A Poem for Ledley King

Ledley King of White Hart Lane
leaves us now, in too much pain.
His story sad, and unfinished
knees cracked and buckled, class undiminished

The best English defender of his time?
Certainly in the top ten (or nine).
Better than Woodgate, Ferdinand too
better than Terry, we always knew

King was blessed with great talent
He had so much that other players hadn’t –
moving with uncommon grace and class,
shame his body’s made of glass

Yes injuries were such a curse
he was so good, and that made it worse!
Why did his body leave him so hobbled?
(It’s best that we don’t ask Glenn Hoddle)

I would have had him in my team
if he could stay upright and play seventeen
games or more in a row
but he couldn’t, so sadly it’s time to go.

He will be replaced but not forgotten
remembered for his luck so rotten
and bravery – after every fall
he’d be back again, chasing the ball.

But this time he’s not back on his feet
he’s had enough; he’s done, he’s beat
he just can’t fight anymore.
Lesser men would have given up years before.

Ledley you will be remembered
at the Lane, but thoughts are tempered
by regrets – drowned out in the applause
and by memories of your half won wars.

2 thoughts on “A Poem for Ledley King

  1. Nice one. I was on Radio 5 this morning, reading my tribute, with apologies to Hilaire Belloc. 10 mins into the Danny Baker show (though Danny himself was – ironically – poorly and unable to take the field today): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mjjxr

    As I said on the radio, in Leeds we had Lucas Radebe, like Ledley King, absolutely an all-time club great, a superstar on the pitch without the inflated superstar ego… and a career cut short by dodgy knees.

    The chief defect of Ledley King:
    His dodgy knees could never string
    Together, games from season’s start
    To season’s end, to match his art
    Physicians of the utmost fame
    Were called, to help him play the game
    But answered, as they took their fees
    “We cannot cure these dodgy knees !
    Ledley sir, you’re in a fix”
    Was their prognosis in 0-6.
    But loyalty, and strength, and heart
    Determined him to play a part
    To work with team-mates, or alone,
    With skill, with pluck, some cortisone.
    False rumour spread in 2010
    Yet Spurs still signed him up again,
    Because his gifts the game requires.
    Who’ll step up now, as he retires ?

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