Former England defender Ledley King has retired aged 31 due to chronic injuries but will remain at his only professional club, Tottenham Hotspur FC, in an "ambassadorial capacity".
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Former England defender Ledley King has retired from football aged 31 but will remain at his only professional club, Tottenham Hotspur FC, in an "ambassadorial capacity".
King has been at Spurs since joining aged 14 in 1996 and made his debut three years later. However, in recent seasons his appearances and ability to train have been hampered by chronic knee problems, among other injuries, which have now forced him to give up the game. He made 323 appearances, helping them win the 2008 League Cup, and although he only scored 14 goals, his first just 9.7 seconds in against Bradford City AFC in December 2000 remains the Premier League's quickest.
Capped 21 times by England, including at UEFA EURO 2004 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, King said: "I know that being a one-club man is a rarity these days, but I have always enjoyed being part of the setup 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."
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, whose team enter the UEFA Europa League in the group stage, added: "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."