English Premier League: Looking at the Top 15 British One-Club Players

James WillisAnalyst IApril 6, 2011

English Premier League: Looking at the Top 15 British One-Club Players

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    It's a rare commodity these days to find a football player who has remained with just one club over the course of their entire career. With the amount of money clubs have available to spend on players, the temptations to switch clubs has never been greater.

    There are, however, a few loyal players who have remained with the same club for their entire careers.

    Many of these players have made well over 500 appearances for their one and only club, and have their names written in history as, at the very least, a club legend.

    Here is a look at 15 of the top British one-club players.

Nat Lofthouse

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    Position: Striker

    Only Club: Bolton Wanderers

    Having sadly passed away on the 15th January this year, Lofthouse is fondly remembered by not only Bolton fans but English football fans in general.

    The famous striker scored 30 goals for England in only 33 appearances, leaving him with one of the best goals per game ratios in English history.

    His biggest achievement was, arguably, scoring both goals in Bolton's 1958 FA Cup final win over Manchester United.

    He currently stands seventh in the list of English football's top flight leading scorers, having scored 255 times for Bolton over his career.

Jack Charlton

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    Position: Centre Back

    Only Club: Leeds United

    Best remembered as a part of the 1966 World Cup winning squad, Jack Charlton was also a very loyal member of the Leeds United team between 1952 and 1973.

    He won the League Cup with Leeds in 1968 and then the Football League First Division one year later in 1969.

    Charlton also won the FA Cup in 1972, the Charity Shield in 1969 and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in both 1968 and 1971.

    He was a defensive rock for Leeds United throughout the 21 year period he played for them, as well as being one of the most integral parts of the England team that won the World Cup.

Ryan Giggs

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    Position: Left Midfield

    Only Club: Manchester United

    Ryan Giggs is rated by most fans as the greatest player to play in the Premier League since it's first revamped season in 1992-1993.

    The flying winger is the single most decorated player in English football history, having won countless trophies with Manchester United.

    He has also scored in every Premier League season since the new league started in 1992. He is also the first player in UEFA Champions League history to have scored in 11 consecutive tournaments.

    Ryan Giggs is top of Manchester United's all time appearances list, having surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's previous record of 758 appearances for the club.

    Many of the club's fans rate Ryan Giggs alongside names such as George Best and Dennis Law in United folklore.

Tony Adams

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    Position: Centre Back

    Only Club: Arsenal

    Most Arsenal fans will list him as one of the club's greatest ever defenders, and rightly so after Tony Adams spent all 22 years of his playing career with the club.

    He retired shortly before the club went on their stunning 49 game unbeaten run but one would be hard pressed to claim he didn't win many trophies.

    Adams won four league titles with Arsenal in 1989, 1991, 1998 and 2002, as well as three FA Cup's in 1993, 1998 and 2002.

    As a member of the English Football Hall of Fame, Tony Adams defensive performances led to him being named in the PFA Team of the Year three times throughout his career.

Billy Wright

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    Position: Centre Back

    Only Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers

    The former England captain could arguably be called the greatest player ever to have pulled on a Wolverhampton Wanderers shirt, and that is reflected in the fact that he now has a stand named after him at Molineux as well as a statue outside the ground.

    Billy Wright is the first footballer in history to have earned 100 international caps and also hold the distinction of having made the longest unbroken run of appearances in international competitive football.

    Wright won the Football League first division with Wolves in 1954, 1958 and 1959 as well as the FA Cup in 1949.

    In 1957, Wright finished as runner up in the Ballon d'Or award behind none other than Alfredo Di Stefano, and ahead of Duncan Edwards of Manchester United.

Jimmy Armfield

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    Position: Right Back

    Only Club: Blackpool

    Now working as a pundit on BBC Radio 5Live, Jimmy Armstrong once had a very long playing career with Blackpool, spending a decade as the club's captain.

    He was a part of the England squad that won the 1966 World Cup, giving him the only silverware he would win in his long career.

    The right back captained the England national team 15 times in his career and led by example having been such a solid performer for Blackpool at club level.

    Armfield made 627 appearances over his 17 year career at Bloomfield Road, leading him to be inducted into the Blackpool FC Hall of Fame when it opened in 2006.

Steven Gerrard

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    Position: Midfield

    Only Club: Liverpool

    One of the more modern players on this list who should need no introduction to football fans, Steven Gerrard has spent his entire career, so far, with Liverpool and looks unlikely to change clubs anytime before retirement.

    The midfield maestro has stuck by the club through thick and thin, leading them to their famous Champions League win and inspired half time comeback in the final in 2005.

    He has also won the FA Cup twice, the League Cup twice, the Community Shield twice, the UEFA Cup once and the UEFA Super Cup twice.

    Gerrard was the Captain of the England national team during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and currently stands as the vice-captain of the team.

Paul Scholes

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    Position: Midfield

    Only Club: Manchester United

    Another one of the Manchester United players brought up by Sir Alex Ferguson at the start of the 1990's, Paul Scholes has been a loyal member of what has arguably been the most successful Manchester United side of all time.

    Scholes has been included in four England national squads for major tournaments, including the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and the 2000 and 2004 European Championships.

    He retired from international football at the unusually young age of 29 in order to focus on his club playing career.

    Scholes has gone on to make over 650 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 150 goals in his 17 years with the club.

Jamie Carragher

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    Position: Defender

    Only Club: Liverpool

    Another one of the players still active, Jamie Carragher is one of Liverpool's most loyal players both past and present.

    Like Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher was a part of the Champions League winning squad of the 2005 season, as well as the UEFA Cup winning season in 2001 and the UEFA Super Cup winning seasons in 2001 and 2005.

    In 2007, Carragher set a record for most appearances by a Liverpool player in European Competitions, playing in both the Right Back and Centre Back positions.

    Carragher made 38 appearances for the England national team, most recently coming out of retirement after inclusion in the 2010 World Cup squad.

John Terry

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    Position: Centre Back

    Only Club: Chelsea

    Despite his controversial behaviour off the pitch, John Terry is one of the most loyal players in football today.

    Having played for Chelsea his whole career, John Terry has a wealth of trophies to back up his ability in defence.

    He currently stands as the clubs highest scoring defender of all time and is one of only five other Chelsea players to have made over 450 appearances for the club.

    John Terry is also the current England captain, and his loyalty to his country is no less than his loyalty to Chelsea.

Matt Le Tissier

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    Position: Attacking Midfielder

    Only Club: Southampton

    Affectionately known as 'Le Tiss' or 'Le God,' the well built goalscorer has gone down in Southampton folklore as one of the club's greatest ever players.

    He is second to only Mick Channon in the club's all time scoring charts and is most notable for his unbelievable record taking penalties, scoring 48 out of 49 attempts.

    Although Le Tissier never won any major silverware as a player, he is largely regarded as one of the greatest British footballers of all time, and an often under appreciated product of the British Isles.

    He attracted attention from many bigger clubs during his career, but chose to remain with Southampton, helping them remain in the Premier League for numerous seasons before his retirement.

Gary Neville

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    Position: Right Back

    Only Club: Manchester United

    Gary Neville recently retired from his playing career with immediate effect, having played for Manchester United for 19 years.

    Neville was a part of Manchester United's 1999 Champions League winning squad, as well as taking eight Premier League titles with the club.

    He regularly combined with Beckham on the right side of the pitch during the 1990's to form a fierce partnership, which was also translated to the international stage soon after with the pair playing for England.

    At the time of his retirement he was Manchester United's second longest serving player, behind Ryan Giggs, just ahead of Paul Scholes, both of whom have already also been mentioned.

Gary Kelly

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    Position: Right Back

    Only Club: Leeds United

    Perhaps one of the lesser recognised one-club men,  Gary Kelly was a key part of the Leeds United team that made a bold run to the Semi Finals of the 2000-2001 UEFA Champions League.

    Kelly is also the only Leeds United player to have made more than 500 appearances for the club while not playing during the Don Revie era.

    His performances for Leeds United led to him making over 50 appearances for the Irish national team, representing them at the 1994 and 2002 World Cup tournaments.

    Gary Kelly is the uncle of former Leeds United team mate Ian Harte, despite only being three years his senior.

Keith Peacock

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    Position: Midfield

    Only Club: Charlton Athletic

    Another club legend, this time for Charlton Athletic, Keith Peacock was a key part of the club's midfield over the course of a 17 year career with the club, that consisted of well over 500 appearances.

    He is perhaps best known as the first substitute ever to be used in the football league after the rule was introduced in 1965.

    He is the father of footballer Gavin Peacock who had successful spells at Newcastle and Chelsea.

    Most recently he has been the caretaker manager of Charlton Athletic since the start of 2011 after the departure of Phil Parkinson.

Duncan Edwards

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    Position: Midfield

    Only Club: Manchester United

    Despite his career coming to a horrific, early end while he was just 21 years old, Edwards deserves a place on this list just as much as anyone else.

    Having played professionally for the Manchester United team for five years, Duncan Edwards made over 150 appearances for the only club he ever played for.

    Edwards helped Manchester United to two Football league titles and the semi finals of a European Cup during his short career, as well as finishing in 3rd place in the 1957 Ballon d'Or awards.

    He made 18 appearances for the England national team before his career came to a tragic, early end during the Munich Air Disaster, where he sadly lost his life due to injuries sustained in the crash.