Report news now! Text pictures & video to 80360, starting message with WITNESS then leave a space
Tottenham Hotspur legend Ledley King given rousing send-off during emotional testimonial at White Hart Lane
Tottenham Hotspur legend Ledley King was given a rousing send-off in front of a near capacity crowd during a jubilant testimonial match at White Hart Lane.
The former Spurs captain led out a guest XI made up of club legends from his playing days including Teddy Sheringham, David Ginola, Darren Anderton and Edgar Davids against a first team line-up.
And he saw his team run out 6-3 winners in a good natured game under the floodlights in N17.
The club sold more than 35,000 tickets for the exhibition match, money from which will be donated to the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Skills project, The Willow Foundation and Bowel Cancer Awareness UK.
The packed crowd created a celebratory atmosphere from the minute both teams walked on to the pitch to form a guard of honour for King, who emerged to a rapturous reception.
The Spurs ambassador was then presented with a special award for services to the club by former team mate Michael Dawson.
One the game got underway, there were ironic boos and cheers of ‘who are ya?’ from the supporters when the first XI were on the ball, accompanied by raucous cheers and applause with every involvement from the man of the evening King.
The centre back scored 15 goals throughout his career in a Spurs shirt and of course it was King who put the Legends XI in front on 16 minutes, converting a penalty he won when he was comically wrestled to the floor by former team mates Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul.
Referee Howard Webb played up to the comical element to the evening, pretending to aggressively deal with Michael Dawson at every foul and eventually booking the defender to cheers from the crowd.
And on minute 26, the number worn by King throughout his career at Spurs, the crowd rose to give him his first standing ovation of the night during a minute’s applause.
Adebayor levelled the game up with the second penalty of the night after he was brought down by King, before Edgar Davids brought cheers from the crowd as he rolled back the years with some neat dribbling through the middle of the park.
Teddy Sheringham also brought fond memories back to the White Hart Lane faithful when he brilliantly finished Dimitar Berbatov’s lay-off from the edge of the area, slotting the ball into the bottom corner before wheeling away along the touchline.
And Sheringham made it 3-1 when he pounced on Berbatov’s shot that was initially blocked by Friedel.
The changes were rung at half time after a penalty shoot-out in the interval between a team of MPs, including Tottenham representative David Lammy and Enfield and Southgate politician David Burrowes, and a team of legends from Spurs’ 1984 European Cup winning team, who were joined by King.
Every goal scored raised another £500 towards King’s chosen charities, with the Legends winning 5-2.
Both teams were replaced at half time with fresh legs and Nathan Oduwa got one back for the first team when he cleverly chipped over Paul Robinson to make it 3-2.
But Louis Saha restored the advantage for the Legends when he slotted home from the right hand side.
King was brought off to a standing ovation with 25 minutes to play, with the 35,000-strong crowd singing his name as he took his place in the dugout.
Steffen Freund came on to a jubilant reception before Saha made it 5-2 to the Legends, and the crowd maintained the good atmosphere late into the game – at one stage breaking into a Mexican wave.
Capoue scored for the Spurs XI from long range to make it 5-3 with 15 minutes to play, and Louis Saha drilled the ball into the back of the net with the final kick of the game to round off a captivating evening at White Hart Lane.
A tearful King then addressed the crowd over the PA system to thank them for their support over the years before taking to the pitch one last time to another standing ovation.
Spurs starting line-up: Friedel, Naughton, Fryers, Veljkovic, Dawson, Ogilvie, McEvoy, Sandro, Obika, Adebayor, Eriksen.
Ledley Guest XI starting line-up: Sullivan, Brown, Tainio, Parker, King, Perry, Anderton, Davids, Berbatov, Sheringham, Ginola.
Spurs 2nd half XI: Archer; Fredericks, McQueen, Ogilvie, Walker-Peters; McEneff, Capoue, Holtby, Pritchard; Obika, Oduwa.
Guest XI 2nd half: Robinson; Young, Chimbonda, King, Stalteri; Fox, Palacios, Tainio, Davies; Crouch, Saha.
Comments are closed on this article.