Tottenham defender Ledley King retires from playing
Tottenham defender Ledley King has retired from professional football and will take on an ambassadorial role at the club. The former England defender, 31, has struggled with injuries for a number of years and has been unable to train on a daily basis.
"Sadly my injuries and inability to train have finally brought an end to my career," King told Tottenham's website. "I'm pleased that I can continue to work within the club."
King joined Spurs as a trainee at the age of 16. After his debut in 1999, he went on to make 264 league appearances for the club, winning the Carling Cup in 2008, and was club captain.
he centre-back also represented England 21 times and was in the 2010 World Cup squad. His last appearance for his country came against the United States in South Africa two years ago.
"I have been here since I was a boy," added King.
"I have always considered it my club and have always found it hard to imagine wearing the shirt of another team."
"I would like to say thank you to everyone at the club and to the fans."
"I have missed a lot of football over the years, but the Spurs fans have always been patient and incredibly supportive with me during difficult periods."
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy described King as a "wonderful player, captain and ambassador".
"It has been well documented how he has battled against injury over the years," said Levy.
"It is testament to the character of the man how he managed to sustain such high standards of performance on the pitch, while providing such fine leadership."
King's last Premier League appearance for Tottenham came in a 1-0 defeat at QPR on 21 April.
King of White Hart Lane
• Spent his entire career at Tottenham but made just 323 appearances, scoring 13 goals
• One of those strikes was the quickest in Premier League history after 10 seconds against Bradford in the 2000-01 season
• Made England debut against Italy in 2002 and went on to earn 21 caps, scoring against Portugal in 2004 and Mexico in 2010
• Although commonly used as a centre-half, King was also used as a defensive midfielder, especially in the early stages of his career