Story by Seng Ton
As football fans of our beloved clubs as well as of the beautiful game, we love to relate to and support the star players. And quite frankly it is a massive bonus when that player comes from the same town or city as you. You feel a specific personal connection, and when that player is on the field, you are satisfied that you are well represented. Suddenly your passions and energy as a fan are transferred to the pitch. So we are absolutely over the moon when anyone of our players score, but that excitement is somewhat magnified greatly if the local lad hits the back of the net. There is a connection that is nearly indescribable, but can be likened to a long life fan of a club playing for that club. You just know he’s going to give it everything to succeed, because as fans we all wish we could win every game. But unfortunately this isn’t the case. This special edition of Seng Says takes a slightly different turn, by focusing on some football clubs and their local heroes. Please accept my apologies if you can’t see your team mentioned here.
Arsenal – Tony Adams
Tony Adams is a one-club man, and an Arsenal legend with 504 appearances and 32 top division goals for the North London club. He was born in Romford, London and raised in Dagenham. One quarter of the “Famous Four” that was so successful in utilising the offside trap with great effect. Adams was given the captain’s armband at the age of 21, and would hang on to it for the next 14 years. In the 1992-1993 season history was written when Adams captained the first English club to win the League Cup and FA Cup double. More silverware came in the form of two Premier League titles, two other FA Cups and one other League Cup.
Aston Villa – Ian Taylor
Ian Taylor spent 9 happy years at Villa Park playing for the club he used to support as a boy. The midfield dynamo comes from Birmingham and can still be in the terraces to show support for his beloved Villa. He is also currently a club ambassador. Taylor has 234 appearances and 28 goals to his name as a Villa player. Part of the squad who won the League Cup in 1996 and runners up to the last FA Cup final played in the Old Wembley. The Villa fans love for Taylor certainly hasn’t died out and he still seen as a club legend with fans occasionally chanting his name in The Holte End at Villa Park during matches.
Blackburn Rovers – David Dunn
David Dunn is an exciting midfielder that is considered to be one of the gems of Lancashire, being born in the local area and spending two spells at Blackburn. In a combined 268 appearances and scoring a total of 45 goals, this number is sure to increase further as Dunn is also a current key member of the Rovers squad. Blackburn’s most prestigious period since winning the Premier League title in 1995 came in 2001, when the club won the League Cup and David Dunn was part of the team to do that. Having joined the Lancashire club as a trainee at the age of 18, there is a strong personal link between Dunn and Blackburn Rovers.
Cardiff City – Joe Ledley
Joe Ledley’s Cardiff roots are about as strong as any hardcore football fan. A lifelong follower of The Bluebirds and passion for the game resulted in him joining their youth academy aged 9. Joe broke into first team aged 17, which has then lead to 225 additional appearances as well as 26 goals from the centre of midfield. Whilst Ledley doesn’t have any English silverware, there is a particular achievement that must be mentioned (as it’s remarkable for a Welsh club). A Cardiff City team (which included Ledley) became runners up to the FA Cup in a quite unforgettable 2007-2008 season.
Chelsea – John Terry
John Terry is one of the few currently playing local heroes at Chelsea. To date he has 373 appearances, scoring 28 goals. And this is likely to increase in the coming seasons. Being brought up in Barking, London he has felt the pain of the past as a Chelsea fan and counteracting that by celebrating much success in recent times. This includes three Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two League Cups and also has the honour of lifting the club’s first ever Champions League in 2012. He is a popular fellow at Stamford Bridge as he has been voted Chelsea’s player of the year on two different occasions.
Everton – Dave Watson
Dave Watson spent the last 15 years of his playing career at Everton. Whilst also managing them for a seven game stint in 1997 as caretaker manager. Born and bred in Liverpool, he was a strong and commanding presence in central defence. Watson was the club captain for eight sturdy years, whilst also registering 419 appearances and 23 goals in the process. The last time Everton won a top flight league was when the man from Merseyside was involved, as well as skippering a triumphant FA Cup winning side in 1995.