John Terry has suggested that Ledley King could have played for West Ham instead of Tottenham if the Hammers had not decided to let then youth development officer Jimmy Neighbour leave the club.
King, born in East London, was on West Ham’s books in the club’s youth set-up at a time when Terry was too, but never progressed into the side’s senior team.
He left West Ham to join Spurs as a trainee in 1996 before working his way through the club’s youth system.
King went on to spend 13 years with the N17 side and represented England on 21 occasions, despite the prime parts of his career being hampered by chronic knee problems.
Named as one of the Premier League’s best defenders by a number of players, King often could not train fully with the rest of his Spurs teammates but would still manage to perform to a high level during matches.
However, eventual Chelsea legend Terry has since revealed that the Hammers could have kept both he and King, alongside Premier League players Bobby Zamora, Paul Konchesky and Jlloyd Samuel if the club did not let Neighbour leave his role.
Neighbour, a former West Ham and Spurs winger, was the Hammers’ youth development officer at the time the aforementioned players were on the club’s books.
I left at the age of 12 or 13 , shame because in our team was Ledley King, Bobby Z , Paul Konchesky, J Lloyd Samuel , West Ham let Jimmy Neighbour go and we all left.
— John Terry (@JohnTerry26) November 13, 2021
Spurs Web Opinion
Although King was not able to fulfil his true potential with Spurs, we were able to see how talented he was at points despite him not being able to train properly. It is a massive shame that he was hampered by so many knee problems, as the sky was the limit for him.
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