Belfast Telegraph

Football's one-club men

Ryan Giggs' departure from Manchester United brings to an end a 29-year association with the team he joined as a 14-year-old.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the other players with similarly long stays at one club.

Paolo Maldini (AC Milan, 31 years, 902 appearances)

The Italy international was one of the players of his generation and one of the greatest defenders of all time, operating across the back four with consummate ease. A youth team product who joined the Rossoneri as a 10-year-old, he made his first-team debut in 1985 and retired aged 41.

Sait Altinordu (Altinordu, 27 years, 847 appearances)

The Turkish defender made his club debut aged just 14 and did not retire until he was 41, making 847 appearances between 1926 and 1953.

Francesco Totti (Roma, 27 years, 758 appearances)

Joined the Roma youth squad in 1989 as a 13-year-old and made his debut in 1993. The attacking midfielder's name has become synonymous with Roma because of the length of his dedication - which was extended by a further year this summer with a new 12-month contract which will take him past his 40th birthday.

Jamie Carragher (Liverpool, 25 years, 737 appearances)

The Everton-supporting youngster joined the Reds' youth set-up in 1988, eventually making his first-team debut nine years later. He went on to become the club's second-highest appearance-maker behind Ian Callaghan before retiring in 2013.

Ted Sagar (Everton, 24 years, 497 appearances)

The goalkeeper joined Everton from Thorne Colliery in 1929 and made his debut the following year, eventually retiring in 1953 with a record 463 league game tally which was eventually broken by another goalkeeper, one Neville Southall.


From Belfast Telegraph