One Club Men

I'm curious as to why the concept of 'one club men' (or rather, the label) is generally confined to football (Association Football for you pedants out there). So... why is this the case?

There must be (read: I know there are) quite a fair few sportsmen from other disciplines who adhere to the idea that the club they first joined as professionals are the ones they play with until their retirement, but they don't really get the laurels that football places on loyalty (given how easily players are attracted from club to club by big paycheques).

This only comes to mind because Ryan Giggs... 21 seasons in the EPL with Man Utd... scored in 'em all (23 seasons if you include the old First Division) (Can... no, will he reach the 700 league appearances mark?!). There are others who have invested all their playing careers in a single club for 15+ years, like Tony Adams (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, and won't be going anywhere for a few more years, most likely), Paul Scholes (Man Utd) and so on and so forth.

For those inclined to sports, anyone you like for their service to the club you support? Or you can answer my original question.

It's not necessarily confined to soccer (yes I'm going to call it that :P). A lot of sports make note of the good or great players that stay with the one club. In Australia you often hear about younger players in the Australian Football League talking about how they want to be at the one club for their career. I know some people also put an emphasis on it in basketball seeing as how easy it is to move about in the NBA and how often some people do.

I think it also helps if the club you get picked up by to start your professional career is decent because there's a chance Giggs may have jumped ship if he wasn't lucky enough to start his career at Man U (I dont really know much about Giggs so it is just a guess). That's why you see a lot of movement, players not only want to get paid the best they can but they also want to win championships. If you look at a lot of the players that are 'one club men' they are most likely at a successful club, not one that has been average.

He's not a one club man, because he's played for and managed other teams, but one springs to mind.

Graham Turner is respected and admired for his service to Shrewsbury Town Football Club (my team) currently playing in League One.

He played for then managed us during our most successful period in the late 70's early 80's in the old 2nd division, and returned again to manage us in 2010, and saw us to 2nd place and promotion to League One last season.

Some people are starting to take their rose tinted specs this season though - his apparent failure to sign a striker to replace the one we lost over summer is seen among some of the doom mongers as reason enough for us to get relegated. Others are keeping the faith however, and whether we stay up or not, he'll always be a club legend for his service to us.

Derp.

To address your original question, I'm not sure about other sports but I guess football is very territorial - more so than other sports, so if a player grows up in the area of the team they play for (see Scholes for Utd. even though he's an Oldham fan, and Gerrard and Carragher for Liverpool) they will be idolised by fans just because they are local.
I think you kinda answered your own question though as another reason 'one club men' are respected is because they resist the lure of possibly higher wages to play elsewhere. I suppose the massive amount of football Clubs across the country (i.e. England) means you often get several clubs in close geographical proximity to one another increasing rivalry and enmity, but also competition for local players - thus their loyalty to one club becomes even more prized.

I'm a Chelsea fan, so I obviously love that Lampard has spent the majority of his time there.

If you're talented and your club isn't using you, move on... fuck loyalty. I do find it admirable when a top player refuses the top offers out of some sense of loyalty or ethic though. Totti could have played for anyone but stayed with Roma despite it dampening his chances of accolades, and Batistuta refused all the big clubs because he didn't think there was anything sporting about getting success by virtue of joining the best team... which I really agree with.

I would like to see more loyalty in places. It's when I think of Arsenal that I start getting annoyed about this stuff. They have a habit of taking in good players, making them great players, and then having those players turn their backs on the club. The Fabregas transfer annoyed me, because Barca sold him, Arsenal made him a top talent, and then he insists on going back to them despite having just signed a new long term deal. More recently, Van Persie. Arsenal made him the player he is, stuck with him through bad-form and many feckin' injuries. He starts paying that investment back with good-form and goals and then leaves to chase personal glory with the most consistant trophy winning team in the country.

Very sporting...

To sum up. Batistuta is awesome, Van Persie is a douche.

Sexual Harassment Panda:
Van Persie is a douche.

You won't get any argument from me on that.

And while he didn't play his whole career at Arsenal, I really love that Thierry Henry came back last year to give us a hand (I probably shouldn't use that phrasing if there are any Ireland fans about) when we needed it. It is always a treat to see him in Gunner red or French blue.

Aris Khandr:

Sexual Harassment Panda:
Van Persie is a douche.

You won't get any argument from me on that.

And while he didn't play his whole career at Arsenal, I really love that Thierry Henry came back last year to give us a hand (I probably shouldn't use that phrasing if there are any Ireland fans about) when we needed it. It is always a treat to see him in Gunner red or French blue.

Ha. Handball incident aside, Henry was a classy guy. I was sad that he moved on, but it can't be claimed that Arsenal didn't see proper return on their considerable investment into developing him. They got his best years.

 

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