By Ledley King

ISBN-10: 1782069046

ISBN-13: 9781782069041

The inspiring and untold tale of 1 of English soccer's such a lot lauded and well-known skills, and the heartbreaking account of a profession cruelly reduce short

Rarely within the smooth English video game has a participant been as enjoyed by way of his supporters, trendy by way of his teammates, and revered via his friends as Ledley King. or even extra not often has any such shining expertise obvious their profession minimize so tragically brief. Named "the top defender in Europe" through Thierry Henry, and defined via Martin Jol as "the top primary defender i have ever seen," King was once unquestionably one of many maximum abilities of his new release; but harm compelled his retirement at only 31. yet even on the top of his continual knee trouble—when he may possibly simply educate as soon as per week, and was once recommended to not even play soccer along with his son—King nonetheless controlled to captain Tottenham Hotspur and be known as as much as the britain squad. King records the successes and struggles—both own and professional—behind this distinctive and unheard of profession: from his adolescence in East London, to his destiny out of the white blouse of his liked Tottenham Hotspur.

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I was delighted to be watching players from other leagues strut their stuff. Back then, we didn’t have Sky and access to watching Premier League games, so Italian Serie A on Channel 4 took over for me and I grew to love that league. When I was eleven I moved on from Olga Primary to The Blessed John Roche Roman Catholic School in Upper North Street, Poplar. Blessed John Roche was not my mum’s first choice, which was Cardinal Pole, another Catholic school, though we weren’t a Catholic family. My mum was looking for a school with high standards and discipline and found one two miles from my home, near Chrisp Street Market, so I’d get the number 8 or D6 bus there and back.

We were there to acclimatize ourselves to the hot conditions we’d face when we came to the real test: Portugal, hosts of Euro 2004. In Sardinia I got to know some of the England players as people. Off the pitch, Gary Neville was a bit of a character. He had an older head with a mature attitude. He could be opinionated, but always for the benefit of the team. If he saw something needed saying to the coach, on behalf of all the players he’d be the one to say it. Any problems, whether with the hotel or training pitch, he’d be one to raise them.

So, following suit, in the first year I did well and got good grades. And in the school orchestra I was selected to play cello, probably because, though I felt very small compared to the older boys, I was a big lad as a youngster and could take it home to practise. I was pleased to put the cello between my legs and enjoyed playing it, taking part and blending into school concerts, but not so much lugging it home and back to school again. It was all a new level of learning for me. The thing was, though, that the lads I had most in common with were the ones who played football at breaktime.

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King by Ledley King


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