Ledley King’s defensive awareness, athleticism and intelligence as a center back can never be questioned.
The only thing that can be questioned, is if – barring incessant knee injuries – the recently retired Tottenham defender would have been England’s best ever defender.
The below video is a fitting tribute for the unlucky, injury-prone captain. Unable to train in the latter part of his career, King was still called upon in pivotal matches to thwart some of the world’s best strikers.
The maestro, like a conductor of an orchestra, controlled the defensive line effortlessly. For a big man, he covered ground with the speed of a cheetah and ferocity of a bull.
The larger-than-life character never complained, whined or made excuses.
“I have been here since I was a boy,” King said to the BBC. “It is like a second home to me.
“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.”
And for a center back, the man from Bow, England had a knack for finding the back of the opposition’s twine.
The 31-year-old will remain with his club in an ambassadorial role, which is fitting as that is how he was regarded by peers during his footballing days.
The stout, stoic defender will remain in Spurs’ supporters hearts for generations to come.
There would have been no limit to what the King of defence could have achieved had his career been devoid of injury.
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)