class of his own. I can see him now, such a skillful player.
Paul Scholes- Man U- midfield maestro and what a shot from outside the 18 yard area. You'd want him in any team. one of my favourite players, tough, honest and skillful.
Gary Neville- Man U- intense full on defender with amazing forward runs.
Stevie Gerrard- Liverpool- driving forward and letting fly from outside the box.
Tony Adams- Arsenal- Heading defensively or offensively- a warrior of a man.
Jack Charlton- Leeds.- don't mess with the big Un
Eddie Gray-Leeds- white boots on the wing.
Paolo Maldini- Milan- Hubba hubba blue eyes, and he wasn't bad as a defender!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sublime and graceful.
Iker Casillas- Real Madrid- top notch goalkeeper.
Alas those who are still playing, will be the last of their kind I fear. They are the anchors of a club, and while other amazing players will come and go as is the nature of football, we will miss the One Club Man and what he brings to His team.
So this is my tribute and reflection on a passing tradition. I raise a glass to you all, you have inspired and are inspiring generations of players and fans alike. Thankyou on behalf of football fans everywhere. And Ledley, YOU WILL BE MISSED.