Tottenham captain Ledley King has announced his retirement from professional football due to injury, and is set to take up an ambassadorial role at the club where he has spent his entire career.
King, 31, has struggled with a string of serious knee injuries over the years, which has kept his playing time to a minimum and denied him the ability to take part in regular training.
King joined the club as a trainee as a 14-year-old, progressing through the youth ranks before making his debut in 1999. He was awarded the captain’s armband in 2005 and despite injuries, King played 323 games for Tottenham, claiming 14 goals over the years.
"Ledley has made a magnificent contribution to this club - as a wonderful player, captain and ambassador," said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in an official statement released by Tottenham Hotspur.
"It has been well documented how he has battled against injury over the years and 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.”
Highlights of King’s impressive Tottenham career include lifting the League Cup in 2008 following victory over rivals Chelsea, and leading the club as captain towards Champions League qualification for the first time in Tottenham’s history in the 2009/2010 season.
“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," said King.
“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."
King has immediately been awarded an ambassadorial role at the north London club, working within the Tottenham community.