King Tributes - The best centre-half of his generation

The Ledley King Testimonial XI, where all the money is going to charity, on Monday evening is taking shape.

King - The best centre-half of his generation


The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Skills project, The Willow Foundation, Bowel Cancer Awareness UK and the Tottenham Tribute Trust are all set to benefit from Ledley's generosity.

Ledley King

“Each of the charities I am raising money for has a special place in my heart and I hope that you will join me in making the Testimonial a special occasion that will benefit these causes.

“Skills has played a big part in my Ambassadorial role with the Club, and I have seen first-hand the impact this project has had on the young people who attend, many of whom have been involved in gangs or have come from difficult backgrounds. It is a clear example of how our fantastic Foundation is continuing to create life-changing opportunities.

“Willow is a charity I have been a big supporter of over the years, attending a number of fundraisers, and it always amazes me the work that goes into providing memorable experiences for those with life-limiting conditions and the support provided to families at a difficult time.

“And Bowel Cancer Awareness UK is an extremely important cause, given the fact that it is predicted bowel cancer will have risen by 120 per cent in under 30s, mainly due to diet, by 2020. I unfortunately lost both of my grandparents to cancer, including my grandmother to bowel cancer, so this has added significance for me and my family.
“It’s no secret the difficulties I faced when it came to training during my playing career, and I haven’t been in the gym regularly since retiring either.

“But I have been extremely lucky that the coaching staff at the Club have allowed me to come and use the fantastic facilities at the training centre in order to get my fitness back up for the testimonial.

“The next step will be running outside again, and doing it on the pitch I have so many fond memories of playing on, in front of fans that have supported me throughout my time at the Club, will be a special moment.

“It will also be good to be amongst the lads again, as that is one of the things I miss most about playing."

These events are never easy to organise as anyone who has done so at any level will know. It is difficult to get player confirmations for those still playing and that has knock on effects with off field preparations but as ever with these things it will be all right on the night.

Thus far 20 names are confirmed and given the age of some of our former players rolling substitutions will be used. The Ledley side will be managed by Glenn Hoddle with the Tottenham XI being looked after by Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsay.

Players confirmed include:

Paul Robinson
Neil Sullivan
Pascal Chimbonda
Paul Stalteri
Stephen Carr
Chris Perry
Mauricio Taricco
Luke Young
Darren Anderton
David Ginola
Stephen Clemence
Ruel Fox
Teemu Tainio
Scott Parker
Tommy Huddlestone
Dimitar Berbatov
Louis Saha
Edgar Davids
Teddy Sheringham
Peter Crouch

Gareth Bale and Luka Modric had hoped to play but Real Madrid can't afford anything to happen with a Champions league final to play. Both have however contributed to the programme for the mega.

Tim Sherwood has been invited to play but because of an abusive childish section of supporters his participation remains in doubt.

Naturally the tributes have been pouring in from players.

Robbie Keane

"Ledley was captain, had been at the club since he was a kid and it worked well because Ledley was away from the team training most of the week, he was with the physios, so I was the one out there and keeping things in check, so to speak.

"It was a good partnership because Ledley was quiet and I was the louder one. I would always say if something was on my mind or if I felt something wasn’t right. It was a good balance. Ledley was calm, I’d be the one losing it! It was a good mix.

"When we beat Chelsea at Wembley both of us lifted the trophy. Ledley didn’t have to do that. He was captain, but he decided he wanted me to lift it with him. That says all you need to know, that’s the person he is.

"It was a special moment for Ledley, myself and the club, and a brilliant day for everyone.
"Everyone knows how good he is. I’ve heard a lot about the Fantasy Football programme on Sky and everyone who has played with him will have him in their team. Jonathan Woodgate did recently. He said some great things about Ledley, but killed me!

"Ledley's probably not aware of how people talk about him and that’s about how humble he is.
"It’s all ifs and buts now but you would have loved to have seen a fully fit Ledley King, he would have played every World Cup, every European Championship, without question. He would have been one of the best centre-halves England have ever had. And I don’t say that lightly, either. That is fact.”


Glenn Hoddle

“When I first saw Ledley King play as a youngster, the thing that impressed me most was how calm he was," recalled Glenn. "He was never flustered; even in and around his own penalty box while under pressure, he was always in control.
“I loved the way he played; so two-footed as he brought the ball out of defence. He had such natural ability and possessed supreme confidence in what he could do.  Where some defenders would panic, Ledley would dominate.

“I feel honoured to have been asked to manage Ledley’s guest side and to have the opportunity to pay my own tribute at a stadium that will always be dear to my heart and on a pitch that Ledley King graced with his own unique style for so many years.”

Edgar Davids

"I have played for and against some of the top sides in Europe and Ledley was certainly one of the best defenders I have come across.

"I am really happy to be participating in his testimonial - it is truly deserved - and it will be great to play again at White Hart Lane."

Scott Parker

"I'm thrilled to be coming back to the Lane to play in this game for Ledley and it will be really special to pull on a Spurs shirt again for such an occasion.

"Right from the day I joined, Ledley never ceased to amaze me with his incredible ability, not to mention how he managed to reach such levels of performance given the circumstances with his preparations for games.

"He was an unbelievable captain for us, a combination of being a great leader, player and person - something you do not find too often."

Aaron Lennon

“I’ve brilliant memories of Ledley, not just as a player but as a man and a leader here at Spurs.
 "When I first came down to the club as an 18-year-old from Leeds, he was one of the first who looked after me and helped me to settle. He was always great with the young players and over time we became good friends.
"Needless to say, he was an unbelievable footballer, for me probably the best centre-half I’ve ever seen in the game.

"I remember clearly when we won the Carling Cup, afterwards in the dressing room I’d never seen him so happy. You could see how much it meant to him and he fully deserved that medal for the man he is and the player he was.

"It will be a special occasion and I’m looking forward to it. It will be great to see so many old faces back again and the fact so many have turned up shows you just how much Ledley was appreciated by his team-mates."

David Ginola

"It will be wonderful to once again play on the pitch at White Hart Lane in front of all the fans, but more importantly to pay tribute to the career of Ledley King.

"I was at the Club when Ledley broke into the team as a young player and it quickly became clear that he was going to be something special and one of the finest players of his generation."

Teddy Sheringham

“To play in Ledley’s testimonial is a real privilege not only because he was a wonderful player but also because he is a great guy as well.

“Ledley was a fantastic player, incredibly consistent and if he had steered clear of injuries then I think he would have played even more games for Tottenham and England – he was talked about with high praise from every England manager, they all wanted him in their team.”

Darren Anderton

“I’m really looking forward to going back to the Lane again.  I haven’t played there since I left so that will be an extra bonus as well as showing my support for Ledley.  He has always been a humble guy, no airs and graces, he just went out and played his football.

“There was never a settling-in period when he started out, he just breezed into the team.  He was so comfortable at both centre-midfield and centre-back.  He trained the same way as he played – top class.”

Tom Huddlestone

"Obviously, player-wise, Ledley is one who deserves an honour like this more than most. On a personal note, Ledley was a big help to me when I joined as a young player and was someone I looked up to.

"He didn't train as much as he would have liked but even just around the place he led by example. He was a great captain, not the most vocal, but he led the way often by being the best player on the pitch.

"The occasion is the most important thing, Ledley had a fine career and it is a privilege to be asked to come back and play in this game. It will be a bit strange being back in a Spurs shirt on the pitch at White Hart Lane, but it will be great and to be there honouring Ledley is the main thing."

Paul Robinson

"It is going to be a special night and one that I have been looking forward to. Ledley is King by name and certainly King when it came to his performances on the pitch. 

"If his name was on the teamsheet we had that much more confidence that we wouldn't lose and would most likely win the game. His calmness and level of performances raised the game of those around him and there are not many players you could say that about. As a goalkeeper you would always want him out there in front of you.

"While it is a privilege to be invited to take part in Ledley's big night, on a personal level it will be a great occasion for me to play in front of the fans at the Lane again and rekindle some fond memories from a few years ago."


Dimitar Berbatov

"I am really looking forward to returning to White Hart Lane to play in Ledley's testimonial.

"It is a fitting tribute for a great player and I can't wait to meet up with some of the past and present players. It should be a great night not just for Ledley but for the fans too."

Stephen Carr

"I have something very special in common with Ledley as we both came through the ranks at Spurs to play for and captain the First Team. Ledley has been and still is a magnificent servant to this Club and was certainly one of the most gifted players I have ever had the pleasure to play with."

Peter Crouch

"I'm looking forward to the game and really pleased to be involved. Ledley is obviously an old mate of mine and I've known him since we were 14. We were schoolboys at Tottenham growing up together and it was always clear he was going to represent Tottenham and play for England.

"Everyone speaks so highly of Ledley, he should have won 100 caps for England.  It will be a privilege for me to honour his career by playing in the game.

"It was funny because I left at 18 and came back almost ten years later and Ledley was still in the same spot that I left him! He always wanted to stay at Tottenham because he loves it there.

I grew up at Tottenham and have a lot of friends there, so it will be great to get back to the Lane to play with the top players who are signed up to play. I was playing golf with Teddy Sheringham the other day and he said he is looking forward to it, while there is also Darren Anderton and David Ginola - I might get a couple of crosses!"


Stephen Clemence

"It’s a great honour to be coming back.  When Ledley first phoned me and said ‘Clem, do you fancy a game back at the Lane for my Testimonial?’ I said, ‘you must have a few injuries if you’re asking me!’   But he said he’d love to have me there. I got on well with him as a player. 

"Tottenham’s the team I grew up supporting so it will be nice to take my little boy along to watch a game at White Hart Lane with his dad playing in it. Ledley’s been a great servant to the club and he’s continued that with his work as a Club Ambassador. He deserves the night so let’s make it a great one for him."

Ruel Fox

"You could see the potential Ledley had, he was always highly rated as a player.  He always seemed a happy-go-lucky lad, always had a smile on his face in training and consequently me and him used to have little competitions over who had the best touch in head tennis.

"Every morning I used to always be on his case about his touch and stuff.  It will be a special night and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve got a lot of friends down at the Lane so it will be great to catch up and reminisce at the same time."



Chris Perry

"I was over the moon when I got the text from Ledley to ask if I wanted to play and I jumped at the opportunity.

"When I first came to the Club he was really young and he was really quiet about the place but when he got on the pitch you just saw this player come out and he could do anything.

"When I was first in the team he was just sitting in front of me in central midfield and he looked like he’d played there forever. He grew as his career went on and he obviously became a great leader on the pitch.

"He was always excellent and he’s a great role model for any young centre-back or midfielder."

Neil Sullivan

"What a player! Coming into the Club you knew all about him but it wasn’t until you’d played with him, or played behind him as I did, that you realised what a talent he was.

"When he was out on the pitch he was fantastic. It was great that he got the captaincy at a young age as well, and he deserves his Testimonial."

 Luke Young

"I first came across Ledley in the youth team and it was pretty obvious back then that he was going to go a long way and be a top, top player.  He has been an unbelievable servant for Tottenham.
 
"It's been such a long time since I played at White Hart Lane, there are still a lot of faces that work there from when I played at Spurs and I'm looking forward to meeting up with Ledley and some of the other lads who I used to play with 15 years ago."

Mauricio Taricco

"We played together when Ledley was still young. He was a central defender who had everything – good technique, strong, quick, that’s what made him the player he was.  

"I’m really looking forward to Monday night. It will be great to be part of something special for a special player.”

 Teemu Tainio

"I'm really looking forward to coming back to Spurs again and playing in Ledley's game. 

"It is a fitting tribute to a great Club man - I found Ledley to be a top player, captain and person during my time at Spurs and he fully deserves a match in his honour."

Pascal Chimbonda

"It was a pleasure for me to play with Ledley King during his career, he was a leader and a great example to everyone.  It will be fantastic to come back to the Lane to be part of his testimonial match, it will be a great night for a great player."  

Louis Saha

"I'm so happy and honoured to be part of Ledley King's testimonial. I'm glad to have the opportunity to thank him for the help he gave me during my adaptation at the Club. 

“Ledley is a real gent, a real leader, a real captain and a true legend whose immense talent always shone through."

Paul Stalteri

"I am very honoured to have received Ledley's invitation for his testimonial.

"Although I have not played for a while, I can't wait to step out onto the pitch at White Hart Lane again. It is one of my favourite grounds that I have ever played at. The fans are fantastic and I have nothing but great memories of my time at the Lane. I have been very fortunate in my career to have played with some great players and Ledley was certainly one of the greatest.  

"In my opinion, he is the best centre half England have produced in the last generation."



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