Following Ryan Giggs’ departure from Manchester United after 29 years, we take a look at other one-club legends of the game, both at home and in Europe.
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.
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United, 29 years, 963 appearances)
A club legend and the English game’s most decorated player of all time with 34 major trophies to his name.
Giggs made his debut at 17 and his last at the age of 40, scoring 168 goals for the club in his incredible 963 games – a tally which surely would have reached 1000 but for injuries in his earlier years.
Giggs’ trophy haul was 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, nine Community Shields, two Champions Leagues, one World Club Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one UEFA Super Cup.
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.
Jack Charlton (Leeds, 21 years, 629 appearances)
The tough-tackling centre-half joined Leeds as a youth player in 1949 and soon progressed through the ranks before making his senior debut in 1952. Now 81, he’s probably best known as a World Cup winner with England in 1966, playing alongside skipper Bobby Moore.
Amassed an impressive tally of 70 goals during his time with Leeds (approximately one every 8.9 games), before retiring from the game on the same day as his brother, Sir Bobby, in 1973.