THE 10 GREATEST ‘ONE CLUB’ PLAYERS IN BRITISH FOOTBALL
THE 10 GREATEST ‘ONE CLUB’ PLAYERS IN BRITISH FOOTBALL
Throughout the years, there have been numerous great ‘one club’ footballers in British football. These players are among the most loyal to have ever played the game, and are renowned for their commitment to their clubs. We consider the greatest ever one club footballers and discuss their achievements and records gained for their respective sides.
10. Jack Charlton
The aggressive central defender was picked up after Leeds United spotted him playing in an amateur match. Charlton became a vital figure in defence for the Whites, racking up 629 appearances and 70 goals in his 21 year career at Elland Road. The defender endured a relatively successful period at the club, as Leeds won the First Division title, the FA Cup and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice while Charlton was at the club. Leeds supporters voted the centre-half in the club’s greatest ever XI in 2006.
9. Jamie Carragher
Carragher was an excellent servant for Liverpool throughout his 26 year career at the club, after he joined the academy when he was just nine years old. The Reds centre-back featured in 737 senior matches for the club, forever guaranteeing his status as a club legend. During his time at the club, Carragher won two FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Cup and one Champions League. The Liverpool stalwart’s commitment to the club was made all the more impressive after he grew up as a huge Everton fan, but soon switched allegiance after becoming a regular at the heart of the defence.
8. Matt Le Tissier
One of the most talented players to play in the Premier League, Le Tissier was about as loyal as they come. The Saints legend refused to move to a bigger club, despite the knowledge that it would be rare that his side would ever challenge for major honours. His scoring record was phenomenal, with 210 goals in 540 appearances for the club – an achievement that has forever secured his ‘Le God’ nickname with Southampton’s fans. Some claim Le Tiss is the greatest penalty taker of all time, and finished his career with 47 successful penalty conversions out of a possible 48.
7. Paul Scholes
The likes of Zinedine Zidane, Xavi, Pep Guardiola and Pele have all hailed Scholesy as one of the all-time greats – which says a lot about his consistently-high performance over the years. The United midfielder was never one to try and steal the limelight and focused on working exceptionally hard for the team during his 713 match career. Salford-born Scholes won his fair share of trophies at the club, with 10 Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and two Champions Leagues. Scholes gets into most people’s greatest Premier League teams ever.
6. John Terry
Many people will be surprised that JT only stands sixth on this list, and it could certainly be argued that he should be ranked higher. “Mr Chelsea” has been a key member of the Blues since he signed his professional contract in 1998, featuring in over 600 appearances for the club. Terry has had high and low points throughout his career, but these low points have only helped strengthen his character and JT has only come back stronger. Chelsea fans refer to him as ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ – a fitting tribute for one of the Premier League’s greatest central defenders.
5. Tony Adams
Adams has been labelled as one of the most passionate men on the football field. Strong and committed, he played over 670 matches for the Gunners and won various trophies – mainly four top-flight division titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups. At the age of just 21, Adams was promoted to team captain and remained leader of the side until he retired in 2002. After leading his side to the most successful period in Arsenal’s history, it’s no wonder that Arsenal rewarded their great defender with a trophy outside the Emirates Stadium – a deserved honour after 19 years of first-team service.
4. Nat Lofthouse
The Bolton striker stated throughout his career that he only wanted to play football for his beloved hometown club and he kept his promise until he retired in 1960. The striker scored an astounding 255 goals in 452 matches for the club and remains Bolton’s leading goalscorer of all-time. Lofthouse was arguably the greatest striker in post-war Britain and boasts an incredible 30 goals in 33 international matches for England. He also returned to the club as manager eight years after retirement, further emphasising his commitment and passion for the club. Similarly to Adams, his achievements have been recognised with a statue outside the Macron Stadium.
3. Steven Gerrard
Gerrard has been Liverpool’s talisman throughout his career, often providing a moment of magic when the Reds have needed him most. After joining the club at the age of nine, the midfielder is Liverpool through and through, and has captained the side for the majority of his senior career. Gerrard has guided the Reds to two FA Cups, three League Cups and one Champions League in his illustrious career, which has spanned over 650 matches and counting. The midfielder is a club legend and has single-handedly carried Liverpool at times over his career, and definitely deserves the admiration of fans, players and pundits throughout the game.
2. Ryan Giggs
One of the greatest footballers to grace the beautiful game, Ryan Giggs had an extraordinary career at Manchester United. In a career spanning over 960 matches and 24 years, the Welsh wizard bamboozled many defences and scored 168 goals – with at least one goal in every Premier League season apart from last year. During his time at United, Giggs won 13 Premier League titles, as well as four FA Cups, three League Cups and two Champions Leagues. The Red Devils stalwart also had a brief spell as manager too, and remains on the coaching staff at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal.
1. Sir Tom Finney
Sir Tom Finney earns the top spot for his commitment and loyalty to Preston North End. Finney spent 20 years at Deepdale and played 569 first-class matches for North End – an incredible accomplishment. Known as the ‘Preston Plumber’ after his commitments to his family’s plumbing business, Finney showed loyalty to both his family and his main love of football. Sir Tom scored a tremendous 210 goals for the Lilywhites and will forever be remembered at Preston, as well as England – scoring 30 goals in 76 international matches. There is now a stand named after the legendary forward at Deepdale.