Concluding the series looking at players whose careers were cut short by injury, or failed to fulfil their potential as a result.
Although he played for Tottenham, his boyhood club for 12 seasons the latter part of Ledley King’s career was so badly affected by injuries, that, by the end of it, he was unable to train at all during the week and had to resort to swimming to stay fit.
King one 21 England caps and would have retired with far more to his name had he not been forced to pull out of many squads with one problem or another.
In fact, King involved his knee in his debut match for Spurs, and the problem was to haunt the rest of his time with the North London club. By the end of his career King had come to terms with his injury struggles but still regrets what might have been.
Earlier this summer, Newcastle United released Andy Carroll as a free agent, and he is currently without a club.
All this is a far cry from the player who Liverpool bought for £30 million in 2011, but he arrived at the club injured, and struggled for fitness during his time at Anfield.
In 2012 he joined West Ham, initially on loan, before joining them permanently, buy in his seven years in the capital he suffered 12 injuries that kept him out for four games or more. He was eventually released by the Hammers because they had no guarantees when he would be available to play for them.
Back in the NorthEast with Newcastle, injuries struck again and he featured only spasmodically for Steve Bruce’s team.
He was good enough to play for England nine times and may have earned many more caps, had he ever been fit enough.
Jonathan Woodgate was an accomplished defender who was so good as a young player that Real Madrid paid more than £13 million to sign him from Newcastle United.
However, he arrived in Spain injured and did not play at all for them in his first season with the club. And when he did finally lay for them he had debut to forget, scoring an own goal and getting sent off. Various further injury setbacks stopped him fulfilling his potential in Spain and, I n 2007, a popular Spanish website rana poll in which he was voted the worst signing of the 21st century.
He returned to England, and did enjoy some success 3ith Middlesbrough, Tottenham, and Stoke City, but he never fulfilled his early promise.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.