Ledley King’s professional playing career was sadly impacted by constant injury issues.
Had the Englishman been able to stay fit for prolonged periods of time, he would likely have gone down as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever centre-backs.
King was restricted to just 323 club appearances for Tottenham Hotspur, plus 21 more on international duty with England, as a result of regular fitness struggles and he retired art the age of just 31.
His chronic knee problems were so bad towards the end of his career that he was unable to train with the rest of the Spurs squad and had to perform fitness exercises on his own.
King’s playing days are a bit of a tragic tale, as the now 40-year-old was easily as talented as the likes of Sol Campbell, John Terry, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
Spurs’ current assistant first team coach really was the complete defender when fully fit as a player, an incredible athlete who read the game better than most.
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He’s also responsible for one of the greatest tackles in Premier League history.
Back in November 2006, Spurs recorded a historic victory over London rivals Chelsea at White Hart Lane thanks to goals from Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon.
But had it not been for King’s superhuman-like tackle on Arjen Robben, the final result would have been very different.
The rapid Dutchman beat Spurs’ offside trap while the scores were level at 0-0 and he looked certain to score.
King had other ideas, though. The former Spurs captain showed off his pace by making up 15-20 yards on Robben, before producing a perfect sliding tackle to thwart the winger.
Watch the clip for yourself below…
King’s magnificent tackle on Robben
“What a tackle!” the commentator says in the footage above. “They talk about great goals, that is a great challenge.”
The tackle really was pragmatic perfection from King and it’s hard to think of many better in the Premier League either before or since.