King to become Spurs ambassador

Chronic knee injury forces one-club man to call it quits but Levy finds him a new role

Ledley King's injury-ravaged career came to an end yesterday with the Tottenham defender announcing his retirement. The 31-year-old will stay at Spurs – the only club he has played for – as an ambassador.

King, who has captained the side since 2005, has suffered from chronic knee problems in recent years, limiting his game and training time. He admitted the decision to quit was tough but he could not consider playing elsewhere. King said: "I would like to say thank you to everyone at the club and to the fans. 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. I've been here since I was a boy, I have always considered it my club and have always found it hard to imagine wearing the shirt of another team."

King came through the youth ranks at Spurs before stepping up to the first team in 1998. The London-born centre-back went on to make more than 300 appearances for Spurs, the high point coming when he lifted the Carling Cup in 2008 with victory over Chelsea.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy hailed King's impact at the club and said he would continue to represent them in a new capacity. "Ledley has made a magnificent contribution to this club – as a wonderful player, captain and ambassador," Levy said.

"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, while also being a hugely positive role model for our younger players."