Matt Le Tissier handed 'One Club Man' award by Athletic Bilbao after brilliant Southampton career

Le Tissier played for Southampton from 1986 to 2002

Tom Sheen
Wednesday 29 April 2015 10:44
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Former Southampton forward Matt Le Tissier has bizarrely been awarded by Spanish Premier Division club Athletic Bilbao.

The 46-year-old, who criminally only received eight England caps in a brilliant career, was the first player to receive the "One Club Man Award" from the Basque club.

Le Tissier played for the South Coast club from 1986 to 2002, playing more than 500 matches. The award was recently introduced to honour players who have spent their entire careers with one team.

Le Tissier flew over to attend the Basque derby between Athletic and Real Sociedad and was introduced to the San Mames crowd at half-time.

"It certainly was a big surprise and a very pleasant one too," he told Athletic's official website. "I am incredibly proud to be the first to receive this award.

"My main reason (for staying at Southampton) was my personal happiness and contentment, something which I have always put first among other things.

"That and the fact that I felt a loyalty to pay back Southampton for giving me the chance to achieve my dreams."

Le Tissier scored 209 goals during a 16-year career with the Saints before retiring in 2002.

"For us, what we value most are your (Le Tissier's) values and principles, your loyalty to the same club during your entire career," Athletic said on their website.

"We see ourselves very much reflected in this value and in these principles. For this reason, it is a true honour for us to give you our first One-Club Man Award. This way you will always be part of our history."

Additional reporting from PA

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