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One club men have long been an uncommon sight in football, but even less common are those who have been at a less successful club.

Ryan Giggs and John Terry will not be making this list of men who have preferred to stay put, as we look back at football’s lesser known loyalists.

Southampton legend Matthew Le Tissier

These are players that were not extremely successful in terms of winners’ medals but exemplified the loyalty that fans crave.

Our first entry to this list of five is Hannover 96’s US international Steve Cherundolo. Originally joining in 1998 as a kid from Illinois, Cherundolo played in eight games before establishing himself as a regular from 1999-2000. From 2001-2005, Cherundolo missed only 11 league games, and in the process was courted by then-Premier League outfit Bolton Wanderers. The two clubs agreed a deal for the right-back, who declined the offer and elected to stay in Germany. Cherundolo has since gone on to become club captain and achieve cult status amongst Hannover’s fans, making 421 club appearances in 15 years.

Watford’s Lloyd Doyley

Next one our list is a visit to Vicarage Road, where we find Watford’s Lloyd Doyley. The 31-year-old is a hero to Watford fans, having been at the club since 2001 after coming through the ranks there. His first season saw him notch up an impressive 21 appearances in all competitions, followed by another impressive total of 24. Doyley continued to make good progress for Watford as he became a permanent fixture on the team sheet. During Watford’s sole season in the top-flight during his tenure with the club in 2006-07 season, he appeared 25 times as they failed to stave off the drop. It took him 8 years and 269 appearances to score his first league goal for the Hertfordshire club, against QPR in December 2009. Doyley was given a testimonial in 2012 as well as being called up to play for Jamaica in 2013, and has made a total of 417 club appearances scoring twice.

The mercurial Matt Le Tissier appears as the third of our five on the list, spending 16 years at Southampton until his retirement from professional football in 2002. Le Tissier scored 10 times in 31 appearances during his first season for Southampton, before netting a further two for Saints the next season. He made over 150 appearances between 1988 and 1992 when the Premier League was inaugurated, scoring 73 goals in that time. From that time until the turn of the millennium Le Tissier was on fire, notching 122 in all competitions during those 8 years. Le Tiss then started to slow down after this, but became the first midfielder to reach 100 Premier League goals in December 2000 in a 2-1 defeat at Charlton. Known as ‘Le God’ to Saints fans, Le Tissier only appeared eight times for England, something that can be argued as unjust. He scored the final competitive goal at The Dell in 2-1 victory over Arsenal in May 2002, a fitting end for the stadium. It turned out to be the final league goal of Le Tissier’s career, as he failed to score in 2002-03 due in big part to injuries. In all, Le Tissier made 540 appearances for Southampton, scoring 209 goals.

Athletic Bilbao’s Andoni Iraola

For our fourth entrant, we head to the Basque country for Athletic Bilbao’s Andoni Iraola. Iraola went through the ranks at the Basque club’s many youth teams, the Baskonia and the B team, and in 2003 made his bow for the senior team. As part of a club that only signs Basque players, Iraola has established himself as a fans favourite at a club where that could be difficult due to the amount of homegrown players. The full back has made 350 league appearances whilst at the San Mames Stadium (555 across all three teams) scoring 31 goals as his reputation as an attacking full back grew. He has been capped 7 times for Spain, and played 8 times for the Basque region.

Our fifth and final man on the list is Tottenham’s Ledley King. King’s case is one for the neutral, as the defender has struggled on for so long with injuries plaguing his Spurs career. King made his debut at Anfield in May 1999, coming off the bench. The following season he made another three, before establishing himself in the team in 2000. He scored the quickest Premier League goal ever at the time in a game at Bradford, which was drawn 3-3. As time went on, his knee injuries got worse and he only made 4 appearances in the league in 2007/08. King appeared sporadically from here on in as his chronic knee injuries prevented him from training, and he could only play one match per week due to the intense swelling on the knee after matches. He lifted a League Cup during this season, as Tottenham beat Chelsea in the final at Wembley after extra-time and was called up for the World Cup in 2010 by Fabio Capello. He played twice in South Africa as England crashed out to Germany in disappointing fashion. After another two strong seasons, King retired in 2012 aged 31, owing to his persistent knee problem. He immediately became a club ambassador, and is to many the real face of Tottenham Hotspur. He made 321 appearances, scoring 15 goals whilst playing 21 times for England and scoring twice.

The one club man is an endangered species. Even more endangered when you look beneath the bigger teams, who provide a reason to tie yourself down to that squad. Hopefully the breed will not die, as it is these players who truly deserve recognition for their loyalty and service. Football would be a worse sport without them.

Originally published at voomfootball.wordpress.com

Post written by Jack Prentice for Voom Football
Blog: Voom Football, Twitter: @Voomfootball

Note: The views expressed within this blog post are those of the contributing author, and may not necessarily reflect those of MatchDayApp Limited, its representatives or associated partners.

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