EPL: Spurs legend Ledley King retires from football

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Ledley King announces retirement
London, Jul 19: Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King has announced his retirement from football after spending 17 years at White Hart Lane.

The 31-year-old centre-back had been suffering from a prolonged knee injury and while his contract expires this summer, has decided to hang his boots after 17 years of service to the North London club. He will continue at Tottenham as a club ambassador.

King joined Tottenham as a trainee in 1996 and came through the ranks to make his Premier League debut in 1999 against Liverpool in Anfield. The former England international made 323 appearances for Tottenham with 14 goals to his name.

As captain, King lifted the Carling Cup after beating Chelsea in 2008 and led the team to their first-ever Champions League qualification during the 2009-10 season.

King won 21 caps with England, his first came against Italy in 2002. The 31-year-old centre-half went on to represent England at Euro 2004 and the FIFA World Cup in 2010. However, due to injury concerns, King was not selected for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

"I have been here since I was a boy, I have always considered it my Club and have always found it hard to imagine wearing the shirt of another team," King said in a statement on the clubs official website.

"I know that being a one-club man is a rarity these days, but I have always enjoyed being part of the set-up here and the challenge of putting this Club up with the elite where it should be."

"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. Sadly my injuries and inability to train have now finally brought an end to my career," he said.

King was happy to be part of the club post retirement, "I have been in Tottenham for around 17 years, having started at Spurs when I was 14. It is a second home for me and I am pleased that I can continue to work within the Club and for the local community, especially after the devastation caused by the riots last year. I am already heavily involved with the work of Spurs Foundation and the new stadium scheme will be a major factor in the regeneration of the area, so I am delighted that I shall be part of that," King said.

"Ledley has made a magnificent contribution to this Club - as a wonderful player, Captain and ambassador," Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy paid tribute to the clubs longest serving player.

"It has been well documented how he has battled against injury over the years and it is a 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," Levy said.

"It is in an ambassadorial capacity that Ledley will continue, playing a crucial role in supporting the Club's work in the community and the ongoing regeneration of the Tottenham area, whilst also being a hugely positive role model for our younger players," Levy added.

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